Keane20 tour chooses DiGiCo

Keane20 celebrates 20 years since Keane’s debut album, Hopes and Fears was released in 2004. For Philip Harvey at FOH and Hannah Brodrick on monitors, it was important the set up was as streamlined as possible, so they both utilised DiGiCo consoles.

Utilising KLANG for immersive mixes kept the monitor footprint compact, while at FOH, the integration of Quantum’s onboard technologies ensured the workflow was consistent across all venues.

“In the formative days of the tour, the request was made to keep production as simple and as compact as possible,” Harvey said. “The Quantum 338 features were a key factor in the choice to use DiGiCo. The availability of dynamic EQs and multi-band compressors on every channel provides a safety net to catch and compress potentially offending frequencies that might jump out of an input (or output) inadvertently from song to song.”

Brodrick has also toured with high profile artists for many years and is co-director and co-founder of Women in Live Music. For Brodrick, it is KLANG that has been a surprise bonus. DMI-KLANG integrates into the workflow of the SD12, creating immersive mixes without any additional outboard equipment.

“I’m using an SD12 96, running at 96kHz, with one SD Rack and a Nano Rack for extra inputs, all with 32bit input cards,” she said. “I don’t need any external kit for KLANG or recording, just the two cards that sit in the back of the desk and a couple of bits of ethernet! I had read an article about rock band Sigur Rós’s monitor set up and they were using a SD12 with KLANG. Everything fitted neatly into a flight case that was the same width as the desk sitting on top and I thought ‘Yep that’s how I want to roll (quite literally) this summer!’. I was a little daunted by the idea of KLANG to begin with, but talking to Phil Kamp and following the YouTube videos really helped. It’s a compact set-up and the processing power of the SD12 is just right.”

“I needed a powerful desk that can handle anything I throw at it. With DiGiCo I never have to reply to an outlandish request with ‘Sorry that’s not possible,” Brodrick continued. “I can programme a Macro to fire several commands at once which other desks simply can’t do. Timecode functionality for Snapshot changes is useful and although I’m quite happy using other consoles for smaller one-off gigs, I’m sure I would hit a limit with most, in terms of versatility and automation in the long run.”

Macros are also an important function at the front of house position, with Harvey using them in a variety of ways. “There are a couple of key features that I really love about DiGiCo consoles; namely Macros, but also the availability of dynamic EQs and multi-band compressors on every channel,” he said.  “I have a few Macros set up: engage Copied Audio for virtual soundcheck; select the Alt Input for our Lead Vocal Spare mic; turn drum gates on and off; as well as Save Session and engage my ‘Between Songs’ setting. This last setting mutes all vocal effects, but leaves the vocal mics unmuted so all band members can speak to the audience as they prefer. I rely on the Macro buttons quite heavily.”

“Years ago, I started incorporating timecode to fire my Snapshots, which I’ve really grown to appreciate,” said Harvey. “It keeps my mind in creative mode and means I can think of mixing moves vs logistical ones. I’m also really enjoying the different types of Mustard compressors for use in parallel on the Groups with my introduction to the Q338. These are a really nice addition to the Quantum desks.”

“I used the onboard oscillator to help a backing vocalist pitch once for a particular song,” Brodrick explained.  “I dialled in 440Hz (middle A) and would fade it into her mix so she could make sure she was in tune. We also had a short notice stand-in guitarist for a few shows. I set up sessions for him where he could practise playing along with the live multitrack using the listen safe function on guitar and talkback channels. This allowed me to work with him on his mix, if another band member wanted to join in, it was great to be able to just hit listen safe and switch from playback to live without having to stop the session.”

The tour continues with festival dates around the world over the summer.