Students utilise a DiGiCo SD7 for Mavis showcase
AUSTRALIA: Students from Australia’s RMIT University utilised a DiGiCo SD7 console for the recent Mavis showcase, which saw final year students apply their skills in event planning, live sound, audio and visual recording in a professional setting.
‘These courses aim to offer students the best, most relevant experience available to equip them fully for life in the real world of technical production,’ said John Phillips, media and communication programmes manager at RMIT. ‘Mavis gives them the chance to work in a real world scenario, working in a professional venue with professional artists. Being able to give them hands-on experience with a DiGiCo SD7 is a fantastic opportunity, which is why we were very pleased to welcome the e-audio OB truck back again this year.’
Owned by Australian producer and engineer Ernie Rose, the OB truck’s SD7 was used to mix performances for an internet broadcast and a subsequent 5.1 surround DVD release.
This year’s Mavis project saw a variety of acts perform across two stages. The OB vehicle was stationed at the Corner Hotel, and was split to cater to both main stages, comprising 26 lines from the main stage, 20 from the side stage and five audience mics. These were linked to the SD7 via Madi, which were then routed to a Pro Tools recording rig and a Steinberg Nuendo backup system via an SSL Madi Delta Link with a WordClock sync locked between all devices.
‘The SD7 is an invaluable tool to give the students a chance to “audition” and fine tune their settings during the sound check process, which can then be stored and recalled ready for the live event later in the evening,’ enthused lecturer Tim Johnston.
‘With five bands playing, the ability to setup and store multiple snapshots on the SD7 for inputs, gain structure, compression, EQ and effects is fantastic,’ he continued. ‘It gives the students a much better chance of getting their mixes as close to balanced and fit for broadcast as possible.’
The stereo mix from the SD7 was sent to an A/V facility where it was married with live pictures mixed from multiple cameras and sent via a 4G network for internet streaming. The individual tracks were then mixed on the Pro Tools system for the DVD.
‘A key part of the exercise is the close collaboration between RMIT’s Music Industry team and the A/V department,’ added Mr Phillips. ‘There are a number of other providers offering similar programmes, but RMIT has consistently had the highest number of graduates securing ongoing employment in the industry. Giving them the opportunity to work on a console like the SD7 plays a key role in that success and we are very grateful to Ernie Rose for helping us to make it possible.’
The students were also required to seamlessly integrate digital and analogue audio technology, as the Corner House uses analogue consoles for front of house and monitor mixes.
‘Although the venue is expecting to upgrade to digital consoles next year, the current set-up pushed students to negotiate the inherent limitations, differences and overall workflow of both technologies within the one event,’ commented lecturer Michael Pollard. ‘Those performing the monitor mixes had to be particularly mindful of audio quality on the stage area to ensure that the record split was not affected by poor gain structure, feedback or microphone techniques.’
‘The SD7 is a great learning tool for the RMIT students at MAVIS,’ concluded alumnus Allison Manefield, who has worked at Australia’s Channel 9 since graduating. ‘Its ergonomic and straightforward layout is easy to grasp in a short amount of preparation time and all of the students who mix on it feel confident working on a high end, broadcast standard console.’