Gemini Light Sound & Video has been in the production business for over three decades. The family-owned, Dallas-based company handles install and touring needs for both corporate and music clientele. Gemini purchased their first DiGiCo system, an SD8 and SDRack, to add to their varied analog and digital arsenal this year and the console was pressed into service by monitor engineer Dustin Rains for R&B legend Frankie Beverly & Maze on a 6-week U.S. tour along with the Isley Brothers and Kem. A freelancer engineer, Rains has worked with Gemini for seven years, and with Frankie Beverly for over two years of that time.
"The DiGiCo rep in Dallas needed a place to ship the console to," explains Gemini owner Tim Cain, "so they sent it over to our shop. The SD8 sat for about 2-3 days before we popped it open, fired it up and started playing with it. The guys in the shop really fell in love with it and needless to say, it never left. We ended up buying it, as we liked it so much. We do a lot of racks ‘n' stacks at the Verizon theatre here in town, and the guys would always say that the bands that had the DiGiCo's were some of the best sounding shows. Hearing that several times confirmed what I felt about DiGiCo. They're great consoles and some of the best sounding. When the SD8 came in, we were in the process of buying other consoles, and it fitted into our price range. We're not buying pairs of anything; we bought different consoles from different manufacturers to appeal to everyone's tastes. It's not like five years ago where people are using the same consoles at FOH and monitors; it's kind of a smorgasbord now so you see a mix of consoles. Obviously, DiGiCo is one of the top consoles and I'm glad we picked it up. This has been an awesome addition to our inventory."
"When Tim bought the SD8," Dustin Rains recalled, "I went in to the shop to check it out. We were in the middle of prepping the Frankie tour in which I was already committed to using another desk. The first thing I liked about the console was that the level of customization available was incredible. I could have anything where I wanted it and that was exactly what I was looking for. Some fader banks have input faders, output faders, and control groups—all on one fader bank—which has cut down on how many times I have to bump between layers and pages. I have a few fader banks I set up for cue intensive songs, which allow me to execute multiple cues quickly without leaving the fader bank, going to another layer, or switching screens. Also, I use most of the DiGiTuBe and dynamic EQs for added control of overly dynamic channels. I use most everything onboard, and it's a fairly straightforward approach."
Beverly's seven-piece band deploys an all-d&b audiotechnik monitor system consisting of 20 M4 wedges, 3 Q-subs in a cardioid pattern topped with 2 Q-7s for side-fills, and 2 Q-Subs for drum fill. "In my opinion, DiGiCo and d&b make the job really easy," Rains adds.
Rains had occasion to use the DiGiCo SD conversion option in a situation where they had to use an SD10 for a fly date in Las Vegas. "It was really convenient being able to use a file that previously would have been useless. Luckily, we had access to the same monitor rig, so everything transferred seamlessly. It was really easy to convert a file and it worked flawlessly!"
Photo Tour Crew:LtoR: Trae Sales, systems tech; Dustin Rains, monitor tech/engineer; Jason Delatorre, systems tech; Jimmy Butera, FOH tech