Views from the top: The classical engineer (Fabio Venturi)16 August 2016
If you’ve seen Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, you’ve heard this man’s handiwork
Who are you?
Fabio Venturi. I have a science college diploma and conservatory diploma in flute.
What do you do?
I’m FOH engineer and responsible for the audio direction of all the concerts by Ennio Morricone worldwide: Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Royal Albert Hall in London, Apollo theatre in Moscow (the Kremlin) and the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Over 300 venues in total.
I’m also live and studio sound engineer, lecturer in information technology in music at Campobasso conservatory; I work as a freelance engineer in various studios in Rome and abroad (for instance Abbey Road and Air Studios in London, and CNSO in Prague).
Why do you do it?
My passion for music and the technical/physical aspects of sound.
How did you get started in the business?
I studied at Saluzzo’s Advanced Music Training School, on a course of sound and recording engineering, obtaining a practical course at Rome’s Forum studio, where I remained as an employee from 1988. I’ve worked with Morricone since then, firstly as a studio assistant, then as sound engineer on the recording of his soundtracks and other material.
What’s your biggest success to date?
I recorded several soundtracks with great musicians, three of which won an Oscar for the music: Il Postino: The Postman by Luis Bacalov, Life is Beautiful by Nicola Piovani and The Hateful Eight by Morricone. Live, the Morricone concert at the UN HQ in New York, for the extremely prestigious nature of the venue.
What is the “issue” that never seems to go away?
It’s normally the time frame, due to production and logistics as far as live events are concerned and, on recording projects, time is always tight, which doesn’t facilitate combining the various artistic requirements, such as those of movie directors and composers.
What’s the biggest challenge coming up?
The recording and mixing of the music for a film based on Mozart’s The Magic Flute re-arranged by Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, Europe’s biggest multi-ethnic ensemble, composed of 18 musicians from four continents.
How long have you worked with Morricone?
I’ve worked with Morricone since 1988, firstly as a studio assistant, then as sound engineer on the recording of his soundtracks and other material.
At concerts with chorus, orchestra and soloists, what brief does the maestro give you?
Morricone takes great care with all technical aspects, starting with monitors and my work on the mix during performances, for example, highlighting orchestra sections or soloists, as was done in the studio.
Events apart from Morricone gigs?
I’ve worked for several years with the Filarmonica della Scala for the concert they stage for the city of Milan, held every summer in Piazza del Duomo with 45,000-50,000 spectators. Quite the task!
This is #6 of 10 ‘views from the top’ appearing in PSNLive 2016, PSNEurope’s 11th annual analysis of the European live sound industry.