A DIFFERENT KIND OF MUSICAL PIRACY
If you like an audio engineering challenge, this would certainly keep you busy for a while. The Zenith de Strasbourg recently played host to a cine-concert of the first film of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series, The Curse of The Black Pearl. The film was screened in front of 6000 people to the accompaniment of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra complete with a 24-strong choir.
The Zenith de Strasbourg is the biggest indoor arena in France. Strasbourg-based rental company, Lagoona, were brought in to supply the PA system, and Lagoona in turn, called on digital audio networking specialists, Espace Concept, to supply and manage the FOH console, microphones and networking. For the very first time, Espace Concept used an mc256 console from Lawo.
The suggestion came directly from Lawo’s Hervé de Caro to whom Espace Concept’s Alain Roy turned for advice as to how best to network his trusted Eclipse GT consoles from Innovason to enable him to record 124 channels. “Hervé suggested that we use an mc256 from Lawo instead as everything could then be managed from just one control surface,” explained Roy. “It seemed like the ideal opportunity, so I agreed.” The resulting system comprised a 32-fader mc256 with a 16-fader extension, connected via fibre optic cable to two Lawo DALLIS interface boxes on stage which provided 72 mic inputs and 16 monitor outputs, plus two Innovason DioMadiES MADI-to-EtherSound converters for the 60 digital microphones connected to the console via EtherSound over fibre.
In order to provide Alain Roy, who mixed and recorded the entire event, with a console on which he would feel completely comfortable and at ease, de Caro and the Lawo team then set about configuring the mc256 to meet all Alain’s requirements “Alain is one of France’s foremost experts in digital technology and digital networking for live shows,” said de Caro. “Given that this was the first time he’d even seen an mc256, let alone used one, we felt that the best approach was to simply set up the mc256 with all those features Alain is familiar with from the Eclipse. By the time we’d finished, Alain had his SmartFad functionality for VCA allocation and control; Broadway mode for seamless switching between live sound and playback; Virtual Soundcheck for fine-tuning the mix without the musicians having to be present; a digital multitrack recorder with now 128 channels instead of 64, and all with full visualisation and control from the central touchscreen of the console. Furthermore, we set up the Pandora functionality for creating a natural stereo image for all the audience.”
As shows go, this was a pretty complex one with a full philharmonic orchestra, a 24-piece choir, 124 inputs including 60 digital microphones andall synchronised to the film. Monitors were run from FOH, too.
All a bit of a doddle, really.
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