British heavy metal band, Saxon have been on their Thunderbolt tour, after they released their 27th studio album of the same name. To ensure Saxon’s classic sound, the band’s Front of House Engineer, Jacky Lehmann has chosen the most up-to-date audio technology and has used a combination of the DiGiCo SD12 and S21 digital consoles.
Bought through the German distributor, United Brands, DiGiCo has been Lehmann’s choice of console since 2011 and since he joined the Saxon crew in 2012, he has used it to mix over 300 shows. For the current tour, he used his own DiGiCo SD12 with a D2-Rack and a DiGiCo S21 and D-Rack for smaller shows and corporate events.
“I started with a DiGiCo SD9 and D-Rack setup, which was my main rig for a lot of Saxon shows in Europe at the time,” said Lehmann. “I was looking for a smaller console for fly-in shows, so in 2013 a DiGiCo SD11i joined my setup. But to accommodate larger shows, I needed a console with more capacity, so I switched my DiGiCo SD9 to a DiGiCo SD8-24. I also upgrade the D-Rack to a DiGiRack, which was a huge step up.”
In 2015, Saxon were special guests of Motörhead, for their last tour. Travelling around Europe with them, Lehmann took his DiGiCo with the SD8 and DiGiRack along. The small SD11i and D-Rack was Lehmann’s main console for the festival season 2016, which took in Wacken Open Air, Graspop and Download in the UK and France. It was then that he updated his setup with Waves.
“Now we’re on the road again with Thunderbolt Tour 2018, with a DiGiCo SD12 with DMI Waves integration,” said Lehmann. “It’s such a powerful setup and I love the work surface. It’s because I love the DMI format on my SD12 so much, that I decided to invest in the S21 console and D-Rack. The S21 has the same feeling and the same sound as the SD consoles, so it was a really easy step for me.”
Lehmann has used his DiGiCo SD9 from 2011 to 2014, the DiGiCo SD8-24 from 2015 to 2017 and for 2018 his DiGiCo SD12, which he also had set up in his van as a mobile recording studio. “All the DiGiCo consoles I have used since 2011 have performed exceptionally well,” he concluded.
The Thunderbolt tour continues in Europe until the middle of November before travelling to the US at the beginning of 2019.