Euphonie Sonorisation powers up with DiGiCo Q225

From the Cajun Festival in Drummondville and an opera performance in Montréal, to one of Quebec’s longest-running live music shows Belle et Bum, DiGiCo consoles offer optimal functionality and superb audio quality to leading rental sound and lighting house.

Hugo Angers, renowned TV Mixer and sound engineer and co-owner of Quebec-based Euphonie Sonorisation, has worked with a plethora of audio consoles throughout his career. However, since first operating a DiGiCo console in the mid-2010s, he has developed a strong affinity for their products and used them on many different shows and festivals. During the summer of 2022, Angers purchased the company’s first DiGiCo Quantum 225 and has already utilised it at a Cajun Festival in Drummondville, opera shows in Montréal, and several corporate events. This summer, the Q225 will be used at a number of festivals.

The purchase of the DiGiCo Quantum 225 was prompted by Angers’ experience mixing monitors on an SD10 for Belle et Bum, one of Quebec’s longest-running live music shows. “I’ve been using the SD10 twice a week, every week, for two years, and I’ve learned a lot about DiGiCo on the show,” he explains. “We’ve got three DiGiCo consoles – two SD10s, one for monitors and one for broadcast, and an SD8 at FOH, as well as three SD Racks with 56 inputs and 32 bit pre amp cards.” Angers estimates that he has around 22 stereo and 22 mono mixes, 20 matrix inputs, and 24 matrix outputs, including some 16 effects. “I’m using all the inputs and outputs on the SD10. It’s at full capacity,” he adds.

The complexity of the show’s requirements, including those of the multiple artists performing on its three stages, demands flexibility and fluency. “When I started using DiGiCo for Belle et Bum, it was a game-changer,” Angers notes. For this show, the ability to create a large number of mix presets has been a significant time-saver. “It’s one of the biggest music TV shows in Quebec,” he says. “The input and mix presets are a great tool because sometimes the artists move to different stages, and we have to re-patch quickly.”

Recalling previously created presets also allows Angers to move quickly when artists return to the show, or when musicians and other talent is substituted in.

Dany Legendre, who works as a Technical Sales Manager at GerrAudio, DiGiCo’s Canadian distributor, has been thoroughly impressed by Angers’ mixing skills. “I’ve never seen someone mix like Hugo,” he says. This statement carries even more weight given Legendre’s own work as a mixer and his extensive expertise in the field.

Angers’ unwavering drive to overcome challenges and maximise the potential of DiGiCo consoles has led to the development of a customised setup that is both innovative and unique. This enables him to seamlessly manage the complexities of multiple stages using just one SD10 console, which is complemented by his homemade pedal board, which connects to the SD10’s GPIO connections via a Db37 cable – an older computer cable the console supports.

The pedal board offers 16 GPIOs, but Angers only requires eight to toggle through Macros, which he has programmed to communicate with other technicians, hosts, artists, and musicians, either individually or as a group. “It’s primarily for talkback, so I don’t have to use my hands on the console – I can use my foot,” he says. “I have Macros that allow me to communicate with the band, stage manager, MC, or guest on in-ears or a wedge, depending on who I need to speak to. This is incredibly beneficial.”

In addition to his current setup, Angers plans to incorporate a MIDI-based peripheral specifically for the Quantum 225, which he will use during his work on Belle et Bum with the SD10. His goal is to utilise the MIDI ports to adjust the volume of the stage announcer or his talkback matrix. “If there’s an empty port on the console, Hugo will use it,” Legendre adds jokingly.

Angers agrees, stating that he enjoys exploring the capabilities of the console and taking full advantage of all available connections. “I’m a geek, and I want to push the console as far as I can. If they have a bunch of connectors, I want to use all of them!” he exclaims.

According to Legendre, DiGiCo’s software allows for the creation of Macros that can execute multiple actions at the press of a single button which, he says, sets DiGiCo apart from other platforms, where a button is often limited to performing just one function.

As an example of DiGiCo’s versatility, Legendre describes a tour on which he mixed using an SD7 and programmed the console to dim all of its lights and screens for slow and moody songs. “You can do whatever you want with Macros and Snapshots inside the SD software. Everything can be automated, and Hugo uses the pedal board to facilitate that automation,” he explains.

“What I love about DiGiCo is how fast I can do mixes,” adds Angers. “Honestly, I’ve used other consoles, but on my rider, it’s only DiGiCo now because they’re fast, they sound great, and there are so many things I can do with them that I can’t with other boards.”

DiGiCo’s reliability is another essential factor for Angers, both as a mix engineer and equipment provider. He attests to the consoles’ durability, describing them as a ‘tank’. His extensive experience with the SD10 and the impressive capabilities of DiGiCo’s Quantum platform convinced him to invest in a Quantum 225 for Euphonie.

“The 225 offers even more than the SD Series for me; the Mustard EQ, Spice Rack, and Nodal Processing are very helpful, which gives me a lot more options,” he says. “When I engaged the Mustard EQ for the very first time, it was like, ‘wow – another game-changer for me.’ When I use the EQ and apply, say, +3dB on 5k, there’s even more precision than with the SD Series.”

In addition to their advanced functionality and vast array of options, Angers finds that DiGiCo consoles offer a user-friendly layout and workflow that rivals that of analogue boards. “Although it may take a bit of time for first-time users to get accustomed to the console’s features, once you understand the workflow, it’s consistent across all models of DiGiCo consoles. When I switched to the Quantum 225, it was easy. What can I tell you? For my work, it’s the best console in the world,” he says.

Known for pushing the limits of a console’s functionality, Angers plans to do the same with the Quantum 225, and he is even considering adding more DiGiCo consoles to Euphonie’s inventory.

The console’s biggest break is yet to come, as Angers will deploy it during the tour of Bruno Pelletier, the renowned Canadian singer, musician, and actor known as the ‘Genius of French Music.’ The tour will employ a minimum of two Quantum 225 consoles with two SD-Rack 32-bit preamps on Optocore, and will run for a full year, starting in January 2024.

“Since investing in Quantum 225 last summer, I have used it on many shows and festivals, and I can’t wait to use it on Bruno Pelletier’s tour next year, which should be a blast!” Angers concludes. “By pushing the console, I find that you always learn something new, and that’s when I like to call Dany [Legendre] and say, ‘Did you know you could do this?’ In the future, I might consider adding another Quantum 225 or maybe a Quantum 338, but for now, the 225 has got everything I need, and it sounds perfect!”