Digico SD10B broadcasts live operas from Glyndebourne

A Digico SD10B console has been used to broadcast two live operas from Sussex’s Glyndebourne venue.

On June 26th Wagner’s comic opera, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, was broadcast live to 19 Picturehouse cinemas throughout England, Scotland and across Europe, as well as on the Guardian newspaper’s web site.

Andy Rose and Steve Williams of audio production companies ARC (Andy Rose Consultants) and Sound Moves respectively, originally worked together at Fleetwood Mobiles in 1988. Ever since they have collaborated on a range of projects, with the broadcast of the 1998 Glyndebourne operas (Rodelinda and Simon Boccanegra) using Williams’ DPC-II, which was the first of its kind purchased by a UK user.

Those operas were broadcast in stereo, but after 13 years Digico’s latest console meant that Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (and Britten’s The Turn Of The Screw, to be broadcast live on 21st August) was broadcast in 5.1 surround sound.

“The SD10B was the ideal console for this application because we were doing a 5.1 mix,” said Williams. “No other console, specifically within the budget, fits that particular application. It has the right footprint for these events – our mix position is right under the stage, so there isn’t a lot of room – yet it gives us full control over the large number of input sources with ease. On top of that, the sound quality is fantastic.

“We specified the desk to be fitted with the new, faster, fully redundant Optocore system, which supports up to 14 192KHz racks. Specifying the SD10B also allowed us to continue to use some of our existing A-D converters from the DPC-II and our D Series racks – all of this meant that we didn’t need to commit to a full blown, all-new 192KHz system from day one. We also see it as a big plus for being able to source audio from many stages at live events.”

The performance of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg saw over 100 inputs from both the stage and orchestra pits mixed by Rose on the SD10B. Although he hadn’t used the console before, Rose’s familiarity with other Digico mixers meant that he had no trouble adapting.

“I’m very familiar with Digico’s older desks and a lot of their characteristics are carried forward into the SD10B, so I have found it easy to use, definitely so in the 5.1 environment,” said Rose. “Sound quality has certainly never been an issue with Digico desks – the mic pre amps sound very nice. I’ve had no issues with sound quality at all.”

“It is very easy to use,” confirmed Williams. “From our point of view, the less support that we have to give a client to make a job happen successfully, the better.”