The recent Primo Maggio festival in Piazza San Giovanni, Rome, called on no fewer than six Allen & Heath dLive audio mixing systems to serve more than 30 major artists – including Gianna Nannini and Fatboy Slim, and a 50-piece orchestra – performing to a giant crowd and a huge live TV audience.

Primo MaggioWith 36 acts, short changeover times and a live broadcast to the RAI national TV channel, Primo Maggio featured a revolving dual-stage set-up, with each stage having its own dLive system comprising an S5000 surface and DM48 MixRack at FOH and an S7000 surface with DM64 MixRack and DX32 I/O expansion for monitors. Both M-Dante and GigaAce cards were used for audio distribution.

Specified by leading contractor ABC, supported by Arcadia Digital and Exhibo SpA, the set-up also used a further two dLive systems, comprising C3500 and C1500 surfaces with DM48 MixRacks, for the complex communications requirements between stage and FOH.

Additionally, an Allen & Heath SQ-6 was used as a matrix mixer for the wedge and side fill monitors that were situated off the revolving stages. To facilitate broadcasters’ requirements, the main FOH mix from each stage, plus announcements and playback tracks from the VT programme were managed by the ‘central’ dLive comms/continuity system.

Given the complexity of the event, Exhibo Pro Audio Manager Roberto Marchesi believes that the power and flexibility of the dLive system was key to its success: ‘The dLive was chosen for its enormous capabilities including built-in I/O, patching and split signal abilities, and Dante. dLive’s user-friendly GUI interface and incredible sound make it the perfect console for this kind of event.’

‘It was great to see how quickly the house and visiting engineers took to the dLive with very little training needed,’ says Allen & Heath Live Sound Specialist Léon Phillips, who was also supporting the event. ‘With no need for external processing, the mixes both on-stage, and in the house sounded full and clear. The ability to patch tielines through formats effortlessly won us many new friends that day. The stage organisation and changeovers were managed superbly and were a credit to the long-standing crew in Italy.’

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