World-famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli (Classic Brit Awards 2012 International Artist of the Year, with 80 million sales to his credit) started a world tour promoting his 14th album, Passione, in Fort Lauderdale (US) with an Outline GTO-based sound system supplied by PRG.
Andrea Taglia, the artist’s sound designer and sound engineer, had just one previous opportunity to “manipulate” the GTO - in front of the 2012 Rome May Day concert’s 700,000-strong crowd, after which he decided to organise a series of meticulous tests to be absolutely certain of his choice for the new high-profile event.
He explains: “I’d been impressed by the power, throw and control of the mid/low frequencies, but I wanted to check the system’s entire configuration and operation in a controlled space with the rig at my complete disposal.”
Taglia closed himself off for two days in the PalaBrescia indoor sports arena with a set-up similar to the rig he would have used with Bocelli, testing for any rigging problems and using pink noise to align and equalise the rig and recorded music to test the systems (including tracks by Rebecca Pidgeon, Tracy Chapman, Eric Clapton, Lyle Lovett, Eryka Badu and Madonna).
Bocelli’s indoor shows are normally in arenas with a 10,000-15,000 capacity, but also in roofed soccer stadiums seating over 20,000, large open-air venues and locations such as San Paolo and Lima hippodromes, San Paolo’s Parco Indipendencia or Central Park, which reach a capacity of 100,000.
The rig was thus appropriately scaled. Left, right and centre hangs each have 15 GTO plus one GTO-DF, with the addition of four Mantas as up-fills on the right-hand cluster. Each of the two side-fill hangs comprises 20 Outline Mantas, left right and centre delay clusters each have 10 Butterfly systems and 16 GTO subs are used in arc delay configuration on the floor stage-front.
Twelve of the Italian manufacturer’s LipFill-0182 are used as front fills (eight on the subs and four on truss sections). Inner fill and out-fill systems are formed by two DVS12 flown at the corners of the stage.
Taglia opines: “GTO is over-sized compared with other large systems on the market – it has four HF drivers, while competitors use three, 8” MF units instead of competitors’ 7” models and two 15” LF speakers, but each mounted in a single chamber, so it was a ‘bigger’ system from the drawing board stage and is powered by single rack-unit amps which, thanks to their PFC power supply and switching output stage, ensure top power output under all conditions, even when mains supplies have low voltage or current, with their extraordinary damping factor guaranteeing rock-steady low frequencies, almost unaffected by cable length - an important aspect since, with Bocelli, we have long runs to keep the entire stage front clear and optimise spectators’ sightlines of the IMAG video screen, resulting in approximately 60m of power cables!”
Taglia was also pleased with the rigging hardware: “It’s extremely precise and reliable, enabling us to perfectly achieve the data simulated in the Open Array software, a tool that is not only extremely sophisticated from an acoustic point of view, but also very well-made IT-wise, with hard-to-beat simulation speed.”
Stressing that the US production team remarked they were also using a truck and a half compared with two for audio gear in the past, with a reduction in weight and volume, loading/unloading time and crew costs, Taglia concludes: “PRG’s GTO systems will be used by Bocelli for the US dates and GTO is now a key player in my rider specs, so it could quite well also be proposed by our contractors in other parts of the world. We’ll be in the Far East at the end of April and beginning of May (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taiwan and Malaysia), followed by European concerts in May then back to the US in June and at the end of June in Germany, before heading back to the States once more in December. Dates are also to be confirmed in the UK and South America for the autumn.” www.outlinearray.com