French singer/songwriter Francis Cabrel has put on a benefit concert at the Palais des Congrès in Paris for the musicians in New Orleans. Once the extent of the damage in New Orleans became clear, Cabrel wasted no time in creating the non-profit organization SOS Musiciens de la Nouvelle Orleans with friend and fellow musician Zachary Richard with the sole objective of putting together a benefit concert in aid of the city's community of musicians.
At the heart of the system, and by special request of Cabrel's longtime front-of-house engineer, Ludovic Lanen, was an InnovaSon Sy80 digital mixing console. Lanen first came across InnovaSon at the Jazz a Vienne festival during the summer. Intrigued by the concept and capabilities of InnovaSon consoles, he opted for an Sy48 for Cabrel's mini-tour of cultural centers in his native region of southwest France in support of his association, Les voix du Sud. Lanen was so taken by the Sy48 that he made a special request to try out an Sy80 for the SOS Musiciens de Nouvelle Orleans benefit, even though there was already a digital console in permanent residence at the Palais des Congrès.
Front-of-house engineer Ludovic Lanen
"It wasn't a difficult decision," says InnovaSon's Hervé De Caro, with a smile. "In the first place, a personal request from someone like Ludovic Lanen is difficult to ignore, and secondly, it was for a very good cause, so we were pleased to help out."
Lanen spent two days in rehearsal at Studio Hocco in Vitry running through the show and getting to know the Sy80. "We needed everything to be as accessible as possible, because the changeovers between artists were both fast and frequent; we had some 20 artists over the course of two-and-a-half hours," explains De Caro. "I optimized the configuration according to Ludo's requests, making particular use of the Xfad function, and then basically stood aside to see how he handled it.
“I have to say,” he continues, “I think we were both pretty impressed: During the course of the two days, he hardly asked me a single question, which I took as a huge compliment. He won't tolerate mediocrity in any shape or form, so I was pleased to see that he found the console intuitive, easy to use and transparent."
Lanen agrees: "Cette console est magique! It's fabulous to mix on, and the audio quality is superb, both in a live environment and for recording live. The beauty is that it can all be done in the digital domain from the same control surface and still leave you with enough resources to handle your show and deal with the unexpected should it arise.”
For further information on InnovaSon, visit www.innovason.com.