Clayton Hutson Settles for Nothing Less Than the Best

When sound engineer extraordinaire Clayton Hutson needed a small console to control the sound on an Aaron Lewis tour, he turned to DiGiCo, the company he knew he could rely on. He had many good experiences with their equipment in the past. This time, he needed a small console because Aaron Lewis (frontman and founder of Staind) was going on tour to support his solo album, which had a country sound to it. The tour had him playing an acoustic duo in a wide variety of venues and stages. They included a large casino, honky-tonks, churches, festivals and a 50,000-seat arena. And all shows were sold-out. And the tour would travel to some of the shows on a bus, and to others on an airplane.


This put Hutson in a bind. Typical consoles were too large. He needed something small enough to fit in a tour bus or which could be checked as baggage on air flights. And he needed a console that would adapt to all those types of venues, yet retain the sound quality, features and functionality Hutson wanted to guarantee he made the star sound as well as possible, which was his job. Hutson had read about the SD11 and its rack-mountable system, so he took the first SD11 console out on its touring debut. He needed something he could rely on because he served as the Production and Tour Manager as well as the FOH Monitor Engineer.


Hutson is one of the best sound engineer and production managers in the entertainment world, and he has long relied on DiGiCo consoles. Years ago he used the first, hand-built D5 on tour with Marilyn Manson. He said that was a risk because of Manson’s volatility, but the D5 worked extremely well. He learned DiGiCo always had his back. “I’ve been a supporter ever since,” Hutson says of DiGiCo. Learn more:


He used an SD7 on a tour with Maxwell and several SD8 consoles on various gigs. The SD11 is the smallest and least expensive console DiGiCo makes. But, as Hutson proved, it does the job under a variety of circumstances. Hutson has rigidly high standards for his equipment because he has such rigidly high standards for his own professional performance. He knows retaining consistency and control when he must work with regional production companies that use a wide variety of consoles. In the middle of the Aaron Lewis tour, he begged DiGiCo to be the first to try out the SD11, and they shipped it to him within just a few days.

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