In today’s highly competitive, audio production business, keeping on the cutting edge of technology and providing the best possible equipment is critical. For 18 years, Bloomington, Minnesotaâ€™s
has done just that, by offering integrated audio, video and lighting servicesâ€”including event production support, system and overall product consultation. When the need arose to add an additional digital console to its production stockâ€”to do double duty as both a rental and production toolâ€”ALS looked no further than the DiGiCo SD8 as a complement to their d&b audiotechnik inventory.
â€œWe’re both a production company as well as an installation and retail company, and have worked very hard to do both with a higher quality than any of our respective competitors,â€? said ALS Production Manager, Ed Coutu. â€œWe have always purchased the most compact, lightest, most powerful, and highest quality equipment on the market. There isn’t a digital console on the market that fits that description better than the SD8â€¦. The SD8 gives us a world-class console with a digital snake splitter for the high quality events we do in venues of all sizes. Also, as a systems integrator, it is critical that we are using the cutting edge technologies in our live shows. This allows us to be the leader in the House of Worship and Theatre installation market.â€?
Several of the factors that led Coutu to the newest DiGiCo desk were its integrated digital features, along with its compact footprint. â€œI first saw the console at LDI,â€? Coutu recalled. â€œOnce I realized it could be integrated with any of the DiGiCo racks including the DiGiRack, and allowed for a true digital split with gain tracking, it really became an attractive console. We wanted a console with an integrated digital snake and digital split; we weren’t interested in carrying an analog split, or a third party digital snake. Also, keeping the console to a small footprint was desirable for us, and the SD8 and the DiGiRack allowed us to replace a lower quality digital console with an analog split snake, and use LESS truck space. The integration of a larger screen was also a bonus, and allowing any of the 60 input channels to be mono or stereo (thatâ€™s 120 live XLR inputs!) was a smart use of their new Stealth Digital Processing. Top it off with the 66 output busses, and it becomes a huge system.â€?
Within days of taking delivery of the SD8, ALS has the desk booked on a series of small-to-mid-sized events over the course of the next few months, with its first large, main-stage event, â€œLifest 2009â€?, scheduled for early July. â€œThe more I use the SD8, and the more I get into configuring it for the way I want to mix, the more I like the console,” said Coutu. â€œPrevious to the SD8, we’ve used Yamaha digital consoles, but as of right now, we don’t feel that there’s another console on the market than can compare to the SD8 in terms of flexibility, sonic quality, size, and price point. The SD8 is definitely an upgrade from all other digital consoles.â€?
Ultimately, though, Coutu says by utilizing the most transparentâ€”both sonically and visiblyâ€”equipment, it allows the message on stage to be the highlight of any show or production. ALS has been successful in this by staying current and relevant in the technology arena.
â€œWe try very hard not to become stagnant. We don’t do things because â€˜that’s the way we’ve always done itâ€™; new and better ideas are always welcome. After spending time on the console, I can say that the SD8 is definitely newer and better than other digital consoles. Plus, the technical sales support from DiGiCo is second to none. DiGiCo has always had a reputation for great sounding audio consoles, and its product support is equally great. Even just a simple question on setting up the console is answered immediately. It’s nice to know that there is a network of committed professionals that truly understand the world of live production, and that are just a phone call away.â€?