The esteemed Belgian tenor Helmut Lotti is on a 5-month long European tour, with a NEXO GEO S12 PA, Yamaha CL5 front-of-house desk and RIVAGE PM7 for monitors, Bart Faut is FOH engineer for Lotti, and also the owner of the tour’s audio rental company, Revolution Event Support.
He says that, “GEO S12 works perfectly for us, taking into account our rooms up to 2000 people. But it is still a compact system and with 9 boxes per side + 1 LS18 sub, we can stay below 500kg on 1 motor point. The 12″ speaker provides enough torque to create a warm sound, both in theaters, and also in the classical halls!»
For the Hamburg show, limited flying points meant that a special PA setup was necessary, comprising a centre cluster of GEO S12 and an LS18, flanked by flown GEO M6, with ground-stacked GEO S12/LS18. This highlighted how versatile the tour’s audio package needed to be. “Hamburg was a typical example of why we need a very flexible system. GEO M6 is an ideal speaker to expand our GEO S12, and is mainly used as frontfill, in- & outfill. A flexible solution so that we can guarantee 100% coverage of our audience per location.»
Another important factor on the tour is how straightforward the system is to set up and, crucially, being able to rent equipment locally, if needed. “Thanks to the Dante network, it’s easy to route multichannel audio around the venues without having to worry about timing or network issues. It just works. We go from console A-D to the NXAMP inputs fully within Dante, which makes a huge difference in sound quality and ease of use. Yamaha and Nexo are also a safe bet for local rentals, which makes it easy for us to add extra equipment if we need it.”
The five month tour has seen Lotti promoting his latest album Soul Classics In Symphony with shows in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia, South Africa and Switzerland. Lotti is backed by the Golden Symphonic Orchestra – a 22-piece band, including string and brass/woodwind sections, piano, two guitarists, bass guitar, drums, percussion and backing vocalists.
For the tour, Bart Faut specified a Yamaha RIVAGE PM7 monitor console, with a CL5 mixing FoH sound. I/O is taken care of by Rio3224-D2 and Rio1608-D2 racks. The NEXO PA is a mixture of flown and ground-stacked GEO S12 and GEO M6 with LS18 and RS18 subs, powered and managed by NXAMP4X4s and NXAMP4X1s.
“I have always been a big fan of Yamaha consoles. With plenty of busses for the in-ear mixes. the Yamaha sound quality, ease of use and reliability, we knew that the RIVAGE PM7 was the console we needed. It is the ideal monitor console for this production, thanks to the large number of inputs, the amount of monitor sends and its seamless compatibility with Dante, our R-series I/O racks and CL5 at FoH. The onboard plugins are perfect for providing each performer with a very comfortable sound.”
At Front of House, the CL5 is ensuring that Lotti’s voice sounds warm and natural, blending perfectly with the music. “We try to make as broad a sound as possible, where each instrument has its place and is sufficiently transparent, but with an overall fairly low volume for Helmut’s audience, yet without sacrificing the intensity and experience of the show.”