Monitor engineer Achim Lanzendorf
Bringing their Death to Infidels world tour to Europe, American heavy metal merchants Manowar recruited monitor engineer Achim Lanzendorf and his DiGiCo SD9 to join Aggressive Sound’s Jeff Hair at front of house.

With the SD9 provided by B&R Medientechnik, owner Bernd Kugler struck up a friendship with Joey de Maio, founder/manager and bassist of Manowar. This developed over the recordings, festivals and productions around Europe. ‘Joey is a techie and enthusiast, and I am obsessed with the same things,’ says Kugler. ‘Death to Infidels was a big and new challenge for us. Set-up times were tight and had to work around the backline of the band, especially with the guitarists. A redesign of backline and the stage performance was necessary.’

B&R Medientechnik has worked with the band on its recording projects since 2009, with Manowar using the company’s recording studio in Kürten. They have also supplied tour support and as a result, in association with engineer Achim Lanzendorf, offered a monitoring concept that would give the best audio quality using the smallest volume of equipment. ‘Our love of English console manufacturers made our decision to invest in the DiGiCo SD9 very easy,’ says Kugler. ‘The exceptional speed and flexibility of both the console manufacturer and the German distributor meant that we were able to supply the SD9 in time for the Eastern Europe part of the tour, which included festivals such as Sonisphere in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.’

‘Joey came to me during the first rehearsal and said, “The SD9 is such a small thing and is supposed to have so many skills – I am dying to know how it works”,’ adds Lanzendorf. ‘The user interface is certainly different to bigger consoles, and that results in a different working routine during the show. In practise, everything worked very easily and smoothly – fortunately you don´t have to read a manual to be able to get working quickly. I’m familiar with the workflow of the bigger DiGiCo consoles – the SD7 and SD8 – so I could easily find my way around the SD9 and could also explain a lot of features to Joey.

‘We only took economical equipment with us for this part of the tour – the SD9 and the stage cabling – on the plane. Manowar is well known to metal fans as the loudest band of the world. My intention was to take things beyond just intensity of sound on stage and create a perfect acoustic result through my mix. The tour itself went brilliantly and I was very relaxed. All I had to do was plug in the console and kick off – without any soundcheck. It was totally pain free and everything went like clockwork.’

‘Joey’s reaction to our snap decision on the console was: ‘You are totally insane. But in the very, very best way!’’ laughs Bernd Kugler. ‘It was like jumping in at the deep end, but it was also very cool. When we arrived with the little Red Snapper [DiGiCo’s working title for the SD9], we got jealous looks from the other engineers and it was easy to find a suitable place in the crowded backstage area between four or five other consoles yet still get the ideal view to the stage.

‘Up to now, the console has been able to do everything we had expected, including having the Madi port which we can use for recording.’

More: www.atlanticaudio.de

More: www.digico.org

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