Network Seven Gets Randy for DiGiCo
Audio Systems Australia (ASA) has been specialising in live music broadcasting since its formal inception in 1992, with Head of Sound Randy Fransz managing a varied, high profile range of clientele. The company’s primary client is Australia's Seven Network, for which it handles broadcast audio for both its Sunrise and The Morning Show programs, utilising a DiGiCo SD9 and SD11, which ASA has recently added to its inventory in order to meet the growing demands of its premier clients.
"The team at Seven usually consists of Ivan Ordenes of Dubology Studios and me,” says Randy. “When we do an outside broadcast we use Ivan's DUBMOBILE mobile recording truck, which is fitted out with a DiGiCo DS-00. When Ivan's truck isn't available I'll use his D5 Live console. Having used these consoles regularly for some time without any issue, going with DiGiCo for the upgrade was really a simple choice."
Both size and flexibility were among some of Randy’s reasons for making the move to DiGiCo’s SD Range.
“Having all that processing power in such a small footprint was another factor,” he continues. “The quiet and very transparent mic pre amps, as well as ADA was also a winning factor. But it was the bang for buck that made it a no brainer."
Both consoles were put to work immediately at Network Seven where they have been performing tirelessly in a typically demanding live broadcast environment.
"Both consoles are more or less permanently installed at the Martin Place studios. The SD9 is used as the broadcast console, while the SD11 is mounted in a rack on the studio floor for monitors. Having said that, we do take the consoles out from time to time. We just took the SD11 out for Justin Bieber's performance on Sunrise at the Overseas passenger terminal in Sydney."
Randy also shed some light on how the consoles are usually configured.
"We are running the two consoles on separate D-Racks to give us more local outputs. The SD11 (monitors) has a D-Rack with the extra eight line outputs, giving Ivan a total of 24 outputs. 16 are used for IEM and eight are used for floor monitors (wedges). The SD9 also has its own local D-Rack giving me a total of 16 outputs, which are routed to different parts of the studio.
“As the SD9 is used for broadcast, I needed more than the two AES i/o on the console, therefore the second CAT6 connector on the console is routed to a DiGiCo Little Red Box which converts it to MADI. That is routed to an RME ADI 6432, which handles all the AES ins and outs. The MADI port on the console will be used for multi-track recording and playback via the DiGiCo UB Madi. The offline editor works really well on my PC tablet and it enables me to do line checks by myself."
Randy also gave his thoughts about the design behind the SD Series in general.
"Both console designs are very practical and intuitive; the layout makes sense and the learning curve is minimal. There are still a lot of features that I have yet to use."
Having been a live engineer in his former life, Randy can appreciate the flexibility of DiGiCo's design philosophy.
"I wish these consoles had been around when I was out there doing live gigs,” he smiles. “It would have saved my - and countless other crew members - back. All that gear in one small package… It sounds so good and it's flexible enough to tackle big live bands, corporate shows or broadcast."
Randy has even found that some of his clients can’t believe the audio quality from the console.
"General feedback has been great. I get messages sent to me asking if the act is miming when they’re not. The sound is probably one of the main reasons I chose DiGiCo. The SD9 and SD11 have made my job fun again. I am no longer trying to make a console sound good; I don't have to.
"I would like to thank Ivan from Dubology Studio's and Drew from Group Technologies for making my switch to DIGICO an easy decision."