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Digico mixers handle high channel count for Hans Zimmer tour

Renowned film composer Hans Zimmer is using Digico mixing consoles on his current tour to handle multiple channel counts.

The full audio system, comprising two Digico SD7s and an SD11, required more than 260 channel counts due to the composer’s cinematic setlist, including songs from The Lion King and Gladiator.

Supplied by Brit Row, the audio was designed by Brit Row’s Lez Dwight and front of house engineer Colin Pink. Monitor enginners Gavin Tempany and Jimmy Nicholson also assisted with the sound design.

“There’s a 19-piece string and brass orchestra and a 16-piece choir,” said Pink, “but because Hans jumps around genres so much, there’s also a band and a lot of electronics involved which gives me a grand total of 262 inputs. There aren’t many desks that can deal with that input count and we needed great flexibility in the system, so we went for the Digico SD7 because of its functionality and great channel count.”

The different musical genres, with big changes happening quickly in the middle of pieces, make the style of mixing more akin to a theatre production than a concert

The other SD7 sits at monitors, while the SD11 is used for sub-mixing the choir and the orchestra. Three SD-Racks handle all the inputs on stage with MADI used for playback of special effects and layers. All of this is on the same fibre loop and can be picked up wherever it is needed.

“Because of the amount of people on stage, we wanted to keep it as silent as possible, so everyone is on IEMs,” Pink added. “We have live drums and a bass cab, but that’s all you hear acoustically, so there’s very little spill into the choir, orchestral and woodwind mics which gives us the separation we need.

The tour has already covered the west coast of America, Australia and New Zealand, Scandinavia, Eastern and Western Europe and is now travelling around the United States.

Read our exclusive feature from Zimmer’s SSE Wembley Arena show in the latest issue of PSNE, out now. Subscribe to the magazine here.