Robbie Opts for DiGiCo

June 2017 saw Robbie Williams kick off his Heavy Entertainment Show at Manchester Etihad Stadium. Britannia Row Productions provided the tour’s audio fixtures, and featured DiGiCo SD7 consoles.

Simon Hodge, Robbie’s Front of House engineer, has been using the DiGiCo SD7 for the last 6 years. Jonathan Digby stood in for usual Monitor Engineer, Pete Mc Glynn. “The show is complicated, so both SD7s are running to timecode,” explained Brit Row’s Josh Lloyd. “There are 18 people on stage, as well as the techs all being provided with monitors. The timecode enables multiple Snapshot sequences to be fired for mix changes within a song, or to allow musical segues to happen seamlessly, so that Jonathan can focus on mixing the show for Robbie. At FOH, much the same timecode removes the need to hit various critical cues between musical transitions and allows Simon to focus on the creative side of mixing and making sure Robbie’s vocal is always heard. This is something not many other desks can do so easily.”

Both DiGiCo SD7s use gain tracking and are on an optical loop, with 2 DiGiCo SD-Racks handling all the inputs from stage, a DiGiCo SD-Mini Rack handles all the Sennheiser Digital 6000 wireless microphones, which are fed in via AES/EBU, and a second DiGiCo SD-Mini Rack handles inserts and PA outputs at FOH.

“Around 96 inputs come from the stage, plus a large amount of inputs for band talkback and comms, which allow the band to communicate with the techs and Jonathan at monitors. On top of this, we have triggers on the drums just to key the Gates on the console. Before you know it, the racks are all full,” Lloyd explained.

The outputs included 24 channels of Sennheiser 2050 wireless in ear monitors, an Aviom personal mixing system for the drummer, a couple of hard wired mixes, various tech mixes and routing. Erasure, who are supporting Robbie throughout the tour, are also using a DiGiCo SD11, which handles both their FOH and monitor requirements.