Live Sound

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Modern Mix Extravaganza

A roundup of recent applications of a wide range of digital console platforms.

Crafting A Transition With A Favorite
An Avid VENUE | S6L console was on the road earlier this year with a-ha on the Cast in Steel international concert tour, with stops in Russia, Sound America, Europe and the UK before wrapping up in the band’s home country of Norway.

Front of house engineer Gerard Albo, who has toured with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Patti Smith, Anastasia, and Tom Jones. purchased the console before heading out for the tour based on his long history with VENUE models.

“I’ve always worked with the Profile, it was my favorite desk,” Albo states, “so I decided to buy this one for the future. I’m extremely happy with the console quality, it’s very robust and built like a tank.”

The S6L shares a common VENUE software platform with Profile, making his move to the new console straightforward.

“The S6L is so powerful, yet so simple to use,” he says. “The transition from Profile was simple, and at rehearsals, I felt confident to take it out on the road after just a few hours. The touch screen workflow is much faster and the sound of the preamps is first class, as are the onboard EQ and dynamics. Overall, it’s a delight to mix on – I love it.”

The Avid VENUE | S6L with Gerard Albo on the road with a-ha on the Cast in Steel tour.

Changing Things Up With Multiple Elements
Staged across the city in Italy that bears its name, the annual Ravenna Festival presents a range of live performances. At one of the event’s primary venues, the Dante Alighieri theatre, the festival’s long-time audio provider BH Audio and newcomer Mediacare Audiovisuals (both based in Italy) deployed a Lawo mc²36 console joined by a compact I/O Stagebox and RAVENNA networking. 

“After using more or less the same set-up for the past three years at the venue, the first thing that struck me was the sound,” explains BH Audio partner Massimo Carli. “We’d used a top-grade analog desk in the past, so the comparison wasn’t between products of a different level, and we hadn’t changed PA or microphones, but we immediately noticed the difference in timbre.”

The choice of the mc²36 console also triggered the application of RAVENNA networking. “The use of RAVENNA was not so complicated,” Carli notes. “I needed just one compact I/O interface and Cat-6 cabling for the RAVENNA link. The great thing was being able to have 128 inputs and 128 outputs on a single Cat-6 cable.

The Lawo mc²36 front and center at the Ravenna Festival.

“There are many reasons for choosing Lawo; two are particularly important,” he continues. “One is the company’s philosophy – they choose to work with the RAVENNA open protocol. I’ve been a fan of open source technology for a long time, not for financial reasons but for philosophical reasons. Sharing our knowledge allows us to grow faster and better. The second reason is the fact that Lawo systems are really stable and reliable.”

“During rehearsals for the concert conducted by Riccardo Muti, his wife Cristina came to the front of house platform and asked me what we’d changed, as the system seemed to sound better than usual, and when Muti asked how the sound was, Cristina told him it was because I was using a new audio console.”

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Making The Most Of Possibilities
A recent concert series by Turkish pop star Ajda Pekkan in her home country, backed by a 30-piece band and appearing at venues including the Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Amphitheatre in Istanbul, Bodrum Amphitheatre and Izmir International Arena, utilized Allen & Heath dLive mix systems. Specifically, two S7000 surfaces and DM64 MixRacks served as the pivot points at front of house and monitors, as well as for live recording.

Inanc Yenidogan at the helm of an Allen & Heath dLive S7000 for Ajda Pekkan in Turkey.

Pekkan production manager and front of house engineer Inanc Yenidogan specified dLive for the tour. The band utilized stereo in-ear monitors plus side fills and mono sub monitor mixes for the drummer and bass player, requiring up to 60 mono auxes. Additional auxes were routed over Dante networking to the front of house DM64 MixRack as an output expander. All the shows were recorded via M-Dante on a Mac DVS.

“We made the most of the interlinking possibilities of dLive,” states monitor engineer Wayne Nigel Gittens. “With 30 musicians on stage with high monitor requirements, the front of house rack was partly used as an output expander via Dante.”

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