Dove Award winners love the sound of the Quantum225 and the way it makes the roles of FOH and monitor mixing more effective and efficient, but the band also bought their consoles outright rather than lease or rent them, viewing owning DiGiCo desks as an investment in their sound
Nashville-based band Big Daddy Weave has been raising the roof and bringing down the house on their ongoing 2023 Heaven Changes Everything Tour. The Dove Award winners—including founding members Mike Weaver, Joe Shirk, and Jeremy Redmon, who met at the University of Mobile and formed the band in 1998, along with the newer rhythm section of Brian Beihl and Raul Jose Alfonso—have long been popular and enduring staples of the Contemporary Christian Music universe.
They’re also extremely conscious of the role that technology plays in their sound, so this tour saw the addition of a pair of DiGiCo Quantum225 consoles, used for both front of house and monitors. In fact, they liked what the Quantum desks did so much that they bought them, rather than renting them for the duration of a tour as is common. They made an investment in DiGiCo technology because of the long-term benefits the Quantum consoles offer.
“The band does enough work in the course of a year that they looked at the cost of owning versus renting over time and immediately saw the financial benefits,” explains Josh Davisson, who came aboard as Big Daddy Weave’s monitor engineer in early 2023. “It’s how they like to do things: buy good gear, take care of it, and reap that advantage.”
Matthew Grunden, who has mixed Big Daddy Weave’s front-of-house sound for 14 years, orchestrated the acquisition through Dan Brown at Reach Communications in Minneapolis. “We own ninety percent of our gear and have found that it’s more cost-effective to own than rent seasonally every year,” he says, adding that they also own their d&b audiotechnik V-Series PA system, which they purchased nine years ago. “We only want to buy the best, and DiGiCo fits that philosophy.”
Grunden notes that DiGiCo desks have become the standard in Nashville, the starting point nationally for many if not most CCM and country music tours. “Nashville has gone DiGiCo; it’s what most artists here are touring with, and that also means that service is always available here,” he says. “Dan Brown and his team at Reach, alongside Ryan Shelton and Matt Larson at DiGiCo, have been incredibly helpful, especially since I was pretty new to the console. They helped get me up and running on it quickly and confidently.”
Meanwhile, Davisson, who owns a DiGiCo S21 console for his own production company, says the Quantum225 has made a big difference for both his workflow and the band’s stage experience. “The console just sounds so good as soon as you lift a fader that I don’t have to apply much processing at all to make it sound great on stage, and that’s making me look good,” he laughs. “The band tell me that they love their mixes, and the band’s management and others in the audience have said the same thing—it’s helping make the entire stage and the show sound better.”
One capability in particular has made Davisson’s job easier: he can create a control group of all of the drum inputs and assign them to VCAs that allow him to change the overall level of the drums in the monitors without changing the relative mix of the individual drums, plus or minus as much as 18 dB, so the band hears what they’re used to through their Sennheiser G3 IEMs. “Once I saw that capability during the training on the console, I realized it was going to be a game-changer,” he says. “For instance, when we’re in a smaller venue, I might be ten feet closer to the stage and I can adjust the entire kit as needed without changing the drum mix. The relative levels of the kick and snare are important to the bass player, and with this feature I don’t have to recreate an entire drum mix. They’ve been playing together for 25 years—they know what they want to hear and the Quantum225 lets me give it to them in any venue.”
Being with the band for so long, Grunden has an excellent grasp on how they like to sound live. He says the addition of the new consoles has only helped, and he credits Quantum’s Mustard and Spice processing for some of that: “I love how I can place things in the channel line pre-processing. For instance, I can place the Naga 6 dynamic EQ on the front end of the channel so I can carve out certain frequencies and add sparkle to the sound,” he explains. “I was also quickly able to create a layout on the worksurface for myself that I was able to get around on quickly. So the Quantum225 is both a sonic and an ergonomic improvement for me.”
He also credits the 32-bit mic pres on the 56-input SD-Rack the consoles share. “There’s a massive difference in the sound quality from those,” he says. “It’s wider and bigger sounding. Along with those, the Quantum225 was absolutely the right choice.”