Andy Grammer Travels Light with Digico
LOS ANGELES, California - December 2016 - With his upbeat lyrics and catchy pop hooks, Andy Grammer makes you just want to snap your fingers and dance. That’s given him sales and airplay hits like “Honey, I’m Good,” “Keep Your Head Up” and the new chart-climbing “Fresh Eyes,” which have gotten him exposure on TV shows like Dancing With The Stars and at multiple sporting events, including a very recent halftime performance during the Detroit Lions’ 2016 Thanksgiving game.
It’s also made Grammer a welcome addition on a range of tours, and this past year saw him out on a co-headlined trek with Gavin DeGraw as well as opening up for Train. What has additionally made Grammer and the four members of his band welcome on those tours was how little space his touring sound complement is, carrying the compact-but-powerful DiGiCo SD10 for FOH and ultra-compact SD9 for monitors.
Both consoles have been upgraded with DiGiCo’s acclaimed Stealth Core 2, which has introduced massive new functionality to the entire SD range of desks. This upgraded engine also added to the channel count of the SD9, enabling it to accommodate 96 channels at monitors, giving monitor mixer William Valentine enormous power in an ultra-compact footprint.
“The SD9 with the Stealth Core 2 upgrade is a total space saver in an already great-sounding console,” observes Valentine. “We could not have done this tour on an SD9 before SC2 and had an SD8 on hold just in case. Thankfully, the software came out exactly when we needed it and we were able to be one of the first tours out with it. Opening up capacity from 48 flexi-channels to 96 total channels on this desk meant that we could fit everything we needed to and still have additional capacity to add things while on tour, if necessary. Having that many channels in such a small form factor is truly a game changer.”
Meanwhile, FOH mixer Adam Robinson has used his DiGiCo SD10 to great effect, setting up macros to do instant effects inserts on the fly as it also let him keep the entire show at his fingertips. Both consoles, which were supplied by Clair Global, share a single SD-Rack.
“Adam and I share eight channels over fiber with the SD-Rack, which is great because there’s no copper to run,” adds Valentine. “We have complete connectivity between the desks. And the gain tracking on the SD9 is second to none.”
Robinson says the SD9 lets Grammer’s team stay small without giving up any functionality or power. “It lets us play nice with everyone we’re on tour with,” he says. “We’re a perfect fit on the road, and that has an economic impact in terms of transportation costs.”
But Robinson is equally pleased with the performance of the SD10 he’s been piloting all summer and into the fall. “Andy’s show has a lot of moving parts, and the SD10 lets me keep total control over them,” he says, citing examples like a momentary shot of distortion on a vocal needed often at a moment’s notice, and inserting a high-pass filter at a critical point in a song. “I just set these up as one of the ten macro buttons I have on the SD10, and when I need these effects, I can just hit the button—a single move and it’s perfect every time.”
Both engineers are also on the same page when it comes to the SD consoles’ sound. “The band is very happy with the sound of the monitors, and I’m happy with the flexibility the SD9 gives me,” says Valentine.
His colleague agrees. “The sound has always been great; I guess I take that as ‘a given’ now, but it’s what first drew me to the SD,” says Robinson, who regularly used DiGiCo’s classic D Series desks a decade ago. “That sound plus the console’s flexibility that lets me put any input anywhere I need it makes for an unbeatable combination. Then the Stealth Core 2 upgrade came along and took the SD, which was already a beautiful piece of hardware, to another level. They took the power of the SD and extended it, instead of going on to launch a completely new line of products. I think that tells you everything you need to know.”