British Country Music Awards 2017 | Sound Engineering

This year the British Country Music Awards took place at the Wulfren Hall in Wolverhampton.

Many of the country’s top country music acts perform at the British Country Music Awards as well as notable presenters giving out prizes for awards such as best musician or album.

A 9am start saw the beginning of the cabling being installed in the theatre. A Van Damme 48 Channel Analog ISO Split was installed so both monitors and FOH could take use of the same inputs.
Further 16 Channel Sub Snakes were used to distribute audio inputs over the stage. From receiving the top two biggest riders of the bands playing at the BCMAs I was able to compile a ‘festival patch’ to make sure we were ready for any eventuality, This normally included doubling up the input channels, per instrument as its location. For instance there was two acoustic guitar channels, 1 upstage and 1 downstage, as well as 3 Electric Guitar Channels, Stage Left, Stage Right and a DI Box in the center.
Most of the backline was kept the same from act to act, which greatly helped the speed of each sound check.

Sound checks took place from around 11am and finished at 4pm. Speeding up through the day as EQ’s and dynamics were programmed in already.

The FOH PA was an L’Acoustic Arc System run on Lab Gruppen Amplifiers. The use of an XTA processor installed by the venue made for a quick setup with little adjustment needed. With such a high quality system it was easy to get mixing quickly.

At monitors we had a Yamaha LS9-32 and at FOH, a DiGiCo S21 w/ MADI Rack. For each act a new scene was created on the desk. The DiGiCo recalled trim and mutes to keep only the inputs open that needed to be, and also mute band channels between set changes. The trim allowed different levels of backline and styles of playing to be accounted for between act to act. The lectern microphone used for presenting was placed in a ‘full safe’ so wouldn’t be effected at all between recalling scenes.

A further 32 channels were sent via a DMI Dante card installed in the DiGiCo, to a Mac running reaper to record the event. The multitrack recording was recorded for the local BBC radio station for use in broadcast around Wolverhampton. – An impressive act by the DiGiCo S21, processing 48 input channels and 40 output channels without and hitches.