This year once again the Santa Giuliana Arena hosted the main stage of the internationally recognized Umbria Jazz show, that in 2015 reached a positive record in terms of attendance and tickets sold. The audio system for the Arena was developed with RCF products from the TT+ Series, especially conceived for big live events.
The performance by Lady Gaga with one of the “great voices” of American jazz, Tony Bennett, on stage at Santa Giuliana on 15 July, was one of the main events at the festival. The collaboration between the two singers originated from a friendship and artistic partnership that began in 2011 and led in 2014 to the release of the Cheek to Cheek album, winner of the Grammy Award. The concert attracted a very diverse audience, with long-standing jazz aficionados and young fans of the eccentric popstar, that gathered under the same sky in the Santa Giuliana Arena. As Lady Gaga herself declared on Umbria Jazz’s stage: “You might be wondering what I’m doing here”. However the thousands of fans that arrived in the city of Perugia were surprised and enchanted by a show in which the duo performed together or individually, offering a unique interpretation of some of the best-known American and international jazz songs.
We interviewed Michele Mongiello, PA manager of Santa Giuliana Arena, asking his opinion about the audio system, which was composed of 2 clusters of RCF TTL55-A (14 units each) as main reinforcement, 12 units of TTL33-A II as infill, 18 TTS56-A subwoofers on the ground and 6 units of TTL33-A II as sidefill and lipfill, for an optimal coverage of the first rows and sides.
The stage was also all RCF, with 8 units of TTP5-A and 2 TTS26-A subwoofers as stage sidefill, plus 16 TT25-SMA stage monitors — and as drumfill, 2 TT2-A speakers and 2 TTS26-A subwoofers.
D: Michele, how did you find the RCF system?
“I was positively impressed by the whole TT+ Series. The system is practical to put together, easy to use and simple to manage thanks to the RDNet system. The sound is nice and rich.”
D: Tell us about the way you used RDNet.
“I think it’s a great advantage. It is a really nice tool that allows access to each single speaker for equalisation, delay or other necessary adjustments. It is very useful when working in areas as big as this, because it allows the multiplication of lines and signals to be avoided. Here at Santa Giuliana Arena we set the subs in cardioid configuration and digitally delayed them, creating a 100-degree arc. Moreover I used RDNet to slightly correct the speaker functionality, bearing in mind the distance that they had to cover, because high-end frequencies tend to be less crisp in these warm and windy days.”
D: A wide range of diverse artists performed on stage, such as Italian band Subsonica, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, Italian composer Paolo Conte, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, just to cite a few. What adjustments did sound engineers ask for?
“It is common for each sound engineer to have his specific needs and preferences. For instance the sound engineer of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga asked for an equalization on the high frequencies of the frontfill, to darken them slightly.”
D: How did you get on with RCF TT25-SMA stage monitors?
“I had already used them on other occasions. I am satisfied, they were very flat and I managed to get the right frequency response by just opening the channel.”
The audio project was developed by the CEO of Reference Laboratory and technical manager of audio and lighting on the three outdoor stages at Umbria Jazz, Angelo Tordini, together with RCF engineers. The common goal was to provide a very accurate result, ensuring an excellent sound quality to all seats at Santa Giuliana Arena.
“During the first night, when Paolo Conte was on stage, the RCF system performed very well with the musical texture of the composer, which was characterized by acoustic sounds and precise melodies,” states Mr. Tordini. “Then, with the electronic band Subsonica, the style changed noticeably, and kept on varying during the following nights, with Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, and many more. The RCF TT+ Series system proved to be versatile, powerful and high-quality, and was always up to the requirements of the artists on stage.”
The 2015 edition of Umbria Jazz ended with a bang, and the delighted organisers stating it had been a record year. For RCF the biggest success lays in the satisfaction of Umbria Jazz’s public and in meeting the the demands of artists who performed on the prestigious Santa Giuliana Arena stage. According to Herbie Hancock, Umbria Jazz is “the place where one should be at this time of the year”.
RCF will take full advantage of the sound demo possibilities on offer at this year’s adjoining BPM DJ & Electronic Music Production Event and PRO Performance & Venue Technology Shows, at Birmingham NEC (September 12-14).
In BPM’s PA Experience sound demonstration area — set up as a purpose built gig sized area — they will turn on both EVOX 12 and ART735A.
EVOX 12 is the most powerful line source in its class, with built-in 1400W power amplifier. The top section has eight high performance neodymium 4” full range transducers with a phase plug while the 15” subwoofer delivers powerful low frequency sound to reinforce a dance party or kick drum of a live band. Despite its high performance EVOX 12 is compact and easy to transport.
The ART 735-A is also unique in its category, the titanium dome, 3” voice coil and neo-compression driver offering unique vocal clarity and projection while the 15in woofer offers a linear response and precise deep, low frequency control, powered by DSP-controlled 1400W amplifier.
RCF themselves will be based at booth # F021 in the PRO zone. Meanwhile in the PRO Audio Demo Space RCF will demonstrate its classy TTL6-A, a three-way line source which was added to the Theatre & Touring range earlier this year. It is equipped with 2 x 12” woofers for bass, 4 x 6.5” midrange and a 2” compression driver with waveguide for directivity.
Other new speakers that can be seen in static form at their booth will be the ART732-A multi-purpose full range speaker with punchy bass. The large compression driver with 3” voice coil enables great HF projection for larger or crowded venues.
Further products from the TT+ range, MkII versions of the TT22-A and TT25-A, will also be shown. The former is a flexible, high definition system housing high quality transducers (including 12” neodymium woofer) and an 1100W Class D amp, and the latter contains a similar power source, but with a 15” neodymium woofer.
Finally, RCF will present its new M series digital M18 wi-fi mixer, launched earlier this year, which marks a real breakthrough for the company.
What do Benny Benassi and RCF have in common? Besides the passion for sound and entertainment, the famous DJ and the historic company share the same origin – the town of Reggio Emilia, RCF headquarters and birthplace of the artist.
On the night of 1 July the whole town danced to the music of the audio visual show that was born from the collaboration between Benny Benassi and RCF. The DJ performed in the beautiful scenario of the central square and façade of the Valli theatre, in the historical center of Reggio Emilia. The open-air concert attracted thousands of people of all ages.
The DJ set was amplified with an audio system developed by RCF with the products of the TT+ range. The beating heart of the system was the three-way active line array TTL33-A, winner of the Readers’ Choice Awards 2013 sponsored by ProSoundWeb and Live Sound international magazines, perfect for the needs of live performances and outdoor concerts. During the show Benny Benassi used the RCF Iconica headphones, offering deep bass reproduction and excellent comfort.
The night was not just dedicated to art and entertainment, but it was also part of an initiative aimed at supporting One Drop, a no profit organisation in the field of water emergency. A video mapping on the façade of the Valli theatre completed the DJ set with a visual support of great impact.
Watch the beginning of the show here.
The annual open-air Open House festival is one of the main events in Trinidad and Tobago’s music scene. Featuring international and local gospel artists, it is held in the capital city Port of Spain, at the Urban Ministries venue – a beautiful guest house and place for events.
The audio system was entirely RCF for the second year in a row. System designer Mr. Victor Downer, of local company Audioworks, used RCF TT+ and D Line Series equipment to cover the area where live exhibitions where attended by thousands of people every night.
Products used were, on each side, 16 units of TTL55-A three-way line array and 12 units of TTS56-A active subwoofer. As side fill Audioworks installed 4 pieces of HDL20-A active line array (winner of the ProSoundWeb & Live Sound International Readers’ Choice Awards 2014), and 2 pieces of SUB 8006 subwoofer on each side. 8 units of TT45-SMA were used as stage monitors. Finally, a separated VIP area was provided with 4 pieces of TTL11A active column speaker.
Mr. Downer used the RCF Shape Designer and RDNet softwares to correctly shape sound beams and determine the right angles in order to cover the whole area with the right dispersion. Rayaz Aneel Abdool, sound engineer with twenty-year experience and owner of local RCF distributor Shammi Professional Sound, states: “We love the Touring and Theatre Series. When I first heard it, many years ago, I was impressed by its performance and I thought I’d definitely introduce it to the Trinidad & Tobago market”. Products were also chosen for their handiness of installation, high efficiency and clear voice reproduction and intelligibility. The system will be soon used again by Audioworks for a large jazz concert in Trinidad.
The line-up of Open House festival included Atlanta-based rapper KB, Canadian songwriter Hillary Jane, and Trinidadian artists Positive, Mention & Bass, Samuel Dyer as well as many others. Concert organizers were so positively impressed with the sound system that they already re-contracted Audioworks for next year, and wish to use RCF equipment again.
The historic Italian company RCF will be a main actor in the famous international music festival held in the Umbria region.
RCF will provide the audio system for Umbria Jazz, coming to its 42nd year in 2015, and still not ceasing to amaze the public with the prestige of the artists involved and the uniqueness of places where concerts and music events are held for 10 days.
Angelo Tordini – CTO of Umbria Jazz outdoor stages and CEO of Reference Laboratory –this year decided to turn to national companies for the choice of the audio system. The decision came upon RCF, that offers an outstanding combination of technology and high-level know-how with passion and attention to details. With his longstanding professional experience at Umbria Jazz, he chose and developed the project for a tailor-made audio system installation for piazza 4 Novembre – 4th November Square, the beating heart of Perugia – and the festival’s main location in the large area of the sports complex Arena Santa Giuliana.
RCF has been developing and manufacturing audio systems for more than six decades and specializes in the reinforcement of live performances and big concerts, including stadia and large-size sports arenas. The Italian company Reference Laboratory will provide the cables for the outdoor stages of the festival and an effective wiring for RCF line arrays and stage monitors installed at piazza 4 Novembre and Arena Santa Giuliana.
We hope to see you all in Perugia from 10th to 19th July, to spend some great nights with high quality music and unforgettable emotions.
A half-hour drive far from Lisbon, the Costa da Caparica is one of the favourite spots both for tourists visiting the Portuguese capital and city dwellers looking for a one-day escape to the beach. With its 30 km of sandy golden shore lined with eucalyptus trees and animated with restaurants and bars, the area is busy from May to September and is also a lively spot at night.
The fancy bar “Praia – Sea, Salt and Pepper” is the newest venue in Costa da Caparica and has attracted the attention of many locals, including the famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo. Praia was recently opened by a group of young entrepreneurs and it is conceived as a beach bar and gourmet restaurant, that turns into a night lounge and party spot after sunset. A wooden staircase a few steps away leads to the restaurant, a 900 msq elegant lounge decorated with modern furniture and a vertical garden.
Paulo Andrade from Garrett Audiovisuais, a Lisbon-based sales and installation company for sound and light systems and RCF distributor for about 25 years, was the consultant and designer for Praia’s sound equipment.
“The owners of Praia already had an old system but it was unsuitable for their present needs, so we decided to use a system made of 4 units of EVOX 8,” Andrade tells. The lounge is completely open air and the sound of the ocean is loud, which contributes to the atmosphere of the place in quiet times, but is not ideal when DJs are pumping the party at night.
Project designer Andrade organized an on-site demo. “The 4 units of EVOX 8, placed at the corners of the lounge, create the right acoustic environment and overcome the ocean’s sound. Thanks to their constant directivity of 120°x30°, the whole space is perfectly covered,” he explains. Now Praia’s customers feel embraced and surrounded by the music, wherever they are standing or sitting, for a full immersion in the funky vibe.
EVOX 8 proves to be the perfect solution for the venue, since it gathers all features required by Praia’s owners: quality of sound with excellent bass, small and discrete equipment size, and high power.
The events programme includes some prominent DJs of the local scene, thus it was essential to ensure high SPL and good quality of the audio equipment. Easiness of set-up and lightweight were also key requirements, because the system has to be dismantled every night, when the bar closes. With a socket in the back side of the sub to accomodate the top column and a pole mount that is easy to screw on the sub, EVOX was developed by RCF keeping in mind unique portability and a very smart package as its main design characteristics.
The customer is more than satisfied with the solution provided by Garrett Audiovisuais. “Our initial idea was to have a resident system and then rent a more powerful one whenever we would throw a party,” tells Mr. Spinola, one of the owners of Praia. “With EVOX we don’t need to rent anything, because it is perfect for all situations, from quiet chill-out evenings to big parties with DJs. This bass is amazing!”.
RCF has recently provided the sound system of the spa in the historic villa of Abegg Palace in Turin, Italy, and the thermal resort of San Pellegrino, near Bergamo, with an area of more than 6000 mq. Both facilities belong to QC Terme, a company born in 1982 and now including some of the most important thermal destinations of the Italian peninsula.
RCF has designed both the music and the evacuation systems with a detailed outline of the solution’s architecture and the speakers’ positioning on the map. Through accurate acoustic simulations it has been possible to ensure sound pressure and intelligibility levels in accordance with the current regulation’s parameters, and to satisfy the customer’s needs for music diffusion in the various areas of the resorts. Thanks to the EASE 4.3 simulation software, that uses 3D modeling to reproduce the buildings, RCF has virtually reconstructed the architecture of the main areas simulating the acoustic behaviour and the final result with great precision.
The two resorts offer a highly relaxing and restoring experience, thus the presence of background music is an essential element. QC Terme had required a system able to manage multiple sources, with dedicated functions and tracks according to the type of ambience. The customer also wanted to provide each setting with a remote control for volume regulation, with the possibility to use different audio sources, such as mp3 readers. According to QC Terme’s requirements, RCF has worked separately on each area devoted to well-being, setting a context-specific system for the diffusion of background music in each area.
The whole system is managed and equalized by a digital matrix in the control room, that is also the starting point of power cables for the speakers’ connection and signal cables for the remote controls. The equipment chosen includes DM 61 and MQ 80P two-way speakers, allowing a very natural and open sound reproduction, ideal for background music diffusion in outdoor environments or humid spaces. The horn-loaded MQ 80P is particularly efficient and very appropriate for audio systems in large areas, also in the open air. Both speakers feature the IP 55 protection, indicating an excellent level of isolation towards liquids and solids.
RCF has a long-standing experience in providing electroacoustic solutions for emergency evacuation. The company has provided QC Terme’s resorts with a system compliant with regulatory standards, that guarantees total priority on music and high intelligibility of alarm messages in case of emergency.
The city of Tallinn is carrying out a project of revitalization of its former Soviet residential neighborhoods. The stunning and innovative Tondiraba Ice Arena, seat of the World Junior Figure Skating Championship in March 2015, was conceived and built last year with the aim of providing the Lasnamäe district with an avant-garde facility of great functional and architectural value.
Tondiraba’s acoustic quality is outstanding – the whole ceiling is made of wooden beams and sound absorbing materials, thus creating very good environmental conditions. The sound system of this new multi-purpose sports arena, with an area of more than 20000 mq, 5840 permanent seats and 1780 additional chairs for concerts, was provided by the local company Event Center with RCF audio products.
The arena needed a complete array system able to reproduce both speech and music clearly even at high sound pressure levels and ensure excellent standards of weather resistance, because humidity inside the building can become quite severe. Simulations were arranged by the distributor using EASE software.
Event Center installed 10 clusters in the main hall, each consisting of three RCF P4228 loudspeakers coupled with one P8015-S subwoofer. The clusters are directed towards the audience and used for broadcasting announcements and playing music, both from live mic input and playback. Eight additional P2110-T speakers ensure full coverage to the 30x60 metres playing field in the main hall.
Furthermore all practice rinks and the curling hall are equipped with 8 units of P5228-L two-way speakers and 15 units of RCF TT22 WP, a special weatherproof version that is adapted to open-air environments.
The distributor company designed the audio system of Tondiraba Ice Arena with the contribution of RCF Engineering Support Group. “We won the competitive tender called by Merko construction company with a bid based upon RCF products. Event Center met all criteria for sound coverage and resistance to humidity”, said project manager Priit Hinnov. “The P Series is compact, light-weight and weatherproof. With its 110° horizontal and 60° vertical coverage angle, the P4228 model guarantees perfect coverage of the whole area.”
The system in the main arena is powered by 28 RCF HPS 2500 amplifiers installed in five racks, that allow a separate control of the various parts. “Being able to control independently the various zones where the audience is seated, and having a separate amplification for the playing areas, is extremely important in a venue where various activities are performed at the same time”, Hinnov explains.
According to Hinnov, the building will become a major new facility for the country, not only for sports events, but also for concerts and conferences. This is one of the reasons why good intelligibility is a key feature of the chosen equipment.
The Tondiraba Ice Arena is owned by Tallinn City Sports and Youth Department. The new audio system made its debut with the recent World Junior Figure Skating Championship; members of the International Skating Union, which organized the competition, remarked that they were very satisfied with the new sound.
Tondiraba’s programme for the upcoming months is full of sports events and concerts, that will be supported by RCF’s installed sound equipment. In recent years the Italian company has been increasingly focused in providing customized solutions for large-size international arenas and stadia, with growing know-how and notable references, such as Signal Iduna Park (Germany), Baku Stadium (Azerbaijan), Wembley Stadium (UK), Juventus Stadium (Italy), and many others.
- More information about Tondiraba Ice Arena:
After 12 years of reconstruction and renovation works, the beautiful Sarajevo City Hall and National Library finally re-opened in May 2014. RCF took part in the process of giving new life to this antique edifice of great artistic and historic value, providing a complete audio solution for conference rooms and banquet halls with Forum 9000 and Forum 6000 systems, L-PAD 12CX mixing console and CS 3082 slim-line column speakers.
Sarajevo City Hall, locally called “Vijecnica”, was first opened in 1896 as the seat of the National Library. The architectural project is a reflection of the city’s history and atmosphere, with Eastern and Western styles blended together in a unique and intriguing outcome, as often occurs in the Balkans – an area that is particularly rich in cultural and artistic variety, with influences from many different traditions resulting in a fascinating East-meets-West feel. The National Library was burned to the ground in 1992, causing the loss of rare books and antique manuscripts of priceless value. It was then re-built as similarly as possible to the original construction, both in terms of architecture and interior design, and finally re-opened in 2014 with full functionality. Today it serves as the City Hall and seat of the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, hosting major institutional events and representing one of the main touristic landmarks in a country where tourism is growing steadily.
The City Hall’s acoustics is quite complex and full of reverberation, due to the its unusual architecture – it has a triangular ground plan and a main central area of hexagonal shape. Being the seat of two prominent national institutions, the building had to be provided with a high-reliability cutting-edge AV solutions, that were set up by Haris Sadikovic of Rasa company. Products chosen were RCF Forum 9000 and Forum 6000 conference systems, L-PAD 12 CX mixer and CS 3082 slim-line column speakers. Sadikovic, that has been working with RCF products for more than 15 years, explains the reasons behind the products’ choice: “The City Hall required a reliable system that could be adapted and customized according to the varying needs of each meeting, so we chose Forum 9000 because of its functional richness and operational stability. We equipped the central conference room with 71 microphones, plus the software for conference management. We also installed the RCF digital voting and recording softwares, that allow to set the voting parameters in totally personalized ways, and have several additional functions.” Indeed, thanks to Forum 9000 the city council members can put each speaker’s intervention on digital record, broadcast audio files, enjoy simultaneous translation and multiple streaming. All microphone sets feature a well-advanced neodymium loudspeaker that is automatically attenuated in volume whenever the neighbouring mics are turned on, thus reducing acoustic feedback and providing the council chamber with exceptional sound clarity.
A secondary conference room, where smaller meetings are held, was equipped by Rasa with 41 units of Forum 6000 microphones, a system designed to provide excellent versatility for small-to-medium council chambers. The City Hall’s banquet room also needed an audio solution, but, as Sadikovic explains, “In this case it was not just a matter of acoustic quality, especially in terms of speech reproduction, but also of aesthetic result. We chose RCF CS 3082 slim-line column speakers because they have a discrete visual impact that blends perfectly into the room’s thick multi-coloured pictorial decoration. I would say that they are almost invisible. At the same time they provide a clear and intelligible sound, and very natural reproduction.” Finally, a L-PAD 12CX mixing console was included in the system in order to handle multiple signals.
RCF has been often the AV choice of city councils and local governments. The company’s solutions satisfy the needs of congress halls, parliaments, boards of directors and conventions regardless of their size, with dedicated product lines for small, medium or large conferences, and the highly specialized guidance of the internal Engineering Support Group. Local authorities in the UK have also recently introduced the company’s digital conferencing and voting systems into their council chambers, praising Forum 9000 for its flexibility, cost-effectiveness and easiness of streaming.
When the Stamford Corn Exchange Theatre in Lincolnshire took the decision to invest in a permanently installed active line array system for its 399-seat auditorium, it opted for an RCF HDL10-A from locally based LUX Technical.
The Theatre, which was built within the shell of the original Corn Exchange Hall in the Victorian era, needed a versatile system to handle its varied programme ranging from stand-up comedy to local am-dram and full blown rock concerts. LUX Technical bid successfully for the contract which was issued by Theatre Manager Judith Mackie. Having experience LUX Technical’s larger HDL20-A rental system on many occasions, her team had been fully aware of the system’s coverage capabilities.
“We decided to install a permanent system because when touring companies arrive with their own production they often carry enormous speakers. We wanted to make it easier and quicker to load in and load out by providing a flexible house system and encourage them to play through that,” she said.
And it has clearly been working, as according to the Corn Exchange’s assistant tech, Jack Milligan, “Everyone who has heard the speakers says what a difference they have made — they sound absolutely brilliant.”
The Theatre also needed to achieve best value as it is run almost entirely by volunteers, and since the start of the new millennium has been administered under a charitable company (Corn Exchange Theatre Company) — set up to support the arts in Stamford.
The journey to discover the best solution had been driven largely by the Corn Exchange Theatre’s technical director Roger Bradshaw. In conjunction with technical manager, Robert Mackie they evaluated a ground-stacked version of RCF’s popular D-Line series and gave it the thumbs up.
With its onboard 1400 Watt Peak Power 2-way digital amplifier and powerful DSP, the HDL10-A not only met the criteria — but also provided a more manageable and less obtrusive piece of real estate to fly over the proscenium arch. Three HDL10-A elements have been hung each side along with an HDL15-AS flyable sub.
Providing front row infills are a pair of RCF’s TT052-A. Equipped with two 5” neodymium woofers and a 1” compression driver, these are ideal where the audio beam needs be directed towards a specific area, such as the front row seating.
According to LUX Technical’s managing director, Peter Gibbons, his company has been a fan of RCF’s D-Line composite line arrays since taking over Stewart Duckworth’s Chameleon Pro Audio & Lighting Ltd (who had been first UK customer for the HDL20-A).
“We have done many shows with the HDL20-A but the smaller HDL10-A is also a super system, offering flexibility and great value for money. We were confident in this solution and it has fitted perfectly into the acoustic space, and packs a real punch.
“It’s a nice and easy system to install and operate, with the flying hardware and the advantage of being able to fly the sub; it’s also very lightweight considering it has all the amps on board. Overall, it’s a superb piece of kit.”
The HDL10-A rig is the centrepiece of a larger audio fit-out and Peter Gibbons observes that because it is a modular system, when additional bass is required, the theatre can simply add a couple of additional HDL matched subs from LUX Technical’s hire stock.
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