Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour hits Europe with Digico

After spending more than a year touring North America, Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour has reached Europe, with two Digico SD7s in control of the audio.

Following a run of nine shows at The O2 in London, the production, which fuses the King of Pop’s greatest hits with Cirque du Soleil’s trademark acrobatic visuals, is now on its way across the continent for an extensive six-month stint, returning to the UK again in March 2013 for several shows in Manchester and Birmingham.

“This isn’t a typical monitoring position, but it’s great, as I am in the perfect place to see the stage and the people,” said monitor engineer, Renato Petruzziello, whose SD7 is positioned on the upper tier of The O2, looking down on the stage and offering a panoramic view of the arena.

Petruzziello is running 140 channels from the console – 80 for the live band, 48 for sequencing tracks, with the rest utilised for various communications channels. All 11 in-ear mixes are sent to the band members in stereo, and separate stereo mixes are also provided for the Digital Performer operator, four backliners and pyro operator, mime act and two tap dancers in the show, as well as the side-fills.

“Another feature I really like using on the SD7 is the recall and duration time on snapshots, whereby I have the console on a timer; all I need to do is hit the first snapshot and then it rolls through all of the snapshots in the list with this function enabled,” Petruzziello added.

FOH engineer, Martin Paré, utilises 166 inputs on his SD7 and has an SD Rack at the front of house position to accommodate his favourite analogue outboard equipment. Channel count and the ability to run everything in 96k resolution are two major advantages in using DiGiCo, he revealed:

“When we were doing the concept of the show, we ended up with 448 I/O and didn’t have enough room on the console we were originally thinking of using. Here, I have two racks, Ray has two, and there are a further three that we share.

“And in terms of quality of sound, what’s coming out of those pre-amps is pretty amazing. You don’t have to do too much to make it sound great – just plug it in, and away you go. For this show, it’s all about the I/O and the amount of cards you can have in every rack, and the SD7 does the job absolutely perfectly.”

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