Photo: Randy Rogers Band PM and FOH Engineer Marty Weir at the tour’s DiGiCo SD12 desk, supplied by Backstage Sound and Lighting
Randy Rogers Band hasn’t changed a thing since 2002, except the music keeps getting better and the band keeps getting tighter. Touring constantly and now in the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile) for an upcoming fall album release, this Texas band is a testament to Malcolm Gladwell’s famous principle of 10,000 hours of practice, but with a few hundred thousand miles of highway added in.
Like many entrepreneurial bands, RRB has found a flexible partner who can balance the necessary pragmatism of production management with the great ear needed to mix the band’s live shows. Marty Weir has worn both of those hats for RRB since 2010, so when he felt that the band’s FOH touring console had reached its limits, the mixer in him knew he wanted the best sound and technology available while his production-manager mind was promoting him to make sure it was cost-effective and efficient. He found both in the DiGiCo SD12, which is on the road now with the band, along with a 48x16 D2-Rack and coaxial snake, through a rental from Backstage Sound and Lighting, part of an acquisition that saw the Bryan, Texas-based SR provider buy two SD12 desks as well as a pair of DiGiCo S31 consoles.
“I’d been working with the band using the same console for close to seven years, and it was just time to change the technology,” says Weir. “I wanted a desk that was up to date technologically and also sounded great. But as the production manager, I also knew we had to stay within a certain budget and keep the desk itself manageable for touring in terms of size and weight. When I found the SD12 after several months of looking at everything out there, I knew both of the hats I wear would be happy with it.”
Weir says the first thing he noticed about the SD12 was how it made the band’s vocals sparkle. “The clarity of the vocal sound was amazing,” he says. “And it wasn’t just me noticing it—people who knew how the band sounds were telling me the same thing.”
Then, Weir began getting into the SD12’s operational characteristics and he discovered a board that let him set the agenda. “The flexibility that the SD12 brings is just amazing,” he says. “I can put everything exactly where I want it, and that makes me much more comfortable during a show. I can focus on the sound, not on the console.”
But Marty Weir the production manager has also found plenty to like about the SD12. “There’s not a lot out there between the modestly priced consoles and the high-end ones,” he explains. “Thankfully, the SD12 is a premium desk that appealed to the mixer in me, while its price tag made it an easy choice for my production manager side. It’s a great-sounding console that doesn’t make me feel guilty about what we’re spending for it. I didn’t have to justify it. I don’t think there’s another console out there that can accomplish all that, so I’m glad we found the DiGiCo SD12.”