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‘The perfect next step’: Rental company KO-Sound take Digico console on 11-date theatre tour

In mid-September, rental company KO-Sound took delivery of its third Digico console. And the desk immediately embarked on a 11-date tour in Dutch theatres, reports Marc Maes…

Alongside his inventory of Midas Heritage 3000, Midas PRO 2 and Yamaha PM5D mixing consoles, KO-Sound’s founder/director René Kuipers also offers Digico desks to his rental clients. “Diversification is key, we provide what the engineers want,” says Kuipers. “We had already gone into Digico with an SD8 and a SD9 console – the new SD12, supplied by Belgian distributor Amptec, is part of the renewal of our rental stock, allowing us to offer the most recent model to our clients. I particularly like the brand because of its reliability, pleasant working environment and friendly user interface – you could say that we have grown organically into Digico consoles.”

The big advantage, according to Kuipers, is that the new SD12 has dual touch screens. “Most consoles have a single screen display but multiple fader banks,” he explains. “Personally I prefer to have one screen for each 12-channel fader bank. This wasn’t the case with the SD9 where the central positioned screen served both the L and R fader banks. A similar problem occurred with the SD8 where three 12-channel fader banks were on one central display – mistakes were always possible in the line of fire…And that’s the big improvement with the SD12.”

Kuipers says the SD12 is the perfect next step for the SD8 and SD9 he has been using for some years now. “If somebody asks what would you improve on those two consoles, you automatically end up with the SD12,” he says. “In addition to the dual 15” screen displays, the desk’s colour coded pot metres are matching the functions they operate, for instance, red for the ‘gain’ and white for the ‘pan’ option. Another benefit is that the Digico has gone from 10 user-defined keys on the SD8 and 9 versions to a lay-out where we have five banks with five controls each, adding up to 25 user-defined keys. And whereas the SD9 had no master faders and we had to use two separate channels, the SD12 now has two assignable master faders.”

The SD12 almost immediately left KO-Sound’s warehouses for a tour with Dutch band Mr Richard Parker, a five piece world/jazz unit featuring flute player Chris Hinze. The band plays 11 Dutch 550 seater theatres in October and November. Along with the new console, Kuipers also takes a BNC multicore, a D2 stagerack plus a FOH rack with a dual TC M5000 reverb and a Lake LM44 processor for the tour.

“The LM44 is used for the EQ’ing of the theatre speaker system in the theatres,” explains Kuipers. “The LM44’s settings are shown on a display on the FOH position, next to the SD12.”

Four Sennheiser EW300 G3 in-ear sets and stage cabling complete KO-Sound’s theatre set for this tour.

KO-Sound is mainly catering for productions with foreign artists, in concert venues like Trix (Antwerp, 1,100-capacity) or the 400-capacity Biebob Metal club (Vosselaar) and festivals like Graspop Metal Meeting, Peer Rhythm & Blues festival. “Digico is high on the riders we get from bands abroad, and a much wanted console on festivals, but I have the impression that the situation is different with the Belgian live market,” ponders Kuipers. “Although there are many Digico consoles around in Belgium, somehow the Belgian engineers are not really convinced of the brand.”

Kuipers is, however, convinced and happy that Digico lends its ears to the feedback given by sound engineers and end-users. “They listen very carefully to the input we give as users, and mostly we get an upgrade in the next software version – that’s true client service.”