SIRIUS Showequipment Generates PURe Sound With Two DiGiCo SD7s
German band PUR’s new album Wünsche (Wishes) was released in September and gave its name to their November/December arena tour. PUR front man, Hartmut Engler, and his band performed their latest songs, as well as old favourites such as Abenteuerland, Funkelperlenaugen und Irgendwo in dieser Welt, in 12 large venues, with capacities ranging from 10,000 to 20,000. SIRIUS Showequipment, based in Niederdorfelden near Frankfurt, was the technical event service partner for rigging, sound and lighting, with PA and system engineer Frank Müller responsible for local project management. Patrick Eckerlin and Dirk Happel used DiGiCo SD7 consoles to provide the perfect mix for both front of house and monitors.
For more than 25 years, PUR have been well known for their live performances and place complete trust in the comprehensive planning and production service that SIRIUS provides for their tours. For the Wünsche tour, PA and system engineers Frank Müller and Klaus ‘Bob’ Bolender worked with the stage designers’ ultra-modern concept, positioning the system to the right and left of the rigging to ensure wide coverage without impeding audience site lines. Müller developed the audio design for the tour alongside Happel and Eckerlin, the latter having worked with the SD7 since the console’s launch.
“The SD7 was the linchpin for everything and was an essential component for PUR’s system,” says Eckerlin. ”Dirk and I used two stage racks with 56 inputs each, with all relevant inputs for the band patched on the first stage rack. We recorded every show with Concert Online, which was the reason I sent a MADI stream of all the important ‘hand-made’ stage signals and all dry and effect sum signals from my SD7 to an outside broadcast vehicle. The live recording that was made was immediately available for sale to PUR’s fans on a USB stick at the end of the show.
“Additional channels such as clicks, talkback, remote replay to the pyro technics, etc, were patched on the second stage rack. I connected further remote re-players like my Mac, cd player or AV by cable directly to the internal inputs and outputs of the SD7. In total, I could handle approximately 80 input channels.”
Dirk Happel adds: “DiGiCo´s decision to use MADI is brilliant. There is a lot of hardware, which works as standard, and intercom systems can be included easily.“
“For PUR, I have applied the E-guitars and the backing vocals twice to give more depth to the sound,” Eckerlin continues. “As a result, I had nine backing vocal channels instead of just three! These were built in a panorama to a very wide stereo figure. I used the fourfold to apply guitar channels for the solo parts and could slightly retard the double patched channels with the input delay. For some channels, such as guitars, bass and organ, I provided tube simulation, which isn’t a standard option on the majority of digital consoles.
“Internally, I use 12 of the SD7’s internal effects, which I augmented with four Lexicon 960Ls. I digitally integrated the last one with an AES/EBU interface into the console. As PUR performs arrangements that have a lot of delays in miscellaneous piano parts, I could program all these effects with my SD7 and send them over the internal communication system.”
“I used Patrick´s current delays for the musicians’ in ears, so that the artists on stage could play with the programmed effects,” says Happel. “An option, which vastly improved the gain structure for keyboard player and composer Ingo Reidl, because he could also enjoy the luxury of hearing the delays on stage.“
“My SD7 had approximately 110 input channels in total. The functions “assign” and “unassign” fader are features for the management and arrangement of so many channels that I couldn’t do without them now. They are one of my favourite features,“ Patrick smiles.
From a monitoring perspective, Dirk Happel finds that mixing on the SD7 is easy because of the intuitive program operation: “You can place all channels on the user interface exactly where you need them for the work-flow, it does not matter which ones – inputs, outputs, effects, DCA. Once installed, channels stay the same, even if they are removed from the worksurface, which is simply fantastic. A further plus factor is the extraordinary sound of the console. Inevitably, one can´t help but compare to another English manufacturer…
“For me, the multiband compressors are an important characteristic of the SD7, as are the dynamic EQs and the tube simulation in every channel, IN and OUT. Together with 31 bands of EQ, they obviate the need for external equipment. I like the option to build so-called macros. You can activate or change every function of the console, or every combination of functions, with a simple key-press. A very helpful feature for monitoring is the option to put the input ports on the master fader. They remain in the channel level, even when you switch the rest of the console into an AUX level. The practical advantage of this is that I can provide atmosphere-microphones in mixes without calling these mixes, or without necessarily changing the channel level.”
Dirk Happel was in control of the system’s Gain Tracking, with the FOH and monitor consoles connected via a fibre optic loop. Patrick Eckerlin´s SD7 was linked to a mini rack for local play via MADI, which he used to run six outputs for the sound matrix and to provide diverse inputs and outputs for any kind of sums: mono- and stereo sums for EB and TV teams; recording sums for the video department; mono sums for listen to wiretap special final inspections; for example lighting; pyro technics, etc. The mini rack also contained eight channels of AES/EBU for the Lexicon 960L. Eckerlin sent a signal over a defined AUX channel as a further ‘special’ to the LED team, who used this input as a trigger signal for the LED stage floor to ensure that the graphics on the floor corresponded exactly to a bass drum or the single snare beat.
Frank Müller, SIRIUS project manager, is already planning the PUR’s next project.
“The band will tour again in summer 2010, topping off their ‘Wishes’ year by playing in locations of different sizes and in locations that PUR hasn’t been to for a long time. The tour will end with a performance in Schalke Stadium on 4th September where the band is planning an exciting update to their legendary PUR & Friends show.”
“We are already working on the technical details of the rigging, lighting and sound equipment for the open air events that are scheduled and we will once again be relying on the all round excellence of the DiGiCo SD7.”
David Webster at DiGiCo
Tel: +44 1372 845600
IMAGE 1: PATRICK ECKERLIN
IMAGE 2: DIRK HAPPEL
The SD7 was the linchpin for everything and was an essential component for PURs system. Dirk and I used two stage racks with 56 inputs each, with all relevant inputs for the band patched on the first stage rack. We recorded every show with Concert Online, which was the reason I sent a MADI stream of all the important stage signals and all dry and effect sum signals from my SD7 to an outside broadcast vehicle. The live recording that was made was immediately available for sale to PURs fans on a USB stick at the end of the show.