With 8 stages of electronic music scattered around downtown Miami Florida and an estimated record attendance of 165,000 over a weekend, the Ultra Music Festival (UMF) is North America’s second largest electronic music event. Since 2008, Miami’s Beachsound & Lighting have facilitated the performance and production duties for the main live stage. This year for the first time, Beachsound slotted a DiGiCo SD8 into FOH duties to handle a majority of the headliners over the 3-days‚Äîover 100 DJs from David Guetta to Tiesto‚Äîwith FOH Engineer/Crew Chief Neil Rosenstock at the helm aided by Systems Engineer Harry Brill.
“”All the DJ’s and vocals went through the SD8,”” offered Beachsound president, Andre Serafini, “”and the sound quality was superb. There were over 30 sets performed over the 3-day span from artists including Tiesto, Skrillex, Benny Benassi, Avicii, Fat Boy Slim, David Guetta, Steve Aoki, and Armin Van Buuren. One might think that when you do a show with a DJ, it’s just a simple Left & Right feed, toss up the faders, and go get something to eat. Shows like this have evolved into very large productions and each year we are working to raise the bar technically and to achieve the next milestone in audio quality that the promoters and the fans expect. Putting the DiGiCo on the front end of the system was the icing on the cake, and one that also gave us extreme control to manage the variable sources that were sent to us. We found that the best feature of the SD8 was the dynamic EQ on the DJ’s. When a DJ would sweep up and down, the HF compressor would keep it under control. Having the ability to move channels around quickly was effortless and proved to be a much-needed feature. Also, the SD8’s intuitive interface made it a great choice for this festival environment where we have a lot of guest engineers that may not be familiar with the desk. We chose the SD8 because it has been a reliable console and consistent in accommodating the variety of music genres we handle‚Äîbe it live bands and/or DJ’s. All in all, it proved to be a fantastic choice for the weekend and will certainly be front and center at next year’s event.””
Throughout the weekend, comments from guest engineers and artists were prolific, especially regarding the sound quality of this year’s event.
“”It was really great to work with you and your team,”” offered Winfried Blank, tour manager for the German outfit, Kraftwerk. “”We were more than happy with your fantastic-sounding console and PA. As Kraftwerk’s music is very straightforward and powerful, we like to have clear bass impact and full frequency response‚Äîeven in the ultra lows below 30Hz. I just have to say we got what we expected and would like to do it again with Beachsound.””