Prolight + Sound 2012
For over a decade, DiGiCo has been working with renowned sound designers, including Andrew Bruce (Les Misérables, Chess, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins), to develop a software package that provides the tools needed to address the highly demanding discipline of live theatre sound reinforcement. The results have made the SD7T a standard on the majority of large budget shows on Broadway and in London's West End.
saw UK digital solutions manufacturer DiGiCo announce the SD9 Supercharged software and firmware upgrades, freeing up more of the FPGA’s processing power and adding more on many of its features. This year, At Prolight + Sound
2013 and at at the NAB show 2013, DiGiCo took the SD9 further for both the broadcast and theatre markets, seeing the SD9B making debut, along with the European launch of the SD9T, which follows hot on the heals of its US debut at USITT in Milwaukee.
Giving all the advanced theatre features of the flagship SD7T to the smaller SD9, this feature set is now available to an even wider selection of live theatre users. “Some of the biggest problems in live theatre sound are those of 'imaging' as performers move around the stage whilst occasionally donning hats which profoundly affect their sound due to the proximity of the head-worn microphones,” says Dan Page, DiGiCo Sales Application Specialist. “As a result, a designer will build a show file with a long cue list and use our theatre specific programming tools, including the Auto Update system and Aliases for cue to cue changes, and Matrix nodal delays for precise sound positioning. The theatre variant of the Auto Update function instantly updates the channel parameters to all cues, and by using Aliases, affect only those cues where that parameter is the same. For example, if you wanted to make an EQ change to character ‘Bob’, but not in the cues where Bob is wearing a hat, I would create an Alias ‘Bob Hat,’ and any changes I made to ‘Bob’ would track through the cues without updating the Alias ‘Bob Hat’ and vice versa.“
“Additionally, as theatre shows make much more use of Control Groups (CGs - also known as VCAs) than traditional live programming, we provide a visual CG programming interface. This, along with the SD9T's 12 CG channels, allows the engineer to maintain control of the constantly changing cast on stage, by quickly assigning and un-assigning CG members with reference to the cue list.”
One of the newest slick tools in the collection is the Players function. This allows the engineer to quickly deal with cast changes on stage. What was once a process of recalling the proper preset for each Alias is now simply a matter of selecting the actor performing that role. The show is then automatically updated with all the settings for that actor.
The new SD9T software builds on an array of features onboard the SD9 Supercharged, which has a significant expansion in channel count, dynamic EQs, multiband compressors and matrix, plus the addition of DiGiTuBes, Reorder of Busses and Multichannel inputs (formerly only available on SD7).
Further new features include an expanded aux panel, increased dynamic functions such as a Duck option and expander for the Gate, a De-esser and three types of Knee for the Compressor. There are also new effect types with multitap, and a ping-pong stereo delay. A warmth button is provided on each channel for analogue emulation and two types of EQ have been added.
Additional features include template sessions and Sets (also previously only available on SD7T), which has been enhanced to allow for ‘Set Spill’. This allows the user to create Sets and, with a simple button press, change the console layout to display members of that Set.
The SD9 is a complete, integrated system powered by Stealth Digital Processing, which includes the mixing surface, a D-Rack digital stage interface and CAT5E digital multicore, with the additional ability to simultaneously record 56 channels direct to your favorite multitrack software or DAW.
DiGiCo has already had positive feedback on its broadcast specific SD10B console, now DiGiCo has applied the same set of parameters to the more compact SD9. The SD9B upgrade adds surround capabilities to the standard SD9 ‘live’ system, providing 48 stereo channels, allowing up to 5.1 bussing, plus a full studio style Monitor Matrix, multiple Mix Minus busses, and Backstop PFL functionality.