Already well into its U.S. leg, Rihanna’s “Diamonds World Tour” features several performances in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, and at the core of the production system is Antelope Audio, whose products facilitate clocking for the entire rig, including playback for synchronization, lighting, MIDI, sound effects and vocals.
“This is the best sounding tour I’ve ever been a part of and we’ve been running really hard,” says Demetrius Henry, playback engineer for the Diamonds World Tour. “We didn’t think we could get our playback rig to sound any better, but the Orion32 interface has taken things to another level —the difference was like night and day.”
Currently, the tour is running two Antelope Audio Orion32s and a 10M atomic clock on playback, in addition to a Trinity | 10M combination at front of house (FOH). The Trinity | 10M combination is a favored selection among top mastering engineers, and serves as the primary clocking duo for the entire production.
In addition to playback and FOH, there are two Antelope Audio Zodiac+ converters being used in conjunction with the keyboard rig on stage, providing artifact free, high-resolution audio for the duration of each performance.
The playback rig for the Diamonds World Tour includes two Antelope Audio Orion32 interfaces and a 10M atomic clock.
Kenny Scharetts, keyboard technician for the Diamonds World Tour, appreciates the piece of mind that comes with using the Zodiacs: “We have the Zodiacs racked up directly beneath the keyboards and they are so compact and rock solid. When I turn them on, I know they are going to be there for me — it is a dream to have this kind of stability and reliability.”
Before hitting the road, the production crew put all of the equipment through its paces with several rehearsals, including two full dress rehearsals in Buffalo with a full PA before hitting the road.
At front of house on Rihanna’s Diamonds World Tour, an Antelope Audio Trinity | 10M handles clocking for the overall production.
“Every department was able to get a full testing of their gear to make sure it was show ready,” says Kyle Hamilton, FOH engineer for the Diamonds World Tour. “From the beginning, the Antelope gear has been running smoothly.”
The tour is large-scle in both musical content and technical scope. With a runtime of 97 minutes and a total of 36 songs, including interludes, the production team is running about 115 inputs in total.
With such an extensive rig, the production team decided to take a holistic approach and clock the entire rig using Antelope, in addition to using its premium quality converters across nearly every part of the audio system.
“Sonic changes don’t just occur at the console,” observes Hamilton. “It also has to do with the converters that are used throughout the system, in addition to the clocking. Also, it would not make any sense to have just one aspect of the system clocked — clocking the entire rig with Antelope gives us a consistently high quality result.”
An Antelope Audio Zodiac converter sits beneath the keyboard rig onstage.
On the Diamonds World Tour, the production team is focused on not just quality, but efficiency too. “Rack space is a precious commodity out here on the road — it’s like real estate: you only have so much land.” says Henry. “The fact that we are able to fit 32 channels of I/O on the Orion32 is a dream come true.” At playback, two Antelope Orion32s and a 10M are run through a pair of Apple MacBook Pros, which Henry says are lightning fast.
With a rock solid production team and reliable, great sounding equipment in place, FOH engineer Kyle Hamilton couldn’t be happier with the results they are achieving night after night. “It is immensely satisfying for us to be setting new standards in the quality of our live sound productions,” he says. “Every time we plug in another Antelope device, everything goes up a notch.”