French band M83 has been touring its brand of electro-pop – and its latest album, Junk – around the world, playing festivals including Coachella in the US and Glastonbury in the UK, as well as headlining at academy-sized venues, all to rave reviews.
Their audio system has been supplied by Clair Brothers since the band was big enough to take one out, says Front of House engineer Robbie Barr, with a pair of DiGiCo SD10s now forming an indispensable part of the package.
Robbie has been with the band since 2012, initially on playback / Ableton and now mixing the show for the current album campaign, whilst monitor engineer Laura Davis joined them this year. Both engineers have experience with DiGiCo consoles, both are using an SD10 for the first time for the tour, and both have the latest Stealth Core 2 software which, they say, is a game changer.
“M83’s sound requires a lot of detail and that was something I was finding hard to achieve on other consoles, without resorting to stacks of plugins just to get the initial tone,” explains Robbie. “I’d used an SD8 with a d&b system for a show at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC mixing Ryn Weaver, and found that the console reacted exactly how I wanted it to out of the box, just using the built-in channel strip and DiGiTubes. So, once I heard that Laura was requesting an SD10 for this tour, I did the same.”
“I chose to use the SD10 because it’s so flexible and sounds great,” says Laura. “Coming into rehearsals, we had no idea what we were walking in to, so to have the flexibility to expand and change things so easily was very useful.”
Both Robbie and Laura are delighted with the support from the DiGiCo team. “They’ve really taken great care of me,” says Robbie. “Upgrading to Stealth Core 2 had one or two head scratching moments with regards to Waves, but I had someone on the phone immediately and the issue was resolved very quickly.”
“Mark Saunders and Dave Bigg have been really great with any questions we’ve had,” concludes Laura. “In fact, they’ve been great throughout the whole campaign.”