29February 2016

The Maccabees Are Riding High With DiGiCo

Since starting out in 2005, The Maccabees have gone from strength to strength. 2012 saw the release of their number one album, Given To The Wild, with the single, Pelican, winning Best Contemporary Song at the Ivor Novellos, and the album was The Maccabees’ first to go gold. It saw this once little known indie band develop a deeper, darker sound, winning over critics and fans alike. Fast-forward to present day, and the South Londoners are back on the road touring their fourth album, Marks To Prove It. Making sure everything is tip top at monitor position is Simon Lutkin, armed with his trusted DiGiCo SD10 console.

Since starting out in 2005, The Maccabees have gone from strength to strength. 2012 saw the release of their number one album, Given To The Wild, with the single, Pelican, winning Best Contemporary Song at the Ivor Novellos, and the album was The Maccabees’ first to go gold. It saw this once little known indie band develop a deeper, darker sound, winning over critics and fans alike. Fast-forward to present day, and the South Londoners are back on the road touring their fourth album, Marks To Prove It. Making sure everything is tip top at monitor position is Simon Lutkin, armed with his trusted DiGiCo SD10 console.

Lutkin started touring with The Maccabees last summer, and was put forward for the gig by the band’s drum tech, who he’d worked with before. He also knew the long-term monitor engineer, who he spoke to before the first rehearsal to get the technical lowdown.

“That was a really useful conversation, and now I hope the band feel they can ask for anything at anytime,” says Lutkin. “They are a great bunch of guys, and have been doing their thing for quite a long time, so they know what they want.”

Lutkin runs everything at 96kHz on his DiGiCo at side stage, yet had been using another platform almost exclusively for the last five or so years. He became more and more intrigued by the DiGiCo offering as various features were added, he explains:

“I just decided to go for it after playing with the Offline Editor for a while: getting used to the automation, and what was possible with the macros, basically. I’ve now built The Maccabees’ show to fit on an SD9, so I can move up and down the range depending on availability and budget. The DiGiCo file conversion utility is great; all I need to do is re-assign fader banks, depending on the surface.
“I’ve got an SD10 out currently, and I’ve been very happy with it. It sounds great, and I think for the price versus features, it’s probably the strongest system out there. I also work with snapshots as well as macros; it’s great to do the house keeping, allowing me to concentrate on the band during the show!”

On this current Maccabees show, Lutkin has the five band members plus three extra musicians and a tech mix, so utilises a total of nine stereo IEM mixes, as well as sidefills, four wedge mixes, and a drum sub. This takes it to 25 or so outputs. But the most important thing, he insists, is to be relaxed and confident around the band at all times.

“Taking time to explain things is always good, and knowing when to stop is equally important,” he says, with a smile. “Also, always make sure that there is no chance of anything feeding back any time the band are onstage; know how much you can push things ahead of a soundcheck or show, and have filters ready to drop in, should you need to get louder. Then, when you do run into a problem, don’t be afraid to stop things and sort it out.”

ARTICLE COURTESY OF HEADLINER MAGAZINE

I have got an SD10 out currently, and I have been very happy with it. It sounds great, and I think for the price versus features, it is probably the strongest system out there

Simon Lutkin - FOH Engineer - The Maccabees

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