Cristian Quirante Catalán, better known by his stage name, Alizzz, is a record producer, songwriter, and singer from Castelldefels, Catalunya. He is renowned in Spain and internationally for his production work, having amassed a distinguished list of accolades that includes the Latin Grammy Award for Best Pop/Rock Song and the Latin Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album. Influenced by R'n'B, Rap, and Pop, Alizzz is currently touring across Spain and Mexico, where he continues to captivate audiences with a series of electrifying performances. The singer’s live shows are further elevated by the expertise of his team, including FOH Engineer Alex Carretero and Monitor Engineer Bernat Oliveras, who both rely on the unparalleled capabilities of DiGiCo’s powerful Quantum 225 consoles, supplied by the company Ara So to deliver exceptional sound and functionality.
“Choosing DiGiCo for our latest tour with Alizzz was a no-brainer,” recalls Oliveras. “Having had experience with their systems on previous tours, we were well aware that DiGiCo stands unrivalled in terms of both sound quality and functionality, delivering a powerful boost to the artist’s performances.”
Carretero agrees and goes on to emphasize that his primary consideration when selecting a console is the quality of sound it delivers, specifically focusing on tonality and summing. “In my opinion, any DiGiCo console equipped with an SD Rack and 32-bit preamps running at 96 kHz offers one of the best sounds I’ve ever heard,” he says.
Oliveras further highlights DiGiCo’s routing options, Snapshot capabilities, and the superb sound quality, all of which collectively solidify the UK brand as one of the top choices for a live show environment. In their set up, both engineers employ two Quantum 225 consoles and one SD Rack interconnected via Optocore at 96 kHz. Each console seamlessly integrates a Waves SuperRack system through the SoundGrid port.
“I create seven distinct stereo IEM mixes, including five musicians, a backliner, a guest mix, and the cue,” continues Oliveras. “To manage the cue effectively, I route it through a matrix that incorporates various talkback mics and the shout system, distributed across different matrix inputs. This ensures I can always receive orders seamlessly, regardless of the active mix or channel.”
In addition, Oliveras integrates sidefill outputs into the matrix setup, granting him the flexibility to mute the music mix in the sidefill while still retaining access to talk back mics from FOH and monitors. Oliveras also crafts individualized drum mixes for each musician, which means he can treat the entire drum kit as a comprehensive buss for applying compression and EQ adjustments tailored to their preferences. “These customized drum mixes are then routed to the merge input of each musician’s mix,” he explains. “For instance, if the bass player desires more snare in their mix, I can easily direct it to their dedicated drum mix, rather than directly affecting their main mix.”
One of the Quantum functionalities that Oliveras greatly benefits from are the Macros. He notes, “I have plenty of Macros, something I truly cherish about DiGiCo, and I genuinely appreciate the powerful possibilities they offer. One of the things I use Macros for is testing all the sends.” He assigns them to the keyboard’s function keys: F1 mutes all the sends and activates the oscillator on all the in-ear sends, as well as the noise to the drum sub and sidefills; F2 deactivates all the oscillators and noise, while F3 unmutes all the sends. “I also have a Macro for the virtual soundcheck patch. We really enjoy conducting virtual soundchecks simultaneously between FOH and monitors to assess how the PA, the sidefill, drumfill, and IEMs work together, and make any necessary calibrations. So, I have an on/off Macro to switch the patch between all the inputs coming from the FOH console and the inputs coming from the SD Rack,” he adds.
Oliveras notes that Snapshots are another standout feature, as they “allow programming for virtually everything in a show.”
“For Alizzz’s show, I programmed approximately 45 Snapshots, triggered through MTC and sourced from SMPTE played from a Cymatic device,” he says, further noting that each Snapshot is programmed with a specific recall time and is organized within an all-encompassing Group. “I update them individually or as a Group, either in relative or absolute mode, depending on the requirements of the situation. I also frequently use the Select Range option to implement specific changes. If you effectively manage the Scope section, you can create and execute nearly any imaginable action. Many Snapshots only need minor adjustments in the SuperRack, such as altering the level of a guitar solo. Others bring about significant changes, such as modifying all reverb parameters and level sends. This functionality is tremendously useful and impressive.”
For Carretero, the power of setup was one of the major consideration points when choosing DiGiCo for this tour.
“I can route anything to anything, which I absolutely love. This makes my session start with a treasure map, and it’s no joke,” he says. “In order to save input channels and keep the the latency coherence for all the drum intruments, I use a distorsion FX inserted in a Master Aux and this aux is routed to the drum Master Group through the Merge Input. As the other drum instruments are routed to another Group for Parallel Compression before the drum Master Group, they all arrive there with the same latency. In order to keep the signal aligned with the rest and avoid comb filtering, I had to keep the same number of channels and busses in the signal path from the source to the output. Both Quantum 225 consoles we use for monitors and FOH are in the same Optocore loop with the SD Rack, and this is really useful for sharing and sending tie lines, especially when I’m doing a virtual soundcheck. The monitor console receives all tracks, and Bernat can make more accurate corrections to IEMs, sidefills, and drumfills with the interaction of the PA. Text Chat is also great, as you can keep some secrets away from the shout mic. In total, I have more than 50 Snapshots running with MTC, and my Waves SuperRack system is completely remote from the console, with the same number of Snapshots.”
Carretero has also created a group named ‘All’ for making absolute and relative changes to all Snapshots. He states: “Sometimes, I use edit range to overwrite some parameters for all Snapshots or some specific Snapshots. The MIDI input of the console receives MTC, and the MIDI output sends some orders to the Super Rack and QLab.”
Speaking about DiGiCo’s Quantum software, both engineers appreciate the new compressors, saturation, Nodal Processing, and the Chilli multiband compressor. “Although we do most of our shows with the Quantum 225 console, we wanted to maintain compatibility with the SD system because we can’t always bring our consoles. Therefore, we aimed to be able to run the show with any available DiGiCo product. I use Nodal Processing to create a more produced bass sound for the musicians and a more natural, raw bass for the bass player. I also apply the VCA compressor with very subtle settings on the mix outputs. It’s amazing how we can achieve parallel compression by mixing the dry and wet signals inside the compressor,” Oliveras notes.
For Carretero, some aspects he likes about Quantum are the new Mustard and Spice Rack processing options, which enable him to handle many tasks within the console without requiring any external inserts. “For example, my master mix bus processing is entirely done within the console,” he says. “I’m using the Mustard Tube in overdrive mode with the mix set at five percent, providing an excellent emulation of transformer sound. I also use a Mustard VCA compressor with a high-pass filter at 120Hz on the sidechain to preserve the low-end. Following that, I employ the Mustard EQ, which is excellent for achieving the perfect tonal balance. Additionally, I have a stereo Chilli consisting of just two floating bands: one to maintain clarity in the low-mids and another to keep the high-mids gentle when the dynamics of the show become more aggressive.”
Connectivity is also exceptionally robust in the Quantum 225, as pointed out by Oliveras. “We use an Optocore loop to interconnect the FOH console, the SD Rack, and the monitor console,” he explains. “I make use of the SoundGrid port to run the Waves SuperRack. Additionally, I employ the MIDI input port to receive MTC from a sync device that converts SMPTE to MTC for controlling all the Snapshots. The MIDI output port is used for executing Macros to control the SuperRack, such as switching between different views within the SuperRack. Furthermore, I rely on the Ethernet ports for managing the Waves SuperRack and for wireless control of the desk using an iPad.”
Another valuable feature that Carretero highlights in the Quantum software is the True Solo function. “It’s brilliant for listening to any channel at any point in the routing. For example, my kick drum channel goes to the kick Group, then to the drums Group, after that to the instrumental Group, and finally to the Master. The best part is that I can hear my kick drum sound at any of those points,” he exclaims.
With the tour still ongoing, both Oliveras and Carretero express their satisfaction with the performance of the Quantum 225, with Carretero stating that DiGiCo consoles “never disappoint”.
Oliveras agrees and offers his own final thoughts: “I’ve been working with DiGiCo consoles since the D1 and D5 back in 2006, and I began seriously touring with the SD system in 2018,” he concludes. “I believe DiGiCo products constitute a highly powerful system and have no rivals in terms of sound quality. Whether it’s a Q225 or an SD console, I am always confident that the system will be very reliable.”[ENDS]
Maria Fiorellino at DiGiCo
Tel: +44 1372 845600
Sarah James at Gasoline Media
Tel: +44 1483 223333
Before downloading this file please read and consent to the EULA.DOWNLOAD