The “Last” Bottleneck


Audio at North Point has naturally come a long way in the last 8 years since I joined the team, and this month we are destroying the final audio bottleneck for us: our broadcast input limitations. For the last two years, we’ve had the capacity for 96 inputs at FOH and Monitors, but we’ve been locked into only using 56 analog inputs for Sundays in our East auditorium due to the input limitations of our broadcast studio capabilities. That’s all going to change in a few weeks when we install a new DiGiCo SD10 for broadcast use.

The console arrived this week, and after posting a picture of it I’ve been getting some questions about why we went with DiGiCo.

The basic answer is after examining what is currently on the market for our current and projected needs, the DiGiCo was the best fit for us.

There are a lot of consoles on the market today that could have fit most of our wants for the studio such as:

  • The flexibility and recallability we’ve grown accustomed to having at FOH and Monitors.
  • An input count that matches what we have available at FOH and Monitors.
  • The ability to multitrack record for weekly virtual soundcheck use and live recording needs.

    But we had a unique want for the new console in the studio. One of the things we asked ourselves while thinking about a new broadcast console is, “What if we could do a live broadcast mix for one of our other campuses from our studio?”

    So one of the key things we ended up looking for was a console that would allow us to control stage racks remotely at another campus using the fiber we currently lease for sending the message portion of our services to our campuses. Looking at the options for doing something like this brought DiGiCo to the forefront.

    I spent about 3 or 4 days doing a gig on a DiGiCo SD10 last Spring, and while it took me a bit to get used to some of the unique quirks it has just like ALL digital consoles, I found it usable in the end. I was also really happy with the support I got from DiGiCo while I was out on that gig.

    I don’t think it’s a secret that I haven’t been a big DiGiCo fan in the past, but those few days spent on the console definitely changed my opinion. I haven’t used their consoles enough to where I’d call myself a fan, but I know that I don’t mind mixing on them.

    As far as our new broadcast console goes, though, I probably won’t be using it much. My primary focus and responsibilities lie in our auditoriums on Sunday, so our broadcast mix will continue to be handled by capable hands other than my own. I’m fine with this, though, because I still enjoy mixing on our current VENUE setups very much, and I have no current plans to change those desks out. Ultimately, I’m really just excited we are putting in a dedicated broadcast console for our North Point Online mix because our setup for the last few years has been…interesting…and I’ll leave it at that.

    I’m sure I’ll have pictures and more information on this once we get it up and running. In the meantime, if you have more questions related to selecting the console, feel free to post them in the comments.

  • David Stagl

    2 Responses to “The “Last” Bottleneck

    • Dustin
      10 years ago

      If I’m correct, the VENUE racks don’t do splits, correct? So I assume you are installing dedicate SD racks for this? Also, what are you using to split your channels?

      • David Stagl
        10 years ago

        Correct. The SD Racks are specific for the new Digico console. We have had a 3-way isolated split in place for a long time, and we’ll continue to use that to split between FOH, Monitors, and Broadcast.