London-based rental specialist Sound Hire, which took delivery of one of the very first DiGiCo D5 Live digital mixing systems in September, has already committed further to the revolutionary platform by ordering an upgrade. Their second stage-end DigiRack (which contains the system’s inputs and A/D converters) expands their console’s capacity from 56 to 96 inputs, allowing it to replace two analogue consoles on many shows.

Says Sound Hire founder Richard Liénard: “It’s obvious that the future of sound has to be digital. For a long time it’s the thing that everyone’s thought would be wonderful but was scared about what would happen if it wasn’t totally stable. Then suddenly there was the answer at PLASA - the D5 Live - and we ordered it virtually the next day. The desk gives you an amazing amount of positive feedback on the input side: you can see every channel that you want. With three sections and three screens you can have two engineers working on it at once - everything’s immediately accessible.

“Now, with the extra DigiRack, we can handle up to 96 input channels at once. This makes total sense of the digital format because it’s so easy to manipulate that number of channels on the D5 Live, and in many instances it will effectively replace two massive analogue desks – just by buying the extra rack. When you add in all the other benefits of total recall and so on, it’s a superbly versatile solution.”

Sound Hire’s clients include classical superstars The Three Tenors, Pavarotti, José Carreras, Placido Domingo and Dame Kiri te Kanawa, alongside major concerts such as Showtime At the Stadium at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Jean-Michel Jarre and many more.