DiGiCo: New Year New Hope

In a bid to spread much-needed cheer and positivity following a difficult 12 months, DiGiCo provides three lucky competition winners with some incredible prizes. One lucky winner, Chris Heckmann of Monika’s Sound System Rentals, recalls the euphoria of scooping the brand-new DiGiCo Quantum225 mixing console.

At the start of the year, DiGiCo unveiled a New Year New Hope campaign, which provides three lucky winners from the sector three impressive prizes – a DiGiGrid MGB MADI-to-SoundGrid Interface, a KLANG:kontroller and a DiGiCo Quantum225 mixing console.

Prize winners included Jennifer Werner of LSP Light and Sound Professional, based in Ostrau, Germany, who scooped the DiGiGrid MGB MADI-to-SoundGrid Interface; Paul Janovskis, a freelance FOH Engineer in Melbourne, Australia, who took ownership of the first ever KLANG:kontroller off the production line; and Chris Heckmann of Monika’s Sound System Rentals from Dayton, Ohio, who was awarded the contest’s grand prize – a brand-new DiGiCo Quantum225 mixing console. “Believe it or not, I wasn’t watching the livestream because I was out on a call fixing a panic bar on a commercial electric door – something I have been doing on and off during the COVID-19 lockdown,” chuckled Heckmann.

What followed was a series of texts and an ‘out of the blue’ conference call from the Group One team – DiGiCo’s US distributor. When it dawned on Heckmann that he’d won a brand-new Quantum225 mixing console, he recalled: “I was overwhelmed.”

Monika’s Sound System Rentals shares a storied history in the live events sector with Owner, Monika Shroyer, providing audio for bands back in 1979. “In regular times, most of our shows are outdoors – from festivals for a few hundred people, mid-size concerts, to five stages for whole weekend events such as Dayton Celtic Fest,” stated Heckmann. “There’s a 600-capacity venue in Dayton, Ohio called Brightside Music and Event Venue, which we had the pleasure of installing a PA and lighting rig for. The venue was gaining momentum as the COVID-19 crisis struck.”

Heckmann went on to detail how the pandemic has affected him and his colleagues. “It has been a ‘sucker punch’ that never seems to end,” he recalled. “We are lucky that we are a smaller company, and our ownership is in capable hands. We had little to no debt when the lockdown began, however, we lost 90% of our business in 2020,” he conceded. “We have been doing some virtual work at The Brightside and are able to pick up a couple of install jobs, which has helped a lot.”

However, news that a brand-new Quantum225 was coming his way was a great way to start the year. Sensitive to the hiatus in the large-scale, live touring market, DiGiCo has designed the Quantum225 to be agile and flexible, allowing the system to adapt to the demands of the changing world. Specified with the new DQ-Rack with integrated Dante, end users have a system ideal for AV installation and the demands of an AoIP networking environment. Alternatively, the MQ-Rack and MADI connectivity for touring infrastructure allows the Quantum225 to integrate with existing infrastructure.

What is unique to Quantum225 is a custom-designed, multipurpose mounting bracket that attaches quickly and easily to the left-hand panel of the console. This can accommodate an additional channel or overview screen, a KLANG:controller, or be further expanded to fit either a laptop or a script
– something particularly useful for theatre applications.

The desk includes 72 input channels with 36 busses, plus Master Buss and a 12 by 12 Matrix. There are four MADI ports and dual DMI ports for added connectivity, eight by eight analogue and four AES channels for local I/O, built-in UB MADI, optional optics and Waves SoundGrid, plus dual PSU.

“The nodal processing is what I think will really blow my mind,” commented Heckmann. “This desk is a perfect match for us. We would love to have an SD5, SD7, Q7, Q338 or SD10, but it makes no sense financially for us in relation to the size of our company. The Quantum 225 provides us with a taste of all those boards at an affordable cost. Obviously, this one is free, but if we had not won this, we would definitely look at this console as our next purchase.”

Heckmann hopes the new console might become a permanent fixture at The Brightside Venue, along with the company’s SD9. “I think we will explore what the rental market holds for this new desk,” he mused. “They are perfect for larger tour support acts.”

This article originally appeared in issue #259 of TPi, which you can read here.

Photos: DiGiCo