For more than 40 years, the Daytona Beach International Festival (DBIF) has served as the official U.S. home to the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO).
This year’s LSO Pops Concert, “A Celebration of Speed,” featured a fast-paced multimedia musical program set to a 90-minute high-def film, and paid tribute to Daytona as the ‘Birthplace of Speed’ and to the late Bill France, Jr., who pioneered NASCAR.
Syntonic Design Group, contracted for the audio production portion of the concert, provided a DiGiCo D5 digital console for front of house. Syntonic Staff Engineer Donnie Smith chose the D5 based on his previous experience—and success—using it on other symphonic events, and the console’s ability to handle the large input requirements and dynamic musical range.
“The features of the D5, including compression, EQ, effects, made the workload really easy to manage,” he said. “Everything is right there should you need it, and I took full advantage of that.”
One of the biggest challenges for Smith and System Tech Jim Hutchinson was managing the multitude of inputs—72 from the stage including strings, woodwinds, brass, bass, piano, harp, various percussion, emcee mics, and video tape playback and announcements.
“Getting that amount of microphone inputs into a manageable situation easily and quietly was the major task,” he recalled. “Having the ability to put multiple stage racks on and around the stage and then have on a fiber loop helps made that task easy. Not having to worry about running copper away from power/lights gave us the flexibility to locate items where needed easily and directly.”
The D5 also drove a stereo PA and all output processing (comprised of L-ACOUSTICS dV-DOSC, JBL VerTech 4889, Meyer Sound 700-HP, and Mackie SRM-150 components). Not surprisingly, the revved-up sonics did not go unnoticed.
“The concert management applauded the audio as being the best they have ever had,” said Smith. “The LSO management commented on how the orchestra sounded like an orchestra and NOT an orchestra in an arena. The sonic quality was consistent through the dynamics of the music. Generally, classical music is meant to be listened to.
“So, when things are quiet you want things to be as transparent as they are when things are louder. The D5 platform delivered that quality effortlessly.”