My Brush With Greatness: The SD11

This is a part of an ongoing blog series about the Sennheiser K-Array install at Lewis & Clark Community College.

sd11We have finished two of the five venues on our campus that are scheduled to receive the K-Array systems. So far, the work is going well. The K-Arrays are fairly simple to install and configure. During the design phase, we discussed increasing the capabilities of two of the venues. One of them is a church built during the late 1800’s, the other is our most popular banquet facility known as The Commons. The church doesn’t have any system currently but The Commons has a Crestron control and DM system that drives the current sound system. To do anything more than simple presentations we would need to outfit a sound board.

We decided on the Digico SD11. Our theater has two SD8 consoles, so we are familiar with the architecture of the board. This past week we had training on the board and it was my first chance to have my hands on the  console. This thing is amazing. I mean, truly amazing. It has the ability to create and 8×8 matrix to send delays to different speakers, 32 local inputs (8 of which can be flex), and the numerous effects on each and every channel.

Upon first booting up the machine, you are welcomed to a familiar desktop. That’s because the foreground is a Windows interface. The processing is not a windows machine, but the interface is. From here you begin to create on your blank slate. You can name each input, configure the slider banks, and create the matrix sends. You also have the ability to configure how many sends or monitor mixes you want. There are limitations, but they are more than adequate for our needs.

If you have never experienced a digital console, this would not be the one for you, though. It is a bit daunting with the banks of sliders and the amount of configuring that needs to be done. There are only 12 sliders, so if you get an event beyond a certain size you will need to use different banks to give you access to all of the different inputs. However, for those who have had some experience in the digital console world, the SD11 is a pretty impressive machine. If you pair it with a DigiRack or MadiRack it gives you expanded channel capabilities. Through in a UB Madi and you can record each input channel onto a separate track into ProTools. All in all, this console is a pretty sweet ride.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week.


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