LIVE SOUND - GOING LARGE
Gearhouse ensured there was a spectacle befitting the concept as Cassper Nyovest proved that a local artist could sell out large venues just as easily as international performers. James Ling reports
Having become the first South African artist to sell out 20,000 capacity Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, Cassper Nyovest set himself an even bigger challenge as he aimed to fill the 40,000 seat Orlando Stadium. As part of his plan to entice thousands of fans to fill the stadium, the rapper promised a world-class production. The job of ensuring he could deliver on this promise from a technical point of view fell to Gearhouse.
‘We have a long-standing business relationship with stage and production designers, Formative, and on events of this scale they know they can trust us to come up with the goods,’ explains Gearhouse project manager Eyal Yehezkely. ‘We delivered the original Casper Nyovest event Fill up the Dome with them, so it was a natural progression for us to take this one on too.’
‘The planning for Fill up Orlando started shortly after the successful Fill up the Dome event,’ furthers Richard Baker, MD of LEDVision. ‘Grant Orchard from Formative has an in-depth understanding of the LED equipment we stock and sent us through some ideas which we collaborate on and ultimately put into action.’
The look for the show was designed by Formative with Gearhouse implementing factors such as the Lighting, LED and motion control systems into the staging. ‘Formative are truly gifted when it comes to concepts and designs,’ says Robert Grobler, Gearhouse’s Lighting Designer. ‘I am always inspired by the ideas and concepts people can come up with. Formative started with the Stageco roof and populated it according to what they thought would look great creatively. The biggest challenge, as always, is making it work and that is where our experience comes to the fore. It is just a matter of the matching the dream to the budget and most importantly making it work whilst still maintaining a very safe environment – 38 tons of technical kit is no joke.’
Having covered a number of high-profile events at the stadium, Gearhouse called on its experience of the space when it came to the audio design. ‘We are privileged to have been able to do quite a few jobs in Orlando Stadium in the past, including the FIFA 2010 Kick off Concert, so we are very happy to say that we are comfortable in our PA design and placement,’ states Gearhouse senior audio technician, Llewellyn Reinecke. ‘The PA was designed using L-Acoustics’ Soundvision, to ensure maximum smooth coverage for the audience.’
‘You have to be very accurate with your coverage in a stadium,’ he continues. ‘Where Soundvision plays a vital role is to reach your audience with laser accurate precision – as well as minimising overshooting, so to reduce that “hollow” stadium sound from the reflections.’
The resulting system comprised left-right hangs of 12 K1 per side with three Arcs II per side as down-fill and a further six flown per side for the extreme L-R. Delays called on three hangs of eight V-Dosc while the solution was completed with 12 115XT HiQ active speakers. Low end reinforcement saw 32 SB28 subs ground stacked with six K1SB flown behind each of the main hangs and four SB18s.
At the other end of the signal chain, a Shure wireless mic solution was called into action. This comprised eight UR2 Beta58 handheld transmitters, four UR1 beltpacks, six UR4D dual channel receivers and a UA845-UA distribution amplifier. Shure was also called upon for the pair of PSM1000 six- way in-ear system.
Avid Venue Profile 48 consoles were called into action for both FOH and monitors while BSS AR-133 DI boxes completed the audio line up.
The audio was only a small part of the overall setup, with even more attention paid to the lighting, LED, trussing and motorised rigging elements. ‘We most likely put more LED elements into the stadium on this show than any other show we’ve done there before,’ says Mr Baker. ‘A major challenge was in moving the rig during the show. Several tons of screen moving over artists’ heads can be quite a daunting task and had to be carefully planned and thought out. The sound was great but with the sheer bombardment of visual content perfectly timed to the music added to the spectacle.’
‘One of the important elements of this job was to ensure the lighting and video tied in perfectly without one overpowering the other at all,’ furthers Mr Grobler. ‘Then of course there were the moving elements of the show and working within those parameters. Eighty per cent of the elements of this show were moving so planning was very important. It took an entire day just to plan the moving elements of this show with regard to screen and truss positions for each song and what would move when and where. Formative planned it perfectly and to the second, bearing in mind that the dynamic weight loading in the roof needed to be taken into consideration for each move as one LED Cube was just over 4 tons when it was moving.’
Reflecting on the event, the Gearhouse team is clearly ecstatic to have been part of this unique event. ‘It all worked fantastically,’ smiles Mr Yehezkely. ‘There were no unforeseeable snags, the stadium worked well and the level of commitment for production and technical team was fantastic. Most importantly, the client is very happy.’
At the climax of the concert Cassper Nyovest announced that having filled up the Ticketpro Dome and Orlando Stadium, his next challenge would be to fill the larger FNB Stadium. The Gearhouse team will be primed to see what creative challenges this concert will provide.
Story reprinted courtesy James Ling, ProAudio MEA, http://www.proaudio-central.com/ Photo Courtesy Formative
Feb 24, 2017