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RCF provides outstanding sound at the ProSceniUm singer-songwriter competition in Assisi
On 26 October, 12 singers competed in the final of the second “ProSceniUm Città di Assisi – Festival della canzone d’autore” singer-songwriter festival at the Teatro Lyrick in Assisi. Among the guests showering the winner Lapard with applause were Ron, Mauro Casciari, Roger Wright and Eric Appapoulay. “This was the second time that the creative director Roberto Lipari had entrusted us with planning and implementing the audio and lighting facilities for the event,” says Vincenzo Casadidio, New Wave Srl. “This year, the technical demands of the production were pretty substantial and required an enormous effort.”
"We’ve been working for many years with RCF and the company has always proved an absolutely reliable partner working on events of all sizes"
The concert was supported by a 35-piece orchestra and was designed as a TV show for live streaming. Although the Teatro Lyrick provided a wonderful architectural setting for the show, its acoustics presented a major challenge. This modern theatre auditorium has a depth of 60 m, housing around 1000 spectators. The seating rows are placed on different inclines across the five seating areas. “After a preliminary analysis on-site with the head of production, I sent the calibration data to Giovanni Bugari at RCF’s Engineering Support Group who oversaw the design of the PA system for the auditorium. In light of the sheer size of this year’s event, we went all-out and installed 40 RCF speakers, a remarkable number. We’ve been working for many years with RCF and the company has always proved an absolutely reliable partner working on events of all sizes, including the Umbria Jazz Festival,” Casadidio emphasizes.
“For this project, we installed two clusters of twelve RCF HDL 10-A speakers as the main PA system. This allowed us to cover the entire auditorium. The delay lines were used only to freshen up the sound. In a theatre like this where the proscenium opening is only 5.5 m high, the two 3.5 m clusters were pretty impressive to look at. They were mounted up in a ring at around 8 m height to avoid blocking the audience’s view. In this layout, however, we had to reinforce the bass for the first few rows. To this end we installed several units of the excellent RCF TT-052-A, which is ideally suited to this application because of its compact dimensions and sound imaging. For subwoofers, we selected the trusty RCF SUB 8006-AS.” Six units were placed in a curve along the front edge of the stage. The delay lines played a crucial role. The second and third trusses housed 12 RCF HDL 6-As in clusters of three to compensate for the incline of the seating area. The RCF TT 25-CXA were used to provide stage monitoring for the artists.
"RCF who always have an open ear for their customers"
“After careful calibration we were able to implement a sound system with optimal coverage that was highly resistant to feedback, which was quite an accomplishment considering the large number of condenser microphones. We hope that all our systems will soon be RDNet-compatible. For a complex setting like this one, you need a speaker management system that lets you control coverage, equalization and delay. For this event we fell back on an external processor.” Casadidio explained further: “This year we were also asked to provide the FOH mix. Considering the type of event and the many acoustic instruments involved (16 string and 8 wind instruments), I asked Giovanni to provide a treble range that’s as transparent and natural as possible as well as a deep, but perfectly balanced bass range. We managed to attain a very nice sound with uniform coverage across the auditorium. We were very satisfied. With these kinds of events, maximum volume isn’t the deciding factor. But the entire orchestra must be audible with the voices of the performers in the foreground, just like the festival in Sanremo.”
Even when considering only the numbers involved, the festival in Assisi was an impressive affair: around 200 moving heads with 6144 DMX channels on two lighting mixers (one as a backup), an LED wall with an area of almost 100 m2, cabling in km lengths and a complete RCF PA system with six digital mixers (two as backups). All equipment was provided with interruption-free electrical power. In case the system needed to be switched over in real-time, a second mix and backup light mixer were on standby. 128 MADI channels were used for the virtual soundcheck, as well as 15 computers and 90 audio channels via cables, 20 wireless transmission systems and a large number of DPA 4099 microphones that are perfectly suited to orchestral instruments, 21 in-ear monitoring systems for the band, wind instrumentalists, choirs and conductor including a Powerplay digital mixer for the string instruments, a variety of in-ear systems for the special guests (Ron, Roger Wright and Cat Stevens’ guitarist), four sound engineers, 3 event technicians and three lighting designers, three LED wall operators and one graphics operator as well as 8 camera operators. To crown it all, the set up included two front monitors, which were praised by all those involved. “I’d like to thank the head of production at ProSceniUm for entrusting us with the technical implementation of the festival this year, all the technicians who did a completely professional job and, above all (not mentioning any names but we all know who I mean) RCF who always have an open ear for their customers.”