Gino Paoli’s recent concerts recorded in DXD

A recent gig from Gino Paoli, one of Italy’s best-known singer-songwriters, was recorded and amplified in DXD (Direct eXtreme Digital 352.8 kHz/24 bits).

Paoli teamed up with celebrated jazz pianist Danilo Rea to perform at the wonderful Piazza del Duomo di San Miniato, near Pisa on July 27th 2014. The feat was achieved using a full suite of Merging Technologies gear. Ovation was the chosen as the main Virtual Mixer; Pyramix handled the recording, while Horus was put in charge of microphones and other I/O requirements.

The production team of sound engineer Luca Giannerini and producer Aldo Mercurio asked VDM Distribution, part of the VDM Group and Merging’s distributor for Italy, to support the project. VDM’s Igor Fiorini was able to supply the Horus fitted with the Premium AD and DA cards. The software was loaded on to VDM’s custom System24 LiveStation, a special version of StudioStation for live applications. An internal battery power supply, secure mounting of all internal components, handmade rugged aluminium chassis and integrated touch screen ensure reliability, while the processing components are optimised for Merging MassCore DSD/DXD operation.

Front Of House equipment was supplied by Buffalo Sound Service Audio with Luca Giannerini and Igor Fiorini mixing the concert. .

“I am really excited to have tested this Merging Technologies/VDM HD Live Virtual Mix system. The results were really outstanding and it is the first time that I could appreciate how much precision can be achieved live," said Giannerini. "The dynamics and harmonics of the piano to the sighs and subtle nuances of Gino’s voice were all reproduced perfectly. This test was so convincing that we immediately purchased the whole fantastic system. We will be doing all our concerts in DXD from now onwards.”

Later on, the hall of Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome was sold out for another concert by Paoli and Rea. There, Giannerini used the virtual mixing console system provided by VDM Distribution & Design of Rome. "The concert in Rome was for me the ultimate test of the new system," he explained. "This truly demonstrated the potential of this innovative mixing system, primarily because it was held inside the Santa Cecilia hall, the largest auditorium in the complex (2,800 seats), and famously defined by those who amplify music, as the most difficult to manage. It is also critical because the Roman audience is reputed to be particularly demanding.

"Thanks to the collaboration of the technical staff of Agorà and the L-Acoustics system, configured and aligned by Angelo Camporese, it was possible to evenly distribute sound in every corner of the room with exceptional quality.”

“Together with Fiorini, we have agreed to use an identical system as a backup (configured to always have two systems working in parallel) and to make doubly sure we even used the Midas XL8 console provided by Agorà as an additional backup. The end result was far beyond our expectations. The system returned a natural sound that seemed to be not amplified and captured the subtle nuances that are the essence of Gino’s voice and of Danilo’s piano. 

"I personally think that with this system we are at the forefront of a sea change in the mixing management of sound, which, thanks to the high capacity of 352 kHz DXD sampling, provides a dynamic range that sounds natural and brings out the subtlety of the performance. I have never found this in any console, analogue or digital, and it really helps the engineer to control the mix.

"After the test in Pisa the production team decided to invest in this system because we wanted to be among the first in the world to do our concerts in high definition (HD-DXD). Furthermore, I can record all our concerts simultaneously on separate tracks. The system is very easy to transport and allows me to program all the events at home, even down to the smallest detail. There is a huge range of plug-ins I can use and we can even control the video and lighting systems from Ovation. This is live concert management of the future.”

FOH set-up

Main Mixing System
Hapi 8/8 DSD/DXD converter
System24 LiveStation by VDM Design
Ovation Live Virtual Mixing system works in HD-DXD

Secondary Mixing System
Hapi 8/8 DSD/DXD converter
System24 LiveStation by VDM Design

Keep up to date with the latest developments from the world of pro audio by registering for our free daily newsletter.