A traditional Fado concert – a music associated with pubs, cafés and restaurants – held in the cloisters of 17th century São Bento da Vitoria Monastery in Portugal  called on Out Board’s TiMax SoundHub immersive dynamic delay-matrix for its sound spatialisation. The tradition of Fado is that the musicians change positions during songs, so TiMax Cues were used to create localisations for each movement, as well as to produce an overall immersive spatial environment for the band’s stage format.

 São Bento da Vitoria Monastery‘Having followed the developments of the TiMax system for some time, and wishing for the system when I met some challenging shows requiring different sound perspectives simultaneously,’ says Francisco Leal, Head of Sound at Oporto’s Teatro Nacional São Joao. ‘I finally found the opportunity to apply the system in a real context, in a Fado concert, where movement throughout the performance is traditional.

The concert played in the covered, wooden-floored courtyard of the monastery to a three section, fan-shaped audience position, during an International Music Week event. Leal’ use of TiMaxfurther cemented his intent to incorporate leading-edge TiMax immersive spatialisation into the Teatro Nacional’s in-house productions.

The multichannel speaker system for the concert was designed by Leal in discussion with Out Board’s Dave Haydon, who visited the venue to help fast-track the TiMax set-up and programming, featured a rented TiMax SoundHub-S16 processor feeding all speakers separately via analogue outputs, and receiving mic and effects signals via analogue inputs fed from a Midas H2000 console.

The main PA comprised four Meyer UPA1s as front and rear left and right pairs, with six Roland SRS120 speakers in pairs as left and right side surrounds for each seating section. Four Meyer UPM1Ps were positioned on the stage as front fill, with an additional flown cabinet for overhead effects, plus some Meyer subs positioned left and right of the stage.

Fado

With the singer up front, the positions of the four-piece band variously saw the two guitarists (standard acoustic and a large mandolin-style Portuguese guitar) move to sit in the chairs by the left and right PA stacks, or the Portuguese guitar player sit behind the band with the acoustic guitar far right, under an arch away from the rest of the band.

For one song, the singer walked from a first-floor rear right balcony to a front-right balcony, with TiMax panning him automatically with a matching spatial reverb. Other TiMax cues received sound effects from QLab, such as dockside soundscapes, whirling seagulls, a cityscape with a tram, and fireworks, all of which were spatially distributed or immersively panned around the room using Midi triggers.

Having waited so long to exercise TiMax in a real scenario, Leal was rewarded by the experience TiMax created: ‘The result was astonishing, creating a solid, three-dimensional sense of instruments in the locations – the etymology of where the word stereophony derives. TiMax added massively to the scenes, the soundscapes and the effects, bringing these sounds to credible new life in the space.

‘The possibilities the system allows are part of a dream of mine. Not only on live shows but for sound installations in exhibitions as well. A big thank you to Out Board and to Dave Haydon, for your endless help and availability, joining me in this experience.’

More: www.outboard.co.uk

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