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Yamaha and NEXO help celebrate the best of Scottish Traditional music


Traditional music is at the very heart of Scottish culture, so the Scots Trad Music Awards is a significant annual event, highlighting the very best of the genre. Recorded for transmission by BBC Alba, a major Yamaha and Nexo rig provided the best in audio quality for the large invited audience.

Taking place at the DG1 in Dumfries, a modern multipurpose venue, the awards took place on 28th November and were broadcast two days later on BBC television. Sound provider for the event was Midlothian-based event production company A&R Martin, which has a long and successful history of using the Yamaha / Nexo combination.

“I've been using the Yamaha M7CL and LS9 for several years and we’ve found them powerful, flexible and easy to use, ” says the company’s Dougie Martin. “We first bought into Nexo about a decade ago, gradually increasing our inventory of PS and LS series loudspeakers and adding the GeoS12 system shortly after it came out.

“Using the Yamaha desks and Nexo controllers/loudspeakers with the SB168ES stage box in an Ethersound network, you have a system that is quick to set up and take down, sounds great and offers tremendous flexibility.”

The Scots Trad Music Awards show had two elements - live music performances between the awards and the awards themselves. Three Yamaha digital consoles were deployed, an LS9-32 and M7CL-48 at front of house, with another M7CL-48 on monitors. The PA comprised a flown system of five Geo S1210 and one Geo S1230 (with 120º degree flanges) per side, plus two S2 subs per side, all controlled by an NX242-ES4. Onstage monitors were 12 PS15 in wedge mode.

Lines from stage were split through four 12 channel KT DN1248+ active splits with one set of feeds going to the monitor desk, another going to the OB truck doing the music recording for broadcast and another to three Yamaha SB168ES feeding the M7CL at FOH.

A fifth KT DN1248+ split the awards ceremony channels, lectern mics, presenter headsets and house band doing the award stings - played live for every award - to the TV scanner and to a fourth SB168ES, which fed an LS9-32, also at FOH.

The Ethersound network connected the FOH M7CL and LS9, plus the four SB168ES, linked through to the Nexo NX242-ES4 which fed the FOH system.

“The LS9 ran the show and, in addition to the awards microphones and house band, it handled the audio play in from the TV trucks which were running the VTs for the awards. The audio from the VT was compressed as a key-in on the presenter microphones group, so it automatically ducked as the presenters read out the awards over the running VT,” says Dougie.

“The stereo outputs from the FOH M7CL for the live performances were also routed through the LS9 via Ethersound, which enabled the M7CL to recall scenes and the operator to unmute channels in preparation for the next live music section, without any possibility that it could affect ongoing awards. At the point where the presenters handed over to the music it was a simple case of muting them and unmuting the M7CL inputs.”

The huge benefits of using Ethersound were clearly demonstrated for what would otherwise have been a very complex and time-consuming system to set up.

“Apart from the obvious benefits of improved audio quality, the fact is it took one man just five minutes to run an 80 metre, 64 channel optical multicore from the stage to the FOH position upstairs in the balcony and about the same time to get it back out,” smiles Dougie

“Having spent an hour prepping all the desks and SB168ESs in our premises beforehand, as soon as the Ethersound connections were all plugged in and power was on, the whole system was patched up and ready to go.”

Dougie himself operated the two consoles at FOH, with Fergus Lockie manning the M7CLs at the monitor position.

“It was a challenging production, as we had 11 artists ranging from duos to large ensembles, 60 channels of audio to manage, big stage changes to do, presenters and TV cameras everywhere,” Dougie continues.

“The event is about music - possibly more than about the actual awards - and the acts that perform are a broad spectrum of what is termed Scottish Folk. Being attended by a mix of the best musicians in the genre, leading figures in the industry and members of the public, the music element has to be the best it can be for the audience in the hall - something that doesn't always sit hand in hand with television being involved.

“We had to do run throughs of all acts for camera/director purposes, but this had the advantage of giving us the time to properly soundcheck every act, storing each one as a scene. It also meant we had enough time to move channels and inputs about on the M7CL for smaller acts, where three channels could be spread out over the entire 48 possible inputs.”

Although it was a complex event, the combination of Yamaha and Nexo equipment worked seamlessly, helping to deliver an awards ceremony that brought the oldest music and most modern technology seamlessly together.

“The Yamaha and Nexo equipment give us compact but really powerful tools to overcome all the complex issues and deliver a great show that people really enjoyed,” says Dougie.

“As always, the Yamaha desks gave us rock solid stability on which to base the show, as well as a great sound on stage and in the house. The system worked perfectly and I was really happy with the way it sounded. Most importantly, the audience really enjoyed it and the organisers were really pleased.”


Products LS9-32 , M7CL-48

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