Blackthorn Productions has been working with BBC radio and television in Northern Ireland for 30 years, handling many of their outside broadcasts in Belfast, as well as religious radio broadcasts for BBC NI and Radio2,3 and 4, 5 Live and various television shows. It has recently upgraded its largest OB truck, replacing a 12-year-old console that had served the company well with a DiGiCo SD12 96 and SD-Rack with 32-bit SD cards.
“Our old console had been great, but was simply at the end of its life,” says Blackthorn’s David Walker. “Working on live broadcasts means we need ultimate reliability, so we knew it was time for a new console. We started researching what would work best for us.”
The team talked to PA companies they we work with and found they have a good relationship with DiGiCo.
“DiGiCo, and the SD12 96 in particular, kept coming out on top for our needs,” continues Walker. “And, as luck would have it, it was the perfect size to slot straight into the space of our previous console.”
Walker and the team were immediately impressed with DiGiCo’s audio quality. “I didn’t believe it would make that much difference until I heard it,” he says. “Particularly on orchestras, the background noise was greatly reduced. I was surprised as I hadn’t noticed it was there until it wasn’t. The SD12 96 give us much more clarity.”
One of the first jobs with the new console was for Ash, who were headlining at the NI Music Awards for the BBC, and for a festival performance for Sister Sledge, which was broadcast live on Radio Ulster.
“It’s worked perfectly,” Walker notes. “And we’ve found that when we’re using 96 channels of splits for some of their larger orchestral projects, we can work from two SD-Racks, using the MADI split option with gain tracking, with the main server running reverb and compressors, which is ideal.”
Walker also appreciates DiGiCo’s support, which he says has been fast, friendly and helpful.
“Because pretty much everyone over here has adopted DiGiCo, it means we all speak the same language,” he concludes. “I have 56 channels of 32 bit processing and the ubiquity of the system means I can get another rack over here seamlessly if I need it. The Madi splits and gain tracking for gigs has been amazing. In fact, overall, DiGiCo has been a bit revolutionary for us.”
Maria Fiorellino at DiGiCo
Tel: +44 1372 845600
Sarah James at Gasoline Media
Tel: +44 1483 223333
DiGiCo, and the SD12 96 in particular, kept coming out on top for our needs
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