Petula Clark Tours Australia with a DiGiCo SD11
There aren't many artists who can claim that they've had a career that has spanned eight decades. Even fewer could say they have successfully transcended from film to theatre to music seamlessly over such a period. Petula Clark is one such artist and her unbelievable journey has taken her from strength to strength since her debut on BBC radio during World War II. Dubbed as the most commercially successful artist to ever come out of Britain, Petula Clark has a startling list of accolades including the honour of being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Her recent Australian tour was comprised of 17 shows complete with a 5 piece band, legendary Australian sound engineer Ernie Rose and a humble DiGiCo SD11.
Ernie's reasoning to go with an SD11 was one of practicality and transportability as he candidly discussed.
"It's amazing that this level of technology can fit into a portable package. I was carrying the SD11 around like luggage during the tour."
"Besides the fact it sounds great (which quite a few people were taken by), it's so compact, light, powerful and flexible."
Ernie was asked to manage monitors and front of house duties for this particular tour and the SD11 proved an ideal choice for both of these applications too.
Ernie Rose impressed with the power of the modestly sized SD11
"The great advantage of doing Front of House and Monitors with the SD11 was the fact that during setup, I could physically move the console from side of stage for monitors then to FOH for sound check. This meant most of the work was done before the show. It's really a bit of a modern miracle in that respect."
Touring with the SD11 kept impressing Ernie in new ways too despite its modest size.
"After the first setup, each new venue we went to just needed minor tweaks. The sound was also far more consistent than using the house gear at each venue which can vary quite a bit both in terms of usability and sound quality. Setup time after the first show was literally two minutes."
The D-Rack also proved to be an excellent partner to the SD11 with Ernie finding its Ethernet connectivity was just as helpful as his ability to place the rack at the back of the stage. "I just put the D-Rack on the centre of stage and patched everything into that. It worked so well and it was really simple."
As further testament to the design philosophy behind every DiGiCo console, even when one of the towns completely lost power; the SD11 impressed both Ernie and the band with its extremely fast recovery.
"At a show we did in Albany, Western Australia, the whole town had a power outage mid-show. It took 11 seconds for the SD11 to start passing audio after the power resumed. Petula, the band and even the audience were very impressed (as was I!). "
Petula Clark then and now - Still entertaining audiences around the world at age 79