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August 2012 l 29 NETHERLANDS live

FOR 36 YEARS, Ampco Flashlight has been supplying the North Sea Jazz Festival with its audio and lights requirements. These are, says production manager Jos van der Hoeven, extensive, with console needs being particularly diverse. This year, to help satisfy demand he has added DiGiCo’s SD5 digital mixing console to the inventory, meaning that the Dutch rental company was first to purchase the UK manufacturer’s newest offering. An instant success when it started in 1976 in The Hague, North Sea Jazz (NSJ), now held in Rotterdam’s Ahoy, is one of the Netherland’s continuing musical success stories. This year over 1,000 musicians, spread across 150 performances and 14 different stages, attracted around 70,000 visitors a day. Yet, the festival still manages to retain its intimate character. “We know the festival very well and our system is specified accordingly,” says van der Hoeven. “Ampco Flashlight is part of the Synco Network, so we’re using a Synco PA system throughout – a combination of Martin Audio line array and conventional boxes, depending on the size of stage – with a selection of digital and analogue desks and just about every microphone you can imagine, as we need to make sure we accommodate all the visiting engineers’ requirements.” Following its launch at

Prolight + Sound earlier this year, Van der Hoeven says the SD5 was on his must-have list for NSJ. The SD5 is the next generation of DiGiCo’s original D5 Live console. “We had the new SD5s

delivered the week before the festival and we are using them on the bigger stages,” he says. “The stages have a double set-up, so you have an A and B stage next to each

Hugo Scholten (left) and Jeroen ten Brinke, resident FOH engineers, at the Nile stage, North Sea Jazz Festival

other. There’s a set every hour, with a 15-minute change-over in between, so we have two SD5s on FOH and two SD7s on monitors, all using the new SD Racks.” “This festival really cares

about music, so our console choice is important,” he adds. “Some bands don’t bring their own engineer. This means my crew mixes a lot of bands, so it is an interesting festival for them.” Hugo Scholten is the system tech and along with Jeroen ten Brinke, one of the Nile stage’s FOH engineers. “We’re getting used to the SD5 and it’s getting better and better,” says Scholten. “Everybody who works on it likes the sound and everybody goes home happy.” “I only saw the desk the day

before we came here,” adds ten Brinke. “But if you are used to the SD7, or another SD console, it’s pretty easy to use.” DiGiCo SD7s have, in fact, been on the NSJ inventory for the past four years. “The SD7 is a great console to use on monitors,” says Sydney van Gastel at the Nile stage’s monitor position. “You can see everything you are doing in the

Trombone Shorty was one of over 1,000 musicians at this year’s event

big meter bridge; all the compressors, all the outputs, all the VCAs, everything is there. “This year, we actually had quite a few people with sessions already prepared, so we could load in the whole set up of the band. We’re also seeing a lot more bands travelling with large quantities of in-ears. This would be impossible to accommodate with an analogue console, so we are very happy with the SD7.” The Ampco Flashlight team

also provides a split for the broadcast feed. “This would normally be an analogue split,” explains Sydney, “but these days the broadcasters are around 500m away from us, so they are using an optical cable to connect to us and we give them a split from one of the racks.

“I set things up so they can

split any racks they wanted – FOH left, FOH right, monitor left, monitor right. If somebody is using the SD5 out front, we just split it direct out of FOH and if they were using their own desk at FOH, we split monitors instead. We were running at 96k and the broadcast van could only run at 48k, so we use the sample rate converters in the racks to take it down to 48k, which is a big advantage.”

“The SD5 consoles were really

well received,” concludes van der Hoeven. “It was remarkable that the house consoles sounded better than the guest desks that were brought in. The sound was warmer and fresher.”n For the latest live news

visitors to NSJ each day 70,000 SOUNDBITES SD5 splash at North Sea Jazz First purchase of DiGiCo’s next-generation mixing system to Ampco Flashlight for annual Netherlands event

HMVshareholders have approved the sale of the Hammersmith Apollo to a new joint company formed by AEG and CTS Eventim: Stage C Limited. The offer for the venue was made by the company in May, with 99.96% of HMV Group votes in favour of the purchase at the company’s General Meeting on 10 July. HMV expects the deal to go through by August 2012 at the latest.

Ateïs has congratulated Brighton & Hove Albion football club on winning the New Venue Award at the recent Stadium Business Awards in Turin. The 22,500- person capacity American Express Community Stadium became the south coast team’s new home in June 2011 and is noted for its modern facilities, including a full public address and voice alarm system featuring Ateïs technology.

Leondig-based MEB Veranstaltungstechnik has become the first Adamson Metrix partner in Austria. The Metrix ultra compact two-way true line source array system is said to be a good match for the small format sound and lighting hire company, which specialises in business and corporate events, design and installation services for permanent installations, and live performances.

SSE Audio Group has recently added a significant quantity of Audix D6 drum mics, OM7 handheld vocal mics and TM1 measurement microphones to its hire stock. “The D6 is becoming a very popular kick drum mic. They are turning up on almost 50% of the channel lists of bands that are appearing at the festivals we are providing equipment for this summer,” said SSE assistant warehouse manager Chris Blackburn.

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