Following the successful UK and Europe legs of their Amor & Pasión tour, Il Divo are preparing for a further 40 dates across the US and Canada between September and November 2017.
With London-based Capital Sound having supplied an Outline GTO C-12 system for Europe, Special Event Services (SES) is stepping in with its GTO C-12 to for the North America tour.
‘SES has enjoyed Outline’s GTO for years, but this was our first tour with the C-12 system,’ says company Vice President, Jason Farah. ‘I can tell you that, where GTO is unsurpassed as a large-format stadium-capable system, the C-12 is even better suited for theatre – and likely arena – deployments. Our system tech, Bryan Kiger, who was familiar with the GTO, was pleasantly surprised when he first set-up and ran initial test tracks through the C-12.’
‘Clearly, Outline has refined the Linear-Phase presets for the C-12, and the initial “out-of-the-box” experience is a sonic marvel. Bryan was impressed at how little he had to do to tune the system to a particular room. I completely concur. Outline has done a wonderful job making C-12 sound fabulous right from the start – rich, potent and with the silky smooth highs that Outline is known for. In a theatre setting, it was the most hi-fi experience, much like sitting at home listening to my reference system.
‘The system we carried for the Il Divo theatre run consisted of 12 Outline C-12 over a single Outline GTO-DF (down fill module) flown per side from the GTO Lightweight Fly Frame,’ he continues. ‘We deployed eight Outline GTO-LIPF lip fills across the front of the stage, adding two Outline Mantas on the outer edges of the stage when needed, plus four Outline LAB21-HS subwoofers per side, ground-stacked. All amplification was via Powersoft K8s, and each amp rack had a Lake LM26 loaded with the latest Linear-Phase presets for the C-12 and the other components as well. Front-end-processing was via Lake LM44. In addition to the FOH system, the stage monitoring was also all Outline - the twelve wedges were all Outline SM212s, powered by Powersoft K8s and the flown side fills were six Outline Mantas per side.
‘As to the C-12’s ease of deployment, the self-captive rigging hardware as well as the integrated angle-selectors make it as easy as it gets. Outline carried this design over from the GTO series, and that is a very good thing. It’s fast to deploy, and even faster to bring back in. Load-outs were fast and easy. Also, the new Lightweight Fly Frame has a central spreader-bar’ which allows for single-point hangs. In some theatres this is critical, as they only give you one rigging point per side. Again, OpenArray shines in accurately calculating single-point hangs with great precision.’
Prediction and simulation software is vital to ensure loudspeaker systems perform optimally, and Outline’s OpenArray was also in use on this production: ‘Of course, we used Outline’s OpenArray prediction software for all venues. I’ve used simulation software from many other brands, and I find OpenArray to be the easiest, fastest, and most accurate prediction software out there. OpenArray was invaluable in ensuring all seats in the listening space were covered. Some theatres have unusual configurations, and using OpenArray during the design phase ensured the speaker system was deployed optimally, every time.’
FOH for Il Divo was Matteo Cifelli, whose long experience with the act meant some unusual system designs: ‘An interesting choice for near-field deployment was that Matteo requested they be done in stereo pairs, such that no matter where anyone was seated on the front rows, they had stereo imaging from the GTO LIPF Lipfills,’ Farah adds. ‘Matteo then did a masterful job of mixing the shows, always ensuring a full, satisfying mix. The Il Divo audiences consistently enjoyed a high-quality show. With such a great engineer as Matteo and a top-notch system as C-12, it doesn’t get better than this.’
‘When you mix Il Divo, there is no space for improvisation.’ Cifelli says. ‘A mixture of orchestral elements, powerful drums and four vocals makes it one of the most challenging acts to mix so if the PA does not deliver quality your life is going to be hard.
‘The GTO C-12 is a speaker that delivers music, not frequencies. It is powerful, defined and exciting but mostly just easy to mix on. It delivers what you want to deliver without any artefacts, phase problems or ugly harmonics. Its lack of distortion, power and stereo imaging are unsurpassed, you feel like the singers are there with you. No matter where you are and how many boxes you have, the consistency of your mix is always there. The only problem with this system is that you get spoiled and when you don’t have it, it’s hard to go back.’
‘Having worked with Il Divo for some 12 years, we were delighted to hear that Matteo would once again be at the helm for FOH duties,’ says Capital Sound General Manager, Paul Timmins. ‘Having made the Outline investment in early 2016 we knew that Matteo would request the system for the 2016 tour that would start in May in Europe before crossing the Atlantic to tour there later in the year.
‘Matteo was delighted to be involved with the design of the system with Capital Sound’s Robin Conway, with the tour subsequently being supplied a full Outline system including four hangs of GTO C-12 cabinets (40 C-12 and four GTO-DF downfills) plus sixteen GTO subs with eight flown and eight more on the ground in cardioid mode. The system was finished off with eight Outline LIPF-082 Lip fills. Il Divo also have a requirement for a wide coverage flown side fill as not all the band members use IEMs, so the Outline Mantas was selected for this with six cabinets per side. The system ticked all boxes for the engineer, artist and truck space, with the compactness of cabinets and the Powersoft X8 amplification. The entire system was driven by just two 12U-high amplifier racks per side containing three eight-channel Powersoft X8 amplifiers per rack.’
‘Following the success of the tour it was collectively decided that Capital should discuss US tour support with one of our partner companies there. I looked at various options that included shipping our system, but also at what options were available for partnering as Capital’s preferred policy is to work with local support where possible. SES were the best placed supplier as it was Matteo’s wish to have the GTO C-12 system and of course they also have the necessary inventory and experience with Outline.’
‘Capital worked with production to obtain the quotes for what was needed and then connected them with SES to ensure that the tour continuity and pricing was maintained,’ Timmins oncludes. ‘The 2016 Il Divo tour delivered exceptional audio on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to a talented engineer and fabulous Italian technology.’