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Top Country Artist Luke Bryan Opens For Tim McGraw With Dual DiGiCo SD8s

Improved sonics, flexible feature set and unobtrusive footprint ideal for opening act

With two albums under his belt, three consecutive #1 hits—and a 2010 “Top New Artist” and “Top New Solo Vocalist” award from the Academy of County Music—country songwriter Luke Bryan kicked off Tim McGrawy’s Emotional Traffic Tour as the opening act in early April.

Prior to hitting the road, production manager/FOH mixer, Pete Healey and monitor mixer Ed Janiszewski decided it was time to retool the entire audio production package for the Clair Global tour, based on conversations with other engineers and demos of the DiGiCo SD8 console.

Neither had had any previous experiences working on DiGiCo consoles but were extremely impressed by the SD8’s sonics—they’re employing a SD8-24 at FOH and SD8-36 for monitors plus two DiGiRacks—as well as the feature-packed onboard options.

“When I started with Luke we were carrying a single Yamaha M7 for monitors (no FOH desk) and I was very interested in trying the SD8,” Janiszewski recalled. “When Pete Healey came on board as the FOH engineer, we changed to Digidesign VENUE SC48’s for a year, which was my first long term run with a Digidesign product.”

“The SC48 was fine but at the end of the year I was ready to try something new. I wanted as many faders on the console surface as possible—bouncing around from bank to bank eats up precious time when mixing monitors—and was looking for a console that sounded great, was configurable and would be something I would enjoy using into the future.”

“I was also looking for a control surface that felt like an analog console. The SD8 fit the bill with 36 channel faders on the surface, the robust feel of the encoders and faders (they feel like pots on an analog desk rather than computer hardware knobs that one might find on a desktop workstation), configurability, footprint and budget.”

“There are a lot of really good products in the professional digital console market at the moment, but in a market largely dictated by personal preference, I think the SD8 provides enough flexibility to make anyone comfortable.”

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