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Digico for Def Leppard

Def Leppard are preparing for their next live stint across Europe and North America, and are relying on Digico SD5 consoles for the tour

Def Leppard and their live engineers, Ronan McHugh and Ted Bible, are relying on Digico consoles for the band’s upcoming world tour.

After recently completing an eight-month stadium tour, selling out a series of 45,000-seater ball parks, the band are preparing for their next stint across Europe and North America, which begins in June. McHugh has a longstanding relationship with Def Leppard, which started in the ’90s.

McHugh explained: “I went straight from school into Sun Studios in Dublin, and from there, got into the live side of the industry, just to keep working. I went on to do a bit for Sanctuary Management in London in the ’90s with Kerbdog & The Almighty – always in the studio and on the road. It was during recording with The Almighty that I crossed paths with Def Leppard, and they’ve kept me busy in one way or another since then.”

He continued: “There’s no airs and graces with this band. Some of the guys are more involved in the sound and the production than others, and they will come up with ideas or concepts for tours, but will ultimately allow the production team and crew to get on with it. At least until we screw something up.”

McHugh has always been a FOH guy when it comes to live sound, and although he has worked on a number of consoles – analogue and digital – his go-to today is a Digico SD5.

“When I first mixed the band live, it was as fill-in for a Japanese tour, and I spec’d a Midas XL4 with a bunch of outboard. I finished the tour with a [Yamaha] PM5D at FOH, which made sense to me at the time, coming from the analogue world,” he said. “But from that point on, Digico has been stepping up its front end – firstly with the SD-Racks and consoles, and now with the new 32-bit cards.”

He added: “On the show, I use Digico’s reverb, pitch and delays from the console’s internal FX engine. Using Snapshots, I can change the whole rack out; it’s literally like having a limitless supply of FX.”

Ted Bible is working monitors for the tour. “After about six years, Ronan told me that they were going to make a change at monitors and asked if I would like the job,” Bible recalled. “At first I said no, as I considered myself a FOH guy, but after some convincing from Ro I decided to give it a shot. The band only had six weeks left on the tour, and were planning on taking the next year off; they said there was plenty of time to find a new guy… That was 10 years ago!” 

Bible also works from a Digico SD5.