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OptoRack makes world debut on Leona tour

Wigwam gives the Optocore OptoRack its world debut on Leona Lewis’s The Labyrinth World tour, writes Paul Watson. PSN-eLive caught up with the diva at the O2 Arena.

Wigwam Hire’s director Chris Hill says OptoRack has ticked all the boxes on its first outing on the road: Leona Lewis’s The Labyrinth world tour, which kicked off in Birmingham on 8 June. According to Hill, the biggest endorsement that he could wish for was to get no phone calls from the engineers – and he hasn’t! Wigwam Hire’s digital specialist, Alex Hadjigeorgiou, configured the system with Stefano Serpagli (Leona’s system tech) and then tuned it on site.

“We said all along that the secret of the production is [OptoRack] being invisible — never touching it.” explained Hadjigeorgiou. He added that one of the big advantages of using OptoRack is being able to run AES direct to the amplifiers – something that Kevin Pruce, FOH engineer for Leona Lewis, has embraced. “I use a Dolby Lake processor and there’s now no need to take an analogue out, because we’re able to run AES straight to the amp from FOH,” explains Pruce, “now everything goes down the fibre, so we don’t need to have a load of multicores anymore.”
 Pruce worked from a 96-channel Avid VENUE Profile console from FOH, where OptoRack was running as a 24/8 preconfigured set up; 24 analogue inputs, 24 AES inputs and three LAN inputs. At the stage (where Ant Carr worked monitors) they were running 24 outs, eight AES inputs and eight analogue inputs. Wigwam Hire has just shipped four OptoRack systems onto The Epic cruise liner for its inaugural voyage from Southampton to New York and is in the process of preparing a site in Coventry large enough to accommodate The Pope’s visit in September, where 12 systems will be in use.

Optocore’s OptoRack innovation was unveiled at the Frankfurt Prolight + Sound show in March of this year. Optocore is a proprietary synchronous ring network technology based on fibre optics.