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FIMU goes all-digital with Yamaha


Taking place in Belfort, eastern France, the Festival International de Musique Universitaire (FIMU) is a family-orientated event that takes place right across the city. This year, for the first time, the festival’s amplified stages all exclusively featured Yamaha digital mixing consoles.

With a total estimated audience of 80,000, FIMU is one of France’s biggest festivals. This year’s event took place from 21st - 24th May and featured 14 stages, with performances by 2700 amateur musicians and singers, plus 130 groups and orchestras, from universities and conservatoires hailing from 30 different countries.

All performances are free and an intensive schedule sees up to ten taking place on each stage per day. This year’s festival saw a ‘first’ for the technical sound crews, as Yamaha digital mixing consoles were exclusively used for both front of house and monitors at all the amplified stages.

Christophe Dupin is FIMU technical advisor for equipment supplier Arpège Son et Lumière. An audio technician and sound designer of major systems worldwide, it was he who convinced FIMU general technical director Jean-Albert ‘J-A’ Gaertner that Yamaha digital audio solutions would benefit FIMU, by taking him to am overseas show where he was using a PM5D-RH.

“Previously at FIMU, in terms of consoles we had a little of everything, mostly analogue”, says Christophe. “The main problem was with the outboard equipment - the complexity, size, management and its transfer from one stage to another.

“To me, it made sense for FIMU to go digital a long time ago so, during the 2009 SATIS/SIEL trade show, we spoke to Pascal Bessenet and Stéphane Brocard from Yamaha and suggested to J-A that we only work with Yamaha digital consoles. All the processing is, of course, in the consoles and high quality training was available for those who were not yet up to speed with them.”

As a result, Arpège supplied eight PM5D and five M7CL consoles to this year’s festival and they proved an immediate hit.

“You quite often end up with more than 32 channels at jazz or acoustic concerts, so the PM5D is a good match for them,” says Christophe. “It is set up very quickly, it has everything it needs onboard and it only takes five minutes for engineers to feel comfortable with it - even if they haven’t used one for a long time.

“The consoles performed faultlessly. I didn’t have a single call, there were no problems whatsoever,”

The partnership with Yamaha was a huge success at FIMU 2010 and was appreciated by all the technical audio staff, not to mention the audiences enjoying sound quality which was a noticeable improvement. Such was the success that FIMU is already confirmed to be ’all Yamaha’ next year as well.


Products PM5D-RH , M7CL-48ES

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