Having just released their 10th album, Scream Above the Sounds in 2018 and with a long and successful career behind them, Stereophonics looked to Harm Schopman and his trusted DiGiCo console to set up the stage for them.
Although in charge of monitors for this tour, Harm has been responsible for various roles on numerous touring productions and the DiGiCo console supplied by rental company Capital Sound had served him well. A DiGiCo user since the days of the DiGiCo D5 Live, the DiGiCo SD10 is now his board of choice for Stereophonics, which he is running at 48kHz with the SD Racks being shared between FOH and monitors.
“I love the clarity I can achieve for the IEM mixes using the SD10,” he said. “Everything seems to be easily separated, which means the mixes are very detailed and clean. I’ve used these consoles quite a bit over the years; the interface works perfectly for me and speed of operation is always a priority when working monitors.”
One of the key elements of the overall live setup for Stereophonics is keeping low end minimised on stage, which is achieved through engineering teamwork.
“Our touring systems, playback, stage tech, Sam Cunningham, plays a large part in achieving this, together with the PA system tech when we have our own system,” stated Harm. “We also make sure that there are no bass notes that pop out, and Dave Roden, Sam and I communicate a lot to make the end result as optimal as possible for both the audience and the band.”
FOH Engineer, Dave Roden met Stereophonics in 1996 and began touring with them the following year. This is the first time Roden has been out with a DiGiCo board for six years, so the decision was an important one.
“I toured very happily with a D5 for five or six years but was diverted down another road mainly for logistical reasons,” he recalled. “Going back to DiGiCo was a really considered decision, not just for logistics, but for the cost versus other brands and the benefits it would bring for the rest of the audio department: reducing stage footprint by rack-sharing, futureproofing and expansion capabilities of the Optocore network, and, of course, the flexibility this would give the band when thinking of arena show B-stages. Then there is my overall familiarity with the DiGiCo surface and software, which has reduced transfer time to a minimum – that has been extremely important.”