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Sarah Brightman on tour with Electro-Voice

Texas-based tour production specialists LD Systems are currently touring with British superstar soprano Sarah Brightman and their state-of-the-art Electro-Voice sound system.

Brightman’s Symphony World Tour is currently on its 48-day/32-city North American leg, with stops including Washington DC, Mexico City, and Toronto. The show boasts stunning new technology that transforms the stage into a variety of fantasy environments, creating a brand new concert experience for the audience. The tour supports “Symphony,� a collection of all-new songs which was released in the U.S. earlier this year.

To support a production as visually stunning as Brightman’s, LD Systems sought to reinforce her show with equally spectacular sound. Robert Ausmus, Director of Production Services, LD Systems, explains how an EV X-Line system with full DSP and remote control via NetMax with FIR-Drive is raising the bar on this challenging tour.

“We use our EV rigs for our most important projects,� says Ausmus, “and the new FIR filter technology has taken the system performance to a whole new level. We used NetMax N8000 (digital DSP/matrix controller) systems with FIR-Drive for the first time at our biggest annual event—the Houston Rodeo—and were very pleased with the results. On this tour we’re running all DSP via NetMax, all managed with IRIS-Net control and monitoring software. We’ve cut down on hardware considerably—removing racks full of DSP from the equation—while optimizing the performance of an already great-sounding PA. Our investment in EV keeps evolving and keeps getting better, which is exciting. The system keeps getting more streamlined, while offering better control and performance. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about our system, both from our clients and from a number of my closest ‘critical listener’ friends in the business.�

The Symphony Tour’s sound system features members of all three EV line array families. The main PA consists of 32 Xvls (16 per side), 24 Xsub (12 per side), and 12 XLE181 (with their own custom FIR-drive presets) for front fills. Eight XLD281 provide stage side fills; 16 Xvls (eight per side) act as side arrays. The entire PA is powered by 80 P3000RL remote-control amplifiers serving up a secondary level of DSP for both time-alignment and finite EQ touch-up.

“Electro-Voice’s technical staff worked closely with my Audio Crew Chief Mike ‘Monk’ Shear to create an extremely flexible and user-friendly IRIS-Net file for the tour,â€? says Ausmus. “We’re using four NetMax N8000 units, and each one has AES-3 digital inputs cards, so we stay digital until we get to the amps. The N8000s distribute all our signals, and because we’re running the custom FIR filter for our XLE front fills, we can say for the first time that ‘everything on this tour is controlled via FIR filters.’â€?

IRIS-Net continues to make the systems tech side of touring a pleasure, streamlining system control in ways that would have been hard to believe just a few years back. Ausmus explains: “Monk has all the DSP processing running on two PCs. One is a wireless tablet, used to check and change the global system performance from any point in the venue, and one is stationary at FOH, where we he has his super-compact control center set up, and is used mostly to manage amplifier DSP.

“Colin Boland, Sarah Brightman’s FOH Engineer and a long-time X-Line user, is reported to be very pleased with the system performance,â€? Ausmus continues. “Colin has worked within Brightman’s classical-crossover genre for years, and mixes a highly finessed, highly dynamic show. These concerts are mixed at an average of 95 dB, with peaks of 105 to 108 dB. Colin appears to love the high-fidelity, highly dynamic capabilities of our X-line rig, allowing him a high-end ‘theatrical style’ show in arenas… now all made easier with FIR-Drive.â€?

System control and configuration software providing a unique set of tools with easily configured, user defined interfaces. IRIS-Net provides the ultimate in control and configuration flexibility and performance.

State-of-the art Finite Impulse Response filters and processing provide linear phase performance for sonic clarity and improved pattern control beyond all other DSP and system drive packages.

Photo: George Georgallis


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