Manning the Monty Python mix were (l-r): Dave Dixon, Rory Madden, Toby Chester and Simon Fox.
London, UK (September 5, 2014)—In a summer full of tours, one of the biggest arena shows stayed in one place. The venue was London’s O2 Arena, and the show was the final (for now) reunion of the legendary comedy troupe Monty Python—John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones—for 10 sold-out dates. Mixing every silly word were DiGiCo consoles at both the FOH and monitor positions.
Sound designer Rory Madden and his crew tackled handling audio for the extravaganza. “They’re the best I’ve ever had in 40 years working in the business,” he said. Madden’s company, Sonalyst, also supplied all the sound equipment, including the three DiGiCo SD7s (two at FoH, and one at monitors sharing six SD Racks between them) on hand for mixing duties.
Dave Dixon, mixing the band, and Simon Fox, handling vocal mixes and sound effects, took up the FOH positions; Bill Birks manned the monitor desk. “We had two operators at FOH because there was a lot happening in the show,” said associate sound designer Toby Chester, “although we still tried to keep everything very simple.”
“We had over 60 channels of radio microphones,” Madden noted, “so it would have been hard for one person to be across both areas quickly at the same time. Having two engineers working together at FOH gave us accuracy and full control of the production.”
As well as the live shows, broadcast specialists RedTX delivered a live feed of the finale to televisions and cinemas around the world. The company’s trucks were fed full MADI streams via DiGiCo’s SD Racks to ensure that viewers got exactly the same audio as was happening on stage.
“It was an honour to be involved with such a show like this,” concluded Madden. “The functionality and reliability of the DiGiCo SD7s meant that we were able to deliver excellent audio both in the venue and to the thousands of people not lucky enough to be able to come to the live shows.”