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Yamaha helps deliver the message on a Global Day of Prayer at London Stadium

Aug,2008

The sun shone signalling the start of summer’s arrival and a May heat wave for London. The perfect weather for the Global Day of Prayer held outdoors at London’s Millwall Football Club, New Den Stadium. The event aims to help people of any age apply the gospel and biblical teachings to their every day life. And with a little help from Yamaha, some lightning quick technicians and not to mention a 200-piece choir backed by an orchestra and band that is exactly what some 15.000 happy worshipers encountered.

Sound and lighting responsibilities fell to the capable hands of the Reading based company Sound Foundation Limited Group. Having previously done the 2007 Global Day of Prayer held at Upton Park, West Ham United’s Football ground, Andy Barr from the event’s organisers Pure Solutions had no hesitation in calling SFL again. Yamaha mixing consoles handled sound at both FOH and Monitor mixing duties. In fact two M7CL-48s where required giving a total of 96 channels for FOH and a single PM5D took care of monitors. Mark Payne, SFL’s Technical Director and co founder mixed at FOH. With a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Birmingham University) and a member of the Institute of Acoustics, Mark is in a strong position to be able to say why he uses Yamaha’s consoles. He explains how he approached using the two M7CLs. “I am using two for front of house because I need 96 channels in front of me instantly. Apart from a morning sound check we have had no technical rehearsal prior to the gig. So I am mixing very much everything as I go. So I need channels available to me to mix instantly and not to have to worry about which layer I am working on. I have a Master and a Slave desk with the two M7CL-48s cascaded together by Yamaha’s Mini-YGDAI (Yamaha General Digital Audio Interface) MY16-AT card. The slave desk I am using to mix the elements of orchestra and choir and I am then sending a sub mix of four group mixes from that to the master desk. The master M7CL-48 is handling the mix of the house band based around a line up of vocals, drums, bass, keyboards and guitars as well the radio microphones for the presenters. The final matrix of five output mixes from the master desk feed the PA amps sent via AES digital at 48K. The event is also being taken by a broadcaster and they are getting a feed from my four orchestral and choir groups as well as feeds from the band off the master desk.”

Payne goes onto further explain what he likes about working with the M7CL-48. “It’s a brilliant desk to use and so simple. I love the lay out. The “Centralogic” control interface is very intuitive and I can very quickly access all console parameters in terms of EQ, gates and compressors. Using blocks of 8 I can instantly make adjustments, for example, to all my backing vocal microphones. For this gig I am using four FX from the FX Engine. A reverb for the drums, one for the vocals, a basic tap tempo delay line and a reverb for the orchestra. All standard stuff but I can quickly adjust any parameters on the FX Engine really quickly. On this gig there are a lot of acts to deal with and line ups that can change at the last minute, so working fast is absolutely vital and this desk allows me to do that. I know there are 300 scene memories on the desk but for this event I am mixing the whole thing live apart from one scene memory stored for a line up of from a children’s choir I stored during sound check.”

On stage monitor duties are handled by a Yamaha PM5D console under the control of SFL’s Colin Hounsome, who has worked for the company since 1998. Utilising all 48 channels he gets the same split as Payne for the house band but for the orchestra and choir he is relying on the four sub group mixes from the FOH slave M7CL-48. Working closely with SFL Director Tom Jeffery, who was one of the stage managers, the pair handle a variety of line ups, aside from the band, orchestra and choir including Brazilian and Rap artists, and one act consisting of 30 drummers and percussionists. No mean feat and everybody hears what they want in their monitors.

The speaker solution was achieved with over 88 boxes of d&b Q and J Series (Q1 and Q sub) and some additional B2s with Payne able to control all amp parameters running d&b’s CAN- Bus remote control system from a lap top at the FOH mix position. System rigging was carried out the preceding day. The close knit in-house production team behind the event were prepared for every eventuality. The tight turn around time between acts, preachers and singers as well as an appearance from new London’s new Mayor Boris Johnson, goes without a hitch and as the worshipers head for home in the twilight Payne and his team are more than happy with the results. He concludes. “We are an engineering company. It is not enough to just relying on creative musicianship in terms of the sculpting of sound. We should demand of ourselves the highest discipline in grasping the acoustics and principles behind the spaces that we inhabit and influence and with the help of Yamaha’s consoles that is what we are achieving.”

Data

Products M7CL-48 , PM5D

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