DirectOut PRODIGY Series used alongside d&b audiotechnik KSL rig for 3 Doors Down’s US Tour
American rock band 3 Doors Down recently embarked on a 4-month “20th Anniversary Tour”, in celebration of 20 years since the release of their first studio album “The Better Life”.
Featuring the hit singles “Kryptonite” (the song that launched the band’s career) and “Be Like That”, a version of which featured in the soundtrack for the film American Pie 2, the album went on to sell over 6 million copies worldwide.
From July through to October 2021, the band performed the album in full throughout venues across their native USA, with support provided by a number of bands including South African rockers Seether.
Production was handled by the North Carolina-based Special Events Services, who deployed their new d&b audiotechnik KSL rig alongside a pair of DirectOut PRODIGY.MP and PRODIGY.MC converters.
Industry veteran Michael Mordente was called upon to to co-ordinate the effort, heading up the audio crew as audio chief and system technician, and to introduce the team to the DirectOut PRODIGY Series.
“Everything I needed in one unit”
“The PRODIGY.MC was deployed in tandem with the stage box as a modular converter, to manage critical aspects of the I/O topology, and redundant signal distribution on stage and to FOH,” says Mordente. “That means media, format, and sample rate conversion, for interconnect between our pair of Yamaha PM10s – on stage and FOH – and for the main support act Seether’s DiGiCo SD9 at FOH and Avid Profile monitor desk. The PRODIGY.MP with its powerful FPGA and DSP was used as the main system drive at FOH, with the comprehensive and extremely potent globcon software platform controlling it all.”
The primary digital audio format delivery was a redundant 96kHz MADI stream, with backups available on AES3 and analogue, as well as a Dante network “on standby” adding yet another layer of redundancy.
Even the DJ feed from the stage was managed and controlled by the PRODIGYs, enabling it to be fully isolated from the consoles, and completely under the control of DirectOut devices.
DirectOut PRODIGY.MP Demo
“With DirectOut, I was able to have everything I needed in one unit,” says 3 Doors Down’s main FOH engineer Curtis Flatt, on the subject using the PRODIGY.MP and .MC together to drive the comprehensive KSL system.
“EQ, control, multiple redundancies, no added colouration, headroom for days, integrated input/output for system measurement and optimisation software – along with the ability to integrate multiple consoles – and that’s just scratching the surface! It truly gave me the sonic palette I needed to create a mix, and not worry about it adding its own colourations.”
“I will be requesting them for all my tours going forward”
“I can also speak for my colleague Michael Baker, FOH engineer for Seether, who was very pleased with the system headroom, ease of integration, and seamless interconnectivity between the Yamaha and Avid Dante-based consoles and the DiGiCo MADI-based desk.”
Both the PRODIGY.MC and PRODIGY.MP were specifically requested by production manager and monitor engineer Warren Cracknell, who was equally enthusiastic about their performance on the tour. “I had heard so much about the Prodigy Series from my colleagues in the industry and really wanted to get them on this tour”, he said. “The PRODIGYs made a world of difference and took everything to the next level sonically – I will be requesting them for all my tours going forward.”
A re-mastered, 20th Anniversary Edition of The Better Life album – along with the nine-song “Escatawpa Sessions” – is available now as a 3LP vinyl box set, double album CD, as well as digitally via all major streaming platforms.
The DirectOut PRODIGY.MC is a powerful and highly flexible audio converter designed for use in professional live sound, broadcast, installation and studio recording applications.
Fully modular, the PRODIGY.MC is available in three different versions (Essential, Advanced and Unlimited), and can be configured to meet a wide range of specified requirements, such as bidirectional conversion between analogue and digital signals, signal distribution, streaming audio, conversion between audio networks and MADI environments, and conversion of different MADI signals.
8 x local I/O slots that providing a variety of options for up to 64 channels of analogue (Mic/Line) and digital AES-3 I/O modules, whilst 2 x MADI I/O slots can be equipped with a choice of BNC, SC optical or SFP modules.
The single audio network card slot can provide Dante, RAVENNA (AES67 and ST 2110-30 / -31 compliant) or Waves SoundGrid connectivity, increasing the maximum channel capacity to 320 inputs and 324 outputs.
Control and signal routing is offered via the globcon control software – a browser-based GUI – or directly from the front panel via the IPS touch-screen display, whilst the Advanced and Unlimited versions add DirectOut’s FastSRC and summing buses.
The DirectOut PRODIGY.MP combines the modular design of the PRODIGY.MC with dual networked audio ports and powerful FPGA-based DSP, making it ideal as a powerful central point for larger audio systems and complex real-time audio environments.
Two different networked audio formats can be supported simultaneously – even running at different clock rates thanks to SRC – and allowing for seamless interoperability between the two (e.g. Dante and Ravenna), and direct channel-by-channel connectivity.
The 4 x local I/O slots can be fitted with analogue (Mic/Line) and digital AES-3 I/O modules for up to 32 channels. Combined with the two audio network options, two MADI options and headphone outputs, the maximum channel capacity is increased to 416 inputs and 420 outputs.
The combination of MADI I/O, dual AoIP network ports and SRC allow for the connection of multiple audio consoles regardless of format and clocking – with selectable priorities and automatic redundancy – and the re-distribution of live audio feeds in multiple formats, such as primary return feeds for monitoring and FOH with built-in loudspeaker management.
In addition to acting as a fully programmable router, the PRODIGY.MP includes a powerful DSP engine, providing channel gain and mute, EQ, dynamics, delays and a summing matrix, all of which is easily controllable via the globcon software. Channel routing can be defined at both the input and output sides of the DSP engine for maximum flexibility, and loudspeaker management eliminates the need for additional dedicated loudspeaker management system hardware.
Alongside the 96 built-in DSP plugins, 128 external plugins are available via the hardware I/O – including support for Waves SoundGrid – allowing for integration with Waves servers for additional plug-in inserts and extremely low latency audio transport. Virtual soundcards for macOS and Windows can directly interface with any DAW for multitrack recording and virtual sound-checks.