This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
40 l November 2013

livereport FRANCE

Laura Mvula performs on the Scéne Pression Live stage. Her performance was mixed on

the Lawo console and streamed to the Dailymotion website

Eels were one of many bands in the line-up

Yasta’s Louise Bardet and Benoît Gilg with Lawo’s Hervé de Caro (right) Rock steady This summer, Lawo took an mc2 broadcast console on a tour of French festivals, in

a quest to gain knownledge that will lead to the development of a fully-fledged ‘live’ desk. Dave Robinsondropped in on Rock en Seine to find out more

LAURA MVULA takes to the stage on the Saturday afternoon at Rock en Seine. She delivers an hour of exquisite soulful pop, at times encouraging the French audience to sing along – if they’ve not been stunned breathless by her smooth-as-silk vocals and the delicacy of the string/harp/ keyboard arrangements by her musical director and drummer Troy Miller. While Laura transfixes the

fans, what she doesn’t realise is that, in some small way, she’s also helping to transform the pro-audio industry.

In a pre-fab control centre

100m away down a fibre cable, sound engineer Olivier Gascoin and his colleagues are taking the Mercury Prize nominee’s liquid songs and mixing them – as if for a FOH mix – on a Lawo mc256 Mk2. These mixes will then be piped to another base onsite, to be embedded with video and streamed to websites and TV channels including the Dailymotion, Culturebox and France 4. Rock en Seine began a decade

ago and this year attracted its biggest ever audience (a reported

100,000 fans over three days). An international line-up including Franz Ferdinand, Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down, Alt-J, Major Lazer and Tricky, as well as a host of domestic acts (Phoenix being the biggest) ventured to the Parc du Saint- Cloud for this most sophisticated of music celebrations. For Lawo and product

manager Hervé de Caro, Rock en Seine is the last leg of a very important ‘Tour de France’ in partnership with audio production outfit Yasta. The arrangement has given engineers

from Yasta access to the intricacies of Lawo’s methodology via the mc256 desk and associated kit at music events around the country. The pay-off for Lawo and de Caro has been an insight into the needs of sound engineers in the live music sphere, rather than in a sports environment where the brand is already strong. The tour has visited Les Vieilles Charrues, la Route du Rock, Hellfest and Jazz Sous Les Pommiers. This weekend, the location is a majestic park in the south-west corner of Paris. “In France, Lawo is kind of an unknown, ‘mystical’ name,” volunteers de Caro. “Engineers know it as ‘high-class’, but they don’t know the details.” He says the community might be familiar with Innovason, a former French brand, but not with the German parent. De Caro’s position then, put simply, is to be the Lawo “conduit” – his word – into French channels, overcoming any ‘cultural complications’ that may arise. While the French market is often understood to be closed to outsiders, de Caro can open its doors.

The outcome of the tour, he

says, will be to absorb all the feedback and reactions to the mc256, and to use that learning wisely. “My objective is to provide the specs and the modifications we need to make it fully compatible for a future live mixing system.” He says the Yasta engineers, plus other notable operators invited by Innovason/Lawo representative Sennheiser France, have been keen to get involved. “What is cool from them is they accept the limitations presented by the broadcast console to mix live; and it’s cool for me because it gives me the right balance between what works well already, and what features are needed.”

“As soon as you have a chance

to make the demo, and they understand that philosophy behind the support, the software, the relationship with Lawo – things change,” he says. For those who do not work ostensibly in the live music domain, seeing the possibilities becomes a tantalising offer. “They are immediately interested to join the game,” as de Caro puts it. He has learned that engaging engineers in a process that involves taking a known product and transforming it into something else – something other than what it was designed for – is a popular pursuit. And if that product comes to market, the input of the contributors is instantly validated. Benoît Gilg runs Yasta – a

business strand separate to, but associated with, video production unit Sombrero & Co – with his partner Louise Bardet. He is in complete agreement with de Caro. “The desk is not as you would expect it... but that’s the point of the collaboration. We have some small problems but we are sharing what we find.” Gilg says he has long “dreamt” of working the Lawo way: where a powerful network enables everything to be connected to everything else; where audio strands can be controlled and directed wherever they are required. The set-up at Rock en Seine –

again, simplified – is as follows. There are Lawo DALLIS I/O stageboxes on two of the four stages, each with 56 mic inputs and 16 AES digital inputs (for the Neumann and Sennheiser digital crowd mics). These run to a Lawo Nova73 HD Core in the control centre. Two sets of Yasta’s Optocore

pre-amps, based at the two remaining stages, are also hooked up to the HD Core. “Because Optocore has implemented Lawo protocols,

Photo: Helen Aitchison

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56