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DiGiCo rocks in Brazil
The beginning of 2013 has seen DiGiCo consoles partying on down in two of Brazil’s hottest destinations, with an SD8 on monitors for Jamiroquai at the Credit Card hall in São Paulo and the flagship SD7 at Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Carnival.
Monitor engineer Dan Ungaretti has been working with Jamiroquai since early 2011, and uses a DiGiCo SD8, provided by long-term supplier Britannia Row Productions, to mix the band’s in-ear monitors.
"Jay Kay prefers wedges and has a fair few of them around the stage, so he has a separate console and engineer for them. And as there are 11 other musicians on stage, it makes sense to handle them separately.
"There are 60 inputs from stage. I have some extras for the ears and rehearsals, so I'm using all 60 channels on the desk, plus I've snuck another couple in the back door. The entire band wears IEMs and there is a pair of wedges for the keyboard player.
"I use the SD8 because the gig fits in a nice size footprint, which is important when you have two monitor consoles to fit in. I think the SD8 has a great spec for its size and price and, despite filling the board with ins and outs, I never feel lost in its layout. And, although we generally tour with our own consoles, if we haven't been able to take our own for some reason being able to find an SD8 everywhere we’ve been is a massive advantage."
Dan particularly likes the power and flexibility of DiGiCo's matrix and macros and uses them for a wide variety of things depending on the show. "I've also recently started using the Audio Enhancer FX which I think can be great for really opening up certain mixes," he adds. "DiGiCo have been great and always seem to be on hand to help if I need them. I haven’t had much call for the technical support team, but the sales guys have gone beyond the call of duty in helping me track down boards in various parts of the world."
Meanwhile, at the Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Gabisom supplied an SD7 with three SD Racks, which was used as the central audio distribution hub for the audio system, along with the rest of the PA for the vast audience along the Sambodromo, as well as broadcast feeds for TV Globo.
The SD7 received feeds from each of the live audio Samba trucks from each of the school bands, which had three sets of 24 channels of analogue snakes for backup and two sets of 24 channels of digital, a total distance of 700m. As the truck moved with the Samba parade on the 700 meter long ‘Sambadromo’, engineer Marcos Possato Jr. seamlessly switched the audio from one snake to the next on the SD7, which was handling a total of 120 channels of audio. From this mix, Marcos sent out 24 channel splits for the TV broadcast, as well as the mix for the parade which was handled by Eder Moura.
"As the parade moves down the Sambodromo, the delay time and volume of the audio has to be tight, as it has to be distributed to 36 speaker towers," explains Eder. "Each 24 channel snake is colour coded, with each channel being fed to an Aux send. The ‘red’ fibre and the analogue snake provides the audio for the first portion of the street parade, with the trucks being stationary. When the trucks began to move, the ‘green’ fibre and analogue did the second portion of the street parade, and so on, until the end of the 36 speaker towers. For quick change of snakes, Marcos used Control Groups for each set of snakes and took care of most of the gain changes, plus a spare mix of the parade from the live Samba band, which moved down the 700 meter Sambodromo."
The highlight of the Rio Carnival is the Samba Schools. It spans two nights and is what has made Rio de Janeiro the Carnival capital of the world.
"The Carnival world revolves around these two nights and the schools belonging to this group are thought to be the best and particularly spectacular," Eder continues. "The two nights are similar in terms of set-up, with six of the best 12 samba schools parading on both Sunday and Monday. With the opening ceremony at 20.00, the first school starts at 21.00, and the night’s entertainment generally finishes somewhere around 6am!
"The Gabisom team and the DiGiCo consoles are certainly put through their paces over 15-plus hours on consecutive days. Suffice to say that the competition is taken very very seriously and as the main days are all broadcast live to air, the system and team have to be very reliable and professional.
"Thanks to Marco Possato Jr, Eder Moura, Peter Racy and, of course, Gabi himself!"
16th April 2013
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