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Carlos Vives’ FOH Engineer, Mauricio Vilar, Chooses Adamson Energia System

Carlos Vilar performs at Fiestas del 20 de Enero in Sincelejo, Colombia

Five-time Grammy Award winner Carlos Vives took to the stage in Sincelejo, Colombia, for Fiestas del 20 de Enero. The outdoor event was held on Friday January 18, 2013 at Estadio Mochila, and presented by the City Of Sincelejo.

An estimated 12,000 fans filled the grounds to see “Vallenato” style performances by Vives and other artists including KVRASS, Maluma, and Alfredo Gutierrez. C. Vilar Amplificacion Professional provided the complete sound, staging and lighting for the event.

Mauricio Vilar, who has been Vives’ front-of-house engineer for the past four years, chose to use Adamson’s E15 Line Source Array for Vives’ performance. Twenty-four Adamson E15s were flown above the stage in addition to eight SpekTrix boxes as front fills. To fill out the low end, Vilar used 16 stacked T21 subs with eight boxes placed to the left and right of the stage. Stage monitors were Adamson M15s. He powered the boxes with Lab.gruppen amplifiers, and controlled them with a Dolby Lake Processor.

“The E15s were chosen this time because it is easiest for me to get the best and most accurate mix,” Vilar says. “Most sound systems I listen to, sound decent for the first 30 meters; after that, sound simply gets fussy, not to mention if you walk horizontally.”

Carlos Vives at soundcheck

“[Carlos Vives’] show is loud and the music is very dynamic. It requires a powerful and coherent sound system in order to generate the feelings that the artist wants the audience feel. If the band is playing a slow ballad, we set it back; if it’s a Latin hit, I will demand more energy from the system. I always try to know in advance what kind of audience we’re catering to. The E15s gave us enough headroom to get a great mix and I was glad to have such a powerful system.”

When selecting a system for a large event such as this one, Cesar Vilar, owner of C.Vilar (who also took on double duties as Systems Tech for the event), says that he primarily looks for the system’s performance: “Even coverage, great polar response, and it has to be easy to set up so it doesn’t take hours and hours.” With time being a key factor, both Vilars were pleased when the entire system was up in the air in less than 30 minutes.

For the setup, Vilar used Adamson’s Shooter software, Version 2.8.5. He describes it as “extremely similar to the computer prediction.” To accurately tune the system, Vilar uses Rational Acoustics’ Smaart V. 7.4, a wireless measurement system.

Mauricio Vilar says he uses some tube processors in his outboard/effects rack for the main vocal, as well as multichannel effects. He mixed this particular performance on an Avid VENUE Profile and recorded the show using a Pro Tools|HD system. “I am half a live sound engineer, and half studio engineer. I spend a lot of time in the studio listening in detail to every instrument and every song. This is how I realize what microphone techniques to use, how to improve the show.”

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