Tech Talk

15 Jul 2020

Using the CEDAR DNS 8 Live on Front of House Sound for Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams has been playing some huge events in the past year, headlining the British Summertime Festival before moving on to Denmark, Austria and the Czech Republic. His sound engineer is Simon Hodge, who has worked with him for the past nine years and whose own communications services company, Surfhire, was recently acquired by Britannia Row to provide sophisticated comms systems, integrated backstage and production office packages, and much more.

Simon told us, “I first encountered a CEDAR DNS 8 Live when I was mixing in the broadcast truck at the Bambi Awards in 2017 and then again in 2018.” (The Bambis are Germany’s most prestigious media awards and, in their own words, ‘a benchmark for success and popularity in Germany’.)

Simon continued, “The DNS 8 Live was very cool and I was very impressed with what it could do to clean up the signal. As a result, I mentioned it to Sam Smith’s monitor engineer, Saul Skoutarides, and he tested one in December 2017 before using it to clean up the audio for the artists’ in-ear monitors on Sam’s 2018 tour.”


“I also spec’d one for last year’s Robbie Williams shows, obtaining it from Britannia Row for the 2019 tour starting with the BST Festival in Hyde Park, which was Robbie’s only open-air concert in the UK in 2019 and was attended by 65,000 people.

“After some experimentation, I placed the DNS 8 Live across all of the vocal mics except for Robbie’s, controlling it over Ethernet to remove the background noise and spill from all of the backing vocal channels. The clean audio was then used for the FOH mix at the shows, and I also used it in the same way for the Radio 2 and ITV specials later in the year.”

“I work regularly with artists performing through large PA systems at festivals and in stadiums where spill can be a real problem, but the DNS 8 Live really cleaned up the sound at some pretty enormous venues, and I have recommended it on many other occasions.”

The DNS 8 Live was designed to remove noise for broadcast and live sound in venues such as theatres, concert halls, conferences venues, and places of worship. With near-zero latency it can be placed in the audio chain without loss of synchronisation, eliminating traffic noise, air conditioning, wind, rain, babble, spill and general background noise.

It also helps to compensate for unfavourable acoustic conditions and poor microphone placement, and will even suppress excessive reverberation. It was replaced in 2019 by the CEDAR DNS 8D which offers improved processing plus a Dante audio interface.

Robbie Williams – Bucharest

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CX Magazine – July 2020   

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