SD7 provides soundtrack for Morricone concert

Thursday, 25 October 2012
SD7 provides soundtrack for Morricone concertFOH and recording engineer Fabio Venturi
Italy - Few internationally renowned artists begin holding regular concerts at over 70 years of age but, since 2001, legendary soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone, who began his career over 50 years ago, has directed his music before spellbound audiences in venues such as Radio City Music Hall, Verona Arena, Royal Albert Hall, the Kremlin, the Vatican's Nervi Hall, the UN General Assembly and St. Mark's Square in Venice.

For one of the 'maestro's' most recent concerts, staged on Rimini promenade, in a square named after Federico Fellini, Morricone's long-time FOH and recording engineer Fabio Venturi and monitor engineer Andrea Tesini helmed DiGiCo SD7 consoles, mixing genre-crossing music performed by an orchestra, rock band, chorus and solo soprano.

Venturi explains, "My aim is to get as close to the sound audiences heard when they saw the films (which include Sergio Leone's Dollar Trilogy, Sacco and Vanzetti, Cinema Paradiso, The Untouchables, Once Upon a Time in America and The Mission), as Morricone uses the original orchestrations.

"I receive 110 channels from the stage. Advantages offered by the SD7 include recall facilities that enable sessions already prepared offline, or recorded at previous shows, to be used for virtual sound checks (a great help), as we only have an hour with the orchestra. Plus the console's great flexibility and small footprint greatly facilitate use and transport."

To accomplish the unenviable task of ensuring good monitor facilities for the impressive line-up of performers, Tesini uses a 'hybrid' system: "For years, I've used a large number of small loudspeaker enclosures among the orchestra musicians, headphones for band members and wireless IEM for the rhythm section. The Maestro, soprano and pianist use monitors and the chorus, normally 100-strong, has four enclosures per side."

The challenge of such a complex set-up is in the numbers: 112 channels for orchestra microphones, plus 13 service channels and reverb returns. Tesini uses 35 sends, 24 groups and eight matrices.

"The SD7 allows me to organize the work using all the desk's internal resources - I use 24 groups for the premixes and reassign them to the inputs to accelerate mixing, then use 35 auxiliary sends with the possibility of equalizing and aligning them with FOH... not to mention the on-board effects - the Hall effects are really nice."

Audio contractor for the show was Agorà of L'Aquila, one of Italy's leading rental firms. Wolfango DeAmicis, who runs the firm with his brother Vittorio, considers the stock of consoles bought during their long-standing relationship with DiGiCo sufficient proof of their opinion of the products.

(Jim Evans)

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