With Capital Sound Hire providing full audio production for Il Divo’s album promotion tour, Amor & Pasion, the company’s recently purchased Outline GTO C-12 loudspeaker system is receiving its first major tour at arenas throughout the UK, Europe and Scandinavia.

Il DivoRecording in seven languages, selling more than 30m albums worldwide and scoring 160 certified gold and platinum hits in 35 countries, Il Divo are the first ‘classical crossover’ act to reach the top of the US Billboard 200. For live work, Capital Sound has been the group’s audio supplier from the outset: ‘Believe it or not, this is year 12, says Capital General Manager, Paul Timmins. ‘Each successive Il Divo tour has brought new challenges and achievements for us as the band have grown and it’s now a very comfortable partnership’.

The system used for a recent show at London’s O2 Arena provides a snapshot of the current equipment configuration. It also highlights how (relatively) little equipment is now needed to deliver high-quality audio in major international concert venues.

‘Our designs for Il Divo have historically involved flying subwoofers and 2016 is no exception with Outline GTO Subs flown directly behind the main left and right arrays, each of which comprise 12 GTO C-12 modules plus a single GTO-DF down fill enclosure,’ says Capital’s Robin Conway, who designed the system. ‘There are also flown side fills for the stage (each containing six Outline Mantas28 cabinets), behind and in line with the main LR arrays. The positioning of these has improved the sightlines to the stage and screen significantly by reducing the overall profile of the flown systems. Flying subs may seem a little strange for this type of show, but our experience with Il Divo’s audiences suggest that they are not fans of large subwoofer stacks, so a combination of flown and discreetly positioned ground-stacked subs is the best solution for this client’.

Il Divo

Capital’s recent Outline purchase included a amplification and processing package, which has further enhanced the efficiency of the whole audio system. ‘The Powersoft X8 amplifiers are not only driving the main FOH set-up but also the onstage monitoring,’ Conway explains. ‘The flexibility of the X8 amps enabled us to build multi-purpose amplifier packages (each containing three X8s with custom PACom, NL4 patch and Dante Network Distribution), which combine all the power we need for both FOH and monitors into just six touring racks. This gives us a very efficient use of truck space as well as being quick and easy to move and use.

‘Even on this, our first outing with the new equipment, the Outline system has impressed us,’ he adds. ‘The flying systems are very simple to understand and the touring team are consequently finding it easy to communicate the processes to local crew during load ins and outs. The audio coverage is really accurate and the frequency response front to back of the audience plane is very predictable. Having phase coherent boxes also really helps with system set-up.’

 ‘Outline has always been the first choice in my rider as it delivers such pure sound quality and detail,’ says Il Divo FOH engineer, Matteo Cifelli. ‘Like it's predecessor the Butterfly, the GTO C-12 is outstanding on vocals and acoustic instruments so I could not imagine a better system for Il Divo.

‘The main advantage of this system is the unbelievable throw, which means we don’t use delays in most of the venues where you would generally need them. The clarity in the high-mid range is perfectly matched to what I hear at FOH, even 120m away. We achieved perfect coverage at the O2 in London with only 12 boxes per side on the main hang, and the recent show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam confirmed the unbelievable clarity you can get, even at the very end of the second floor – no-one in this audience is penalised because of their seating position.’

‘As a studio engineer, sound quality is what I look for first, in any system,’ he continues. ‘Having produced the tracks that are being performed on this tour, I know how they must sound - the C-12 is the only system I have used so far (and we have used many in three months of touring around the world) that delivers the exact mix and balance I was listening to when mixing the tracks in my studio in London.

Il Divo‘The support from both Capital and Outline is outstanding. The GTO C-12 is a brand new system for all of us, so we are still experimenting with different configurations every day. Outline have been very supportive, sending their engineers to help us set up the system in the best way possible and they are always available with suggestions and support.’

‘Our decision to buy into Outline, while possibly surprising for some, was actually a no-brainer for us,’ Timmins says. ‘Having got to know the company over a period, we realised that we were dealing with quality people who have a genuine passion for audio, producing great products that simply sound amazing. These were the real drivers behind our investment in the GTO C-12 system. We heard the large-format GTO in 2012 while our inventory featured two main loudspeaker brands and in late 2015, when we decided to expand our offering further, Outline was at the top of our list.

‘Further tests conducted in London’s 02 Arena just blew us away with the power and tonality of the GTO C-12 line array, driven with the extraordinary Powersoft X8 amplifiers. The low weight, compact footprint and intuitive packaging of the GTO C-12 system makes it perfect for our market place, which goes from large theatres to arenas and outdoor festivals across mainland Europe.

‘During and since our purchase the support from Giorgio, Luca, Giulio and the team in Italy has been incredible,’ he closes. ‘It’s the perfect fit for a manufacturer and rental company that we both have similar ethics of service, support and relationships.’

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