DiGiCo Mixes with the Best at CMA Fest

A DiGiCo SD5 served as the FOH mixing console at Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater during CMA Fest

DiGiCo were on hand at the Country Music Association’s 2018 CMA Fest with it’s mixing consoles at the helms of both its house and monitor mixes.

Nashville-based Morris Light & Sound supplied numerous DiGiCo desks for 4 of this year’s stages, including 4 DiGiCo SD12—2 for FOH and 2 for monitors—plus one DiGiCo SD11 production mixer at the Chevy Riverfront Stage, with all consoles connected via an Optocore fibre loop to two SD-Racks positioned on stage.

The venues featured artists were reinforced on 2 16-element d&b audiotechnik J-Series line arrays and 2 14-element d&b audiotechnik V-Series outfill arrays.

Morris also had a DiGiCo SD5 FOH console and DiGiCo SD12 monitor console in place at the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater, with featured artists reinforced on a pair of 14-box d&b arrays.

Three additional stages at Nashville’s Music City Center—Close Up, Spotlight and Radio Disney—featured musical sets and artist interviews mixed on Morris’ smaller DiGiCo S21 desks at both FOH and monitors.

“The GUI on all of DiGiCo’s SD-Range desks is pretty much identical, so most engineers are quite familiar and comfortable on them,” noted Morris Light & Sound Senior Audio Designer/Trainer John Mills, who spent much of CMA Fest at the Chevy Riverfront Stage.

“It’s easy to grow up on a smaller tour with, say, an SD9 and learn the desk, and then when you get the opportunity to mix on a SD7, you already know how to get around. The same goes for the SD12, which practically everyone was excited to get their hands on seeing that it’s still quite new. The SD12’s layout, feel and sound are all DiGiCo, and they performed very well.”

For the Maui Jim Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Cafe, fellow local production provider DCR Nashville deployed 2 DiGiCo S31 desks for FOH and monitors paired with a 16-element Meyer Mina PA.

The desks were connected via 2 D2-Racks and utilized Waves DMI cards for native integration with Waves Sound Grid Extreme. On stage, DCR fed 32 outputs from the monitor desk into the monitor D2-Rack and ran 7 wedge mixes with a cue wedge plus 8 stereo IEM mixes.

“We currently have six DiGiCo S31 consoles out on tours right now and our clients love them,” shared DCR Nashville General Manager John Schirmer.

“With Hard Rock Cafe activating the Maui Jim Broadway Stage in the evenings, we worked with more than 70 bands over the four days of CMA Fest this year. Most of those artists were mixed by the front-of-house and monitor engineers from the Jordan Feliz tour, which carries the same console, monitor and PA package that we deployed at Hard Rock.

“Both of those guys were very familiar with the desks and system in general, which made for a great, seamless success. And the few other engineers that did mix on that stage were very complimentary of the deployment of the PA as well as how easy to use the S31s were. Everyone was all smiles.”