DiGiCo's mix X Factor stateside
17 December 2012
USA - X Factor, the popular UK television competition that migrated across the pond, is now in its sophomore season in the U.S. The series debuted this past September on Fox with snarky Brit personality/producer Simon Cowell at the helm with a pair of pop mavens (Britney Spears and Demi Lovato) and industry stalwarts (LA Reid) judging a slew of hopeful singers vying for a five million dollar purse.
The Los Angeles-based production took a bit of a different tact this year for its audio footprint, adopting one of the newly released DiGiCo SD5 consoles and a pair of SDRacks at FOH, with an SD10 for monitors - provided by ATK Audiotek - connected via an Optocore fibre optics network. [The six-city audition tour also employed DiGiCo SD8 and SD9 consoles.] ATK, the company that handled the Grammy production, successfully made the switch to DiGiCo for the elite music awards show back in February and that decision cascaded into the X Factor TV production as well.
"This year on X Factor we've jumped in with both feet with DiGiCo," explains FOH engineer Jeff Peterson, who was also a consultant for the Grammy production. "Last year's X Factor was a learning experience as we'd never done the show before and the console we were using wasn't big enough to really handle the live show. We managed to make it through, but it was a bit of a struggle. After the Grammy's in February, where we deployed six DiGiCo consoles all sharing preamps, I think it was a turning point, at least in our little corner of the industry.
"We connected the DiGiCo SD5 and SD10 consoles via fibre to the two SDRacks racks and we've got a MADI split output to feed the preamps to the record truck," Peterson continues, "where broadcast music mixer Eric Schilling mixes the show on an AVID Icon system. So, from the preamp to the amplifier output, it's completely digital.
X Factor will continue through year's end, with the winner slated for picking just in time to celebrate over the Christmas holiday.
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