Staying Inside The Board
During a recent week-long tour of Mexico, Pope Francis addressed huge audiences at five venues around the country, accompanied by Solid State Logic Live L500 and L300 consoles in a variety of roles and supported by Audio Acústica, SSL’s platinum partner in the country.
Miguel Angel Tapia Trujillo, who served as front of house engineer for the appearance at the Parque Chamizal in Ciudad Juárez, notes that his L500 console used the SSL Blacklight II high bandwidth multiplexed MADI connection for around 90 inputs from the stage, including choir, orchestra, and podium microphones, plus the stage feeds from five opening bands.
“We did that all in one console,” Tapia says. “I set it up so every tile on the console could access any channel – inputs, VCAs and stems.”
The stem group path type, an audio group available with full processing and extensive routing options, was used extensively for the show. He utilized them for all effects (rather than auxiliaries) and to manage the large number of orchestra microphones.
“I had 14 fully processed string section stems alone,” he notes. “Then every section of the orchestra had its own VCA, and I had several main VCAs on top, including the orchestra, the choir, and the pope.” He adds, “I used the internal FX quite a lot as well. Every stem had multiband compression on it, and I used doubling and chorus on the strings, plus some small room reverbs. I also engaged the ‘cathedral reverb’ preset on the choir, which sounded great.”
Yerye Marrun, monitor engineer at the event in Ecatepec (audience of approximately 400,000), utilized an L300 for his work. “It was my first time with the console, and I really enjoyed it,” he states. “The sound is great, of course, but so was the ease with which we ran the sound check, making sure everything worked for both the stage and the broadcast. It made me feel confident, and in turn it was easy to run the show with confidence.”
Smaller Can Be Just The Ticket
A Soundcraft Si Performer 3 compact console proved the right fit for British recording artist Gabrielle Aplin’s small venue tour throughout the UK earlier this year, fitting well in smaller venues that ranged in capacity from 200 to 900 people while also serving an 8-piece band.
Independent sound engineer Darryl Walsh worked with Aplin on the tour, helping in the selection of the Si Performer 3 after it was decided the group would bring its own system to each of the smaller venues.
“Having never used a smaller mixer, I admittedly had my reservations but these were quickly dispelled after the first day in rehearsals,” Walsh states. “I was so impressed with the sound quality. The in-ear monitors sounded great and all of the band members were happy.”
In fact, Walsh purchased his own Si Performer 3, putting it to work on monitors for British alternative rock band Maximo Park’s 10th anniversary tour. He specifically cites the layout and usability of the console, noting that any fader can be assigned anywhere, with four banks and a dedicated button to send to every mix.
“The feedback from the bands has been excellent,” Walsh says. “Both Maximo Park and Gabrielle Aplin claimed it was the best monitor sound they’d experienced, especially regarding how clean and smooth the sound was.”