ALTHOUGH MARKETED as a “virtual band”, Gorillaz, formed by Blur’s Damon Albarn, often comprises more than 20 musicians on tour, with brass accompanying them for the first time on their most recent shows.
Engineers Matt Butcher at front-of-house (FOH) and Dave Guerin at monitors need a mixing system capable of processing about 190 channels apiece and chose DiGiCo desks for performances including Manchester Arena (21,000) and London’s The O2 (21,000).
“I started with Damon after Parklife [Blur’s 1994 LP] so we have a good understanding of each other,” says Butcher. “He has plenty of ambitious ideas about what he wants in the band, which is great, but very challenging. We get amazing people playing, and amazing textures, so we wanted no compromise on the audio.”
He chose DiGiCo SD7 consoles for FOH and monitors plus an SD11B, which handles an internal crew communication system.
“It’s the best control surface to do something like this on,” Butcher says. “The symmetry of the SD7 means you can have a left bank, a right bank, and a bank in the middle so you can do three things at once. I have instruments on the left, vocals on the right, and voltage controlled amplifiers (VCAs) in the middle. We are running eight radio mics, so individual artistes get their own channel.”