The Rock Werchter festival, which ran from 30 June-3 July, saw over 80,000 people in attendance per day and featured headliners such as Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Black Eyed Peas and Iron Maiden.
The majority of the bands playing brought their own consoles for the main stage, which created a big challenge for the event’s audio supplier EML Productions and chief engineer Patrick Demoustier, who had to swiftly tie all those different desks (analogue and digital) to the FOH system.
“Until now we had been using crossovers like XTA or Lake for the front-end system – we had to make a choice between either digital or analogue,” explains Demoustier. “With the Intelli-X² we have the option to combine two digital desks, or an analogue with a digital console (AES input) simultaneously without any problem because the Intelli-X² is using sample rate converters (SRC) on every input.”
The SRC converters also avoid clocking problems – a crucial element with digital consoles, as bands would never allow the internal clocking of their own console to be adapted – and the Intelli-X’s clock was the only clock. “This was another keen feature of the Intelli-X² series,” adds Demoustier, who was particularly happy with the system’s flexibility and user friendliness on a festival with so many bands.
Demoustier decided to use the three Intelli-X² 48 converters as a matrix mix system steering the main FOH Adamson configuration, allowing each individual input to be sent to any output with different levels. “A band could decide to cut the volume of the front fills without having to adapt the settings to the next console,” enthuses Demoustier. “Another example is the on/off switch in the delay settings – a nice tool to align subs. Apex is the only manufacturer to incorporate this feature.”
This year marks the Rock Werchter edition of the plug and play consoles – although EML provided one digital DiGiCo SD8 and two analogue desks (Midas H 2000 as FOH and Midas H 3000 for monitors), bands brought in their own mixing gear; there were quite a number of Digidesign desks with the smaller bands and DiGiCo, Yamaha and an occasional Midas XL4 analogue with the headliners. “We used our desks twice a day, the digital desks only on Saturday and Sunday, and the Intelli-X² 48 did a great job,” concludes Demoustier.
At the 2011 Werchter outing, EML supplied an Adamson package consisting of 48 x Y18 main system, 24 x Y18 outfill system, 32 x Y10K frontfill system, and the company’s own 60 x EML array delay system sets plus 52 x EML S318 subs. “For the first time, 32 of the S318 subs were flown this year, following the sound threshold limitations issued by the Flemish government,” adds Demoustier.
At the festival’s Marquee stage, EML provided a Midas XL4 as FOH, and an H 3000 console on stage, with a combination of Adamson and EML cabinets for the PA.