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Despacito Dances with RCF TT+

Best known recently for his worldwide hit Despacito, Puerto Rican singer / songwriter Luis Fonsi started his Love + Dance World Tour on July 1st — which will end in December after 80 shows and will continue in 2018.

Despacito is the first mostly Spanish-language chart-topper in more than 20 years, following La Bamba and Macarena. His FOH sound engineer is Puerto Rican Latin Grammy Winner Yamil Martínez, with many major studio recording and live engineering credits to his name, including: Alex Campos, Ana Gabriel, Ricky Martin, and Tommy Torres to name just a few.

His band features four musicians, background vocals, guest singers, while further inputs are provided by the voice and acoustic guitar of the Artist himself — all running through 56 channels of a DiGiCo SD10, upgraded with Waves SoundGrid and UAD plugins as well as a Korg Kaoss Pad for additional live FX. Each musician uses IEM monitoring, but the stage is not entirely silent: subs are available for the musicians’ reference sound and side-fills for dancers. Monitor mixes are handled by Zoilo Rodriguez.

The sound system has varied from show to show, so we asked Yamil to provide his definition of a ‘good’ audio system. He states five fundamental points: element coupling (no comb filtering), extended frequency response, transient response accuracy, extended headroom and management software with real control of the system. “If those things are present, then it is just a matter of tuning the system correctly. I would prefer to have a beast to control than a pet that behaves nicely but doesn't have the balls to deliver when is needed,” he said.

Well-executed tuning is essential because “transducers are the weakest links in a sound system,” he says. “Having good mics, converters and speakers are crucial for overall performance. If I have to choose between sound-checking or tuning, I choose to tune! If the system is well-tuned, mixing is quicker, whereas mixing through an unoptimised PA works against the mix and, most importantly, against the music! By the way, Oscar Mora’s set-up and assistance were great. Without him, it wouldn't have been the same.”

Luis Fonsi’s show featured a full flown rig of RCF TT+ — comprising TTL55-A/TTL33-A upgraded with the new firmware which includes FiRPHASE processing and RDNet 3.0 compatibility, tuned by Oscar Mora, RCF Touring Sound Specialist. “It’s fantastic when you have a professional engineer like Yamil using the system. You feel that all your effort, time and energy to reach the best performance of the system was worth it, Yamil made a fantastic mix that night!” he says.

Yamil remarks: “I’ve used the TTL55-A in both versions. I wish I had the opportunity to do an A/B test. I was impressed by the FiRPHASE version — the hi-end is remarkably sweet. The venue was challenging, and the result was amazing!”

22.11.2017