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Digico SD5 selected for Royal Albert Hall's Fantasia spectacle

Adam Savage
Digico SD5 selected for Royal Albert Hall's Fantasia spectacle

Audiences were entertained at London's Royal Albert Hall recently with a series of famous films screenings accompanied by a live soundtrack.

One of the most ambitious took place on October 21st 2012, as the London Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied selections from Walt Disney's original Fantasia and Disney's Fantasia 2000 – mixed on one of Sound By Design's new Digico SD5 consoles.

The HD screening saw the SD5 mix the accompanying live performance of some of the most memorable classical music ever composed. This included Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony and Paul Dukas' interpretation of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

The Royal Albert Hall is one of audio contractor Sound by Design’s regular clients, and the show was mixed by engineer Phil Wright (pictured) on the SD5.

“We need an awful lot of channels for the work that we do here, but we are often limited in terms of space,” said Stephen Hughes, the Sound by Design’s project engineer for all of the company’s Royal Albert Hall events. “We used to use customised Digico D1s with a fifth processing card, which gave us the channel count, processing and effects of a D5 Live, but in a D1 footprint.

“Our typical work at the Royal Albert Hall is very much in the 100-plus channel count, especially with the amount of orchestras and large scale concerts that we provide for. As shows have grown in tandem with the amount of physical inputs, while the space in which we mix has remained the same, the D1 – modified with the extra processing card to D5 spec – was the only console that at the time fulfilled the I/O required, and the footprint.

“As the technical demands of the shows we do are ever increasing, we were finding that even the D1s were reaching the limits of what we could achieve in the space needed, whether it was the physical inputs and outputs, or the creative ways in which the desks cope with intricate shows such as the BBC Proms and the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance.

"The SD series, for us, is the new standard of digital console that all others should strive to be, and now there is a desk that perfectly slots in the gap between the SD10 and SD7 that ticks all of the boxes.”

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Tags: digico, royal albert hall, sound by design, london philharmonic orchestra, beethoven, digico sd5, disney, Fantasia, Walt Disney, tchaikovsky, gershwin, paul dukas, BBC Proms

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