Lee Pepper at the SAC
Composer Michel Legrand was recently honored in a star-studded tribute held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas). The event was filmed for a PBS concert special and featured a 66-piece orchestra, as well as performances by Dionne Warwick, George Benson, Melissa Manchester, Frank Sinatra Jr., Andy Williams, Jerry Lewis and others. Engineer Lee Pepper and his company, RRS Audio, were contracted to provide the live sound system design, which included a d&b audiotechnik J Series rig (main L/R/C, “outer” left and right, subs, front-fills) from Las Vegas–based 3G Productions.
The SAC virtual mixing, software-based system was in a host computer located backstage. This provided the engine for both the FOH and monitor mixes; FOH was controlled via a remote computer. The FOH position also used a 16-channel fader “surface” for hands-on adjustments. In addition to the myriad zones, mixes and feeds from FOH and monitors, SAC also facilitated 62-track recording of rehearsals. The ability to play back rehearsal recordings as a virtual orchestra allowed Pepper and Bob Lentini, SAC company founder and monitor mixer for this event, to walk the room with a wireless Netbook and tweak the house mix after the orchestra and other performers left. Lentini was also able to mix down a rehearsal segment and provide an audio mix that was used for the show’s opening video segment. Using the Netbook, Lentini was able to sit next to Legrand at his piano and make real-time adjustments to the monitors per his suggestions and needs. “Being able to freely roam the stage with my Netbook was a great advantage in setting the monitors. Standing side-by-side with the stars of the show was awesome for me,” Lentini says.