Aardklop National Arts Festival 2016, held at Potchefestroom, saw freelancer Jaco Beukes from SJ Audio trying out the DiGiCo S21 on a show for the first time. Jaco was based in the Sanlam Auditorium where he was the main Sound Engineer for the venue and helped guest engineers for artists like Karen Zoid and Elvis Blue. The S21 was based in this venue for the entire festival.
“This was my first gig on the S21 but I’m a big DiGiCo fan so it was awesome,” said Jaco. “Other than the label, it’s great that the console fires up in 96khz by default but for my show I kept it in 48khz. I really enjoyed the audio enhancer effects and for Charl du Plessis’ Boogie Woogie Big Band used them on kick drum and base. I used them on toms as well. The graphic EQs are awesome and easy to use – I inserted them on input channels and output channels which was useful. I had them on vocals and on the piano which gave me a lot more power and flexibility.”
As the S21 was based in the same venue for the entire festival, it was operated by various Sound Engineers, some of whom were new to the console. “If I received the correct tech rider, I would setup for the band according to their channel list before they arrived. Normally the guest Sound Engineers were pretty quick getting used to the workflow of the console. Karen Zoid’s engineer didn’t really ask to many questions. He figured out where everything was very quickly.”
Jaco found the ease of getting everything up and running fairly easy. “The great thing is that you can customise the layout of the console for each band, where at a normal festival setup, you would normally setup the console that everyone would have to work on. The sound was awesome and had great feedback from guest engineers,’’ he said.
Kyle Robson from DWR, the DiGiCo distributor in South Africa along with Ian Staddon from DiGiCo, visited Aardklop for support. “To see that everything went well makes my life so much easier,” said Kyle. “The S21 is a great console and I knew that everyone would enjoy its sound and features.”