Roger Waters’ much-talked about Us + Them tour is using a Digico SD7 console on monitors.
Armed with a 10-piece band, the former Pink Floyd frontman has been treating sell-out audiences to tracks from the band’s back catalogue, performing hits from Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals, and Wish You Were Here.
Monitors engineer Matt Napier started working with Waters last year for his shows in Mexico, after Waters’ previous engineer Ian Newton passed away unexpectedly in 2014. Napier said: “I felt a lot of responsibility to do Ian’s memory justice, and make the gig work as smoothly as possible,” Napier said. “We didn’t have a lot of rehearsal time, so it was intense, but the shows went really well. You just have to do this music justice.”
Napier is running 130 inputs (many of which are stereo), 21 mono auxes, 16 stereo auxes, three mono groups, seven stereo groups, 32 matrix inputs, 14 matrix outputs, and 24 control groups.
“I keep playing with other consoles, but the SD7 is still the only really serious choice for a show of this complexity; and actually, it’s not just about the channel count,” Napier insists. “The SD Series sounds fantastic, too, and the flexibility of the SD Racks and SD-Mini Racks, the redundancy, and user flexibility means nothing else comes close. I also have two SD Racks dealing with stage inputs and IEM outputs, and a Mini Rack, which takes care of some analogue inserts.”
“Most of the musicians are multi-instrumentalists, and also sing, so there are a lot of things going on; at the last count, we had about 70 different guitars in play,” Napier added. “We also have a few discrete wedges around the stage to add a bit of weight, and we need a bit of extra stage volume for when we get to Another Brick In The Wall; we have a local kids’ group join us on stage, and they need to hear, as well.”
The surround system installed in each venue creates an immersive aural experience for the audience, with lots of added visuals.
Napier said: “Roger really is the captain of the ship, and steers its direction, but he allows the musicians to explore their creativity and add their own flavour. He is always fair, and very professional; if there’s a technical problem, as long as you’re honest, he understands.”
The North American leg runs until October 29th, with the Us + Them tour coming to the UK and Europe in 2018.
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