Nitelites chooses DiGiCo for Ben Howard tour
British singer-songwriter Ben Howard is enjoying success on both sides of the Atlantic, having completed a sold out UK tour in December, a successful run in the US, returning to the UK in April, where he filled arenas round the country, including three nights at London’s Alexandra Palace, Glasgow’s SSE Hydro, Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena and Birmingham’s NIA. His soul-searching brand of folk-pop has earned him a dedicated following. His fans are no doubt delighted with the quality of audio that rental company Nitelites is delivering, which in no small part due to their choice of DiGiCo SD7s for both Front of House and monitor positions.
Nitelites director Andy Magee, who has been working with Ben since 2012, elected to take up the FOH position, with Barrie Pitt mixing monitors. They use SD7s, he says, simply because they are head and shoulders above anything else.
“The band knows exactly what they want and we try very hard to give it to them. It’s always a challenge and every console we use is pushed to the limits of its performance,” he says. “Almost all the band members are engineers and have worked in studios, so they push us really hard. It’s good for us because it keeps us sharp.
“The SD7 sounds great. There’s still nothing that comes close to it for performance and it still keeps getting better! The monitor console has 140 channels into 48 outputs at 96kHz and there’s no other console that can do that or the complicated routing we need.”
At FOH the show is heavily dependent on automation and by using the SD7, Andy knows he can do just what he needs to do.
“If things change during the show, I can hit a safe button and get exactly what I need,” he says. “The band is great and the show sounds fantastic; the layering in the music is really subtle. With other consoles you just don’t hear everything with such depth.”
Andy’s SD7 has the addition of a Waves Soundgrid, along with a DiGiGrid MGB to multitrack every show to a MacBook, which he plays back to Ben each day. Barrie, meanwhile, has a Universal Audio Apollo 16 plugin server with a DiGiCo Mini-Rack.
A pair of SD9’s are also employed as the support band consoles.
And what of support? “Before the tour started, I had some hardware training from Rob Andrews and Dave Bigg at DiGiCo,” Andy concludes. “As ever, their support is the best in the industry.”