DiGiCo is the crown jewel during Jubilee celebrations

DiGiCo is the crown jewel during Jubilee celebrations

DiGiCo is the crown jewel during Jubilee celebrations

UK – The most anticipated weekend of the year, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations took place in early June in London with a program of remarkable events, the centerpiece of which was the Star-Spangled Jubilee Concert. Organized by BBC Studios for a live audience of 22,000 and broadcast to over 13 million viewers, the DiGiCo consoles played a central role in a complex audio design by Ben Milton Associates, which handled three discrete stages and time alignment complex.

Audio hire company, Britannia Row Productions, was appointed to carry out this enormous logistical challenge, which took place in the vicinity of Buckingham Palace, with the historic show’s audio system spread across three independent stages in front of the palace. The first stage, designed as a walkway in the round, was built around the Queen Victoria Monument (QVM), with two further stages erected in front of the palace balustrades and connected to the circular stage by a walkway, one hosting orchestral content . and other rock and pop groups.

“Everything was time-aligned between each scene, including synchronization when artists were performing on two stages simultaneously,” says sound designer Ben Milton. “For example, if there was a performer on the QVM stage, complemented by the orchestra on the second stage, we wanted to make sure the sound image would come from the right place and be in sync to work together. Balance the sound image and time synchronization was our top priority. »

DiGiCo consoles were installed in all front and monitor stations, handling performances by artists such as Queen and Adam Lambert, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Duran Duran, Craig David and Andrea Bocelli, along with three broadcast trucks, one per scene. The complete list of sound system consoles included five Quantum 7 and three Quantum 338 consoles from DiGiCo’s Elite line, as well as an SD5, SD10 and the compact SD11i from the industry standard SD line, with 19 compatible SD racks , five mini racks and several DMI/ Orange boxes. Quantum 7 consoles were installed at each end of the Orchestral stage, managed by Simon Fox at FOH and Billy Birks on monitors. On the North Stage, Rock and Pop, a Q7 was selected for the facade and a Q7 for the monitors, held respectively by Stefano Serpagli and Phil Down. Finally, on the QVM stage, an SD10 was chosen for FOH, managed by Chris Vass, and a Quantum 338 on monitors for James Neale.

All FOH cards were fed into a separate Quantum 7 console which acted as a matrix mixer, and from there into a TiMax immersive spatial system for distribution via an L-Acoustics sound system. Each FOH console could send feeds to its own dedicated OB truck for broadcast duties, one of which was installed with an SD7, and mixes could be sent back to the stage from FOH for monitor mixes. The team used gain sharing on the orchestra stage as it had 192 channels. All the control consoles on the stages had access to the feeds of all the other stages, so they could line up from the stage before them to the stage after, selecting whatever inputs and content they needed for their mix.

“This design meant that I could navigate all the busses through the main Q7 console, so the engineers had a choice of which bus to use, so everything would be in sync in time. Also, if there were any last minute changes, we could just reallocate the bus,” Milton explains. “The Q7 array additionally took all the guest speaker mic feeds and VT packages that could be placed on top of whatever was passing, and access to the monitor was managed by bus all through the Q7 It went like a choreographed performance: broadcast all the FOH streams this way, with the three scenes mixed independently for the broadcast trucks and then the celebrity guest speakers could be shuffled around her.”

“It was DiGiCo’s bus structure that made time synchronization possible. Being able to arrange the sets in a particular way was a huge advantage, whether the consoles were used to delay one part of the show, or as the main system on another part as the action unfolded from scene to scene. notes Josh Lloyd, engineering manager, event support at Brit Row. “DiGiCo also offered great flexibility and built-in redundancy, as not only did the main Q7 console run Dante, but we also had multiple Orange boxes with a host of networking options. For the critical stuff, the support for multiple formats was a huge advantage, as we had to connect MADI, Dante, AES and analog devices.

After a detailed pre-production period, on-site implementation was swift thanks to DiGiCo’s offline planning and design tools. The program for the event spanned four days, with the Trooping of the Color and Lighting of Headlights on Thursday, the Dress Rehearsal on Friday, the Jubilee Concert Pre-Show on Saturday, and the Show and the shopping center procession on Sunday.

The cables for the events were long – some up to 300m to the stage – but as DiGiCo runs on Optocore, the team was able to connect all consoles to the Optocore Festival box and send them back via two fiber optic cables. Some of the DiGiCos were located away from their stage dressing rooms. For example, the Queen control consoles and the QVM control console were a good 100 to 150 meters away from their stageboxes.

“The Optocore Festival box and its easy plug & play integration has definitely been a highlight for us,” says Tom Brown, Account Manager at Brit Row. “DiGiCo’s ability to drop things onto the Optocore network to have I/O locally and also remotely has really helped. The ability to move things around the loop was very useful. For example, we could have an analog outboard next to the monitor console, but local in-ear devices for the performer.

“DiGiCo is always my first choice, so I always knew DiGiCo was an integral part of the event from the start,” says Milton. “All the engineers were comfortable with it and all the bands used the gig boards, it’s a pleasure for the riders. I didn’t need to bring any other consoles, except for Queen who wanted to use his own touring consoles which happened to be two Quantum 338s one for Adam and one for everyone plus an SD5 at FOH It was great to work with Brit Row and have them on board for deployments techniques.

“It was a huge infrastructure to manage, but the DiGiCo consoles, especially the Quantum ones, not only coped, but excelled,” concludes Lloyd. “The technology is so flexible and I don’t think there is another product that could have handled this project. The weather was quintessentially British, either hot or sweltering, which presented the usual production challenges, but from a global perspective we showed the best we could do for what was undoubtedly the most big event of the year. ”

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DiGiCo is the crown jewel during Jubilee celebrationsDiGiCo is the crown jewel during Jubilee celebrations

July 6, 2022

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