XUTOS AND PONTAPÉS: 25 YEARS AT THE TOP IN PORTUGAL
Portuguese rock superstars Xutos & Pontapés celebrated 25 years as the biggest and best-known live band in the country with two massive shows at the 15,000 seater Pavilhao Atlantico in Lisbon recently.
Audio for the high profile event was supplied by one of Portugal’s leading rental houses, Auditiv — including Soundcraft desks in the FOH and monitor positions, and the largest domestically supplied JBL VerTec rig yet seen in Portugal.
Auditiv always likes to be at the cutting-edge of sound technology. Two years ago, it was the first Portuguese sound rental company to invest in JBL VerTec, with a system purchased from Lisbon-based Harman Pro/JBL distributor, CCP.
Since then, Auditiv’s VerTec has proved hugely versatile, and has been in constant use on live shows and performances of all types, conferences, TV productions and classical concerts. Interestingly, they recently used VerTec in the same venue with an orchestra – one of the most demanding genres of music to work with in terms of amplification. Escada is proud to report that they received numerous compliments, and many people thought that the sound had not been amplified at all!
CCP also supplied a a number of other Harman Pro brands to Auditiv – including BSS, Soundcraft, Crown and dbx — all of which were utilised for these shows.
The main speaker arrays consisted of 16 JBL VerTec VT4889s and VT4880 subs a side, with an outer hang of eight VT4888s per side and another side hang of six VT4888 per side. The delays comprised six VT4889 elements a side, and eight VT4887s (the ‘baby’ enclosures) were used as near field fills across the front of the stage. “This was the most logical way of designing the system,” explains Miguel Escada.
Due to the irregular shape of the stage and audience configuration, the nearfield speakers, outer and side arrays had their own independent delay settings.
The entire system was powered by Crown amps – 64 x 5002s, 14 x 3600s and four Soundcraft K2s.
FOH engineer Carlos Vales has worked with Xutos for 18 years, and has been using VerTec for the last year, which he loves for its “incredible power and clarity.” The aesthetically pleasing curved interior of Pavilhao Atlantico makes it a challenging space in which Vales had to mix sound — using a Soundcraft Series 5 console, which Vales praises for its excellent faders and ease of use among other features. This was supported by an array of standard outboard devices, including a mix of BSS 402s, 404s for compression, and dbx 160s.
Monitor engineer João Escada also used a Soundcraft Series 5 console, with one of the advantages being able to trim the AFL levels.
No outboard EQ was needed — it was all done through the Soundcraft — and the entire band were on IEMs for the first time, quite a change of philosophy for a classic rock ‘n’ roll band. A dbx IEM processor was used across the system, with a dbx 160 on the kick drum to fit in the limited dynamic range of the bass shaker.
They rehearsed for a week beforehand to get used to the in-ears. It was a creative decision made to leave the stage looking as clean and clear as possible, as the show was being recorded for DVD. It also gave Xutos the freedom to roam around, unimpeded by backline or wedges!
To facilitate the DVD recording, an audio feed was sent to Auditiv’s OB truck, positioned backstage and looked after by Daniel Bekerman and Rui Fingers. The 5.1 DVD mix will be completed later by Carlos Vales – who also has his own studio in Lisbon.
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