DonauinselfestAttracting millions of visitors each year, the Donauinselfest is a free three-day festival featuring open-air stages spread around Vienna’s Danube Island.

For this year’s event, rental company Concept Solutions provided two DiGiCo SD8s for FOH and monitor duties, supplied to them by DiGiCo’s Austrian distributor, TON Eichinger.

‘The starting point for each act was a standard console set-up, which was adapted as needed. I had eight effects – drum plate, percussion room, medium plate, guitar chorus, vocal plate, warm hall, simple delay, kick ambience, which was plenty for most requirements.

‘We started working at 9am every day, bands arrived at 10am for soundcheck and the show itself ran from 3pm to 12pm,’  Concept Solution’s Raphael Rupprecht continues. ‘It was a huge workload – we had to set up our standard backline, plus the individual amps and instruments for each band and sometimes there were as many as four drum kits on stage waiting to be miked up – but all acts ran smoothly and the overall mood was great.

The 2011 festival featured around 2,000 artists and a promised 600 hours of entertainment, covering everything from rock and indie, through punk and hip-hop, to Volksmusik and cabaret.

‘The SD8’s onboard matrix allows for 12 buses in addition to the 24 stereo buses, which is very special,’ he continues. ‘We used this to feed main PA, subs, outfill, front fill, delays and VIP area. The full processing, plus dynamic EQs and multiband dynamics, even on the matrix buses, resulted in a powerful and perfectly balanced sound in every area, which was very nice.’

Donauinselfest stageWhile the majority of the bands had their own FOH engineer, with Rupprecht filled in where necessary. Concept Solutions also provided a monitor engineer, as only a few bands had taken their own. ‘The SD8 has 24 stereo auxes for in-ear monitoring, all with full processing, plus a stereo master for side fills, so this was plenty for everything we needed,’ Rupprecht says . ‘The Gain Tracking feature of the SD8s was used to share the same racks between FOH and monitors, which was a great relief as in previous years we had to use huge analog splitters. This time we had less equipment, straight and clean wiring, plus better reliability - who wouldn’t like that? It’s so quick to use these desks that changeovers were completed in half the time scheduled.’

‘It was 100 per cent,’ Rupprecht concludes. ‘If anybody was not used to DiGiCo, I took a few minutes to show them how to operate the desk. Everybody was familiar with the SD8 very quickly, even those who never had worked on a digital desk before.

‘This was a perfect set-up. We had a great result, happy musicians and an excited audience – see you next year.’

More: www.derigel.at
More: www.digico.org

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