Pictured L to R: Anselmo Rota, Jonathan Daly, Amable Frometa with the DiGiCo SD10 at the FOH position on Juanes' current tour.
New York, NY (January 8, 2013)—For his 2012 Loud and Unplugged tour through the U.S. and Europe, Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes has brought along a DiGiCo SD10 with Waves SoundGrid bundle and an SD Rack for his FOH, overseen by engineer Jose Amable Frometa. An additional SD10 and SDRack were operated by monitor engineer Ansiemo Rota and systems engineer Jonathan Daly.
For the 13-piece band, comprised of Juanes on guitar and vocals, with two additional guitarists (one playing six different instruments), bass, keyboards, two vocalists, drums, two percussion players, and a three-piece horn section, FOH encompasses 68 inputs including FX returns, plus iPod, opening act mixer, and L&R. They’ve also got four AES outputs from the console feeding a Lake loudspeaker processor. Outputs include: Main L&R, mono subs, stereo front fill and another stereo out in case they want to control any other zone of the PA. The band carries the processor; racks and stacks are local.
“The SD10’s Dynamic Compression and EQ are my best allies on this tour,” says Frometa, who spent some hands-on time previously on a D5 with the Marc Anthony/JLo Tour in 2005. “There’s no other way I could have dealt with the dynamic range of the acoustic guitars going from a very soft to a very hard stroke. Smart Keys and Macros also helped me a great deal and I use macros for screen viewing, as we don’t carry an external monitor. I also love the graphic EQ insert in and outs, FXs on and off, and the delay taps, too. The only outboard gear we’re carrying is a Summit DCL200 compressor inserted in the main L&R output group. I'm really pleased with the sound and onboard features of the SD10 so I'm only using a few plug-ins from the Waves rack: Kick drum and bass get the MaxBass plug-in inserted. I'm also using the API compressor on the bass channel and the PuigChild 660 compressor on main vocal.”
“Moving channels around helps me create groups,” he adds. “There is one in I called ‘Drive’ on this page where I have all the main outputs and inputs: L&R, B Master, L&R Recording Master, SUBS, Fills, Talk Back, Stereo input for opening act boards, Smaart output, etc. The page is a combination of Group, Matrix, Auxiliary and Input channels.”
The SD10 has helped Fromata reduce his EQing to the point of applying only one notch and/or HI and LO pass filter in almost all input channels. “The dynamic EQ and compression features, plus the ability to insert graphics EQ on the fly, have helped me with the acoustic guitar and has prevented feedbacks from happening when the downstage left and right guitarists are too close to a stacked PA, which has been a common situation in this tour since we are playing small venues.”
The SD10’s SD-Rack at monitors is fully loaded with analog in/outs typically run at 48 inputs with 44 outputs for 12 stereo wireless IEM mixes (Shure PSM900), five stereo hardwire IEM mixes (Shure P6HW) and two d&b M2 wedge mixes. “We’ve also got five stems to the drummer’s mixer and a few other outputs for talkback and shout, but on some special shows, we used the full 56 plus talkback inputs,” says systems engineer Jonathan Daly, who did duty on SD7s at both the Montreux and North Sea Jazz festivals in 2009. “Our only outboard gear is a Summit DCL-200 and a Dolby Lake Processor at FOH, and everything in monitor world is done in the desk.”
Monitor mixer Anselmo Rota utilized everything onboard his SD10, tackling 22 channels of IEMs (16 stereo mixes and eight mono outputs for effects) for the band. “With multiband compressors and DiGiCo’s DiGiTuBes, I’m comfortable and it works very well. The SD10 is an excellent console in a convenience format.”
Fromata captures the bands’ performances nightly, recording 56 tracks at 24 bits 48kHz on a MacBook Pro using Reaper. The audio interface is the RME HPDSPe MADIFace with the Express PCI Card. “These multi-tracks are for the artist's personal library but could eventually come out as a Live Album or DVD Audio. On another MacBook, we record the L&R outputs from the board using Digital Performer 7 and a Sound Devices USB Pre; these recordings are used by the guys from the media department who record many of the shows using up to six GoPro Video cameras. These videos get uploaded to the Internet as part of their promotional strategy.”