‘A Sonic Success’ – Warren D’Souza on A R Rahman’s Nenje Ezhu Tour in Chennai, Coimbatore & Madurai
by Rachael Rajan Industry Watch | February 9, 2016 | News
SOUND.com BTOS Productions AKR Events Noise and Grains Productions
SOUND.COM provided backline and audio equipment at the three A R Rahman concerts that took place down South in the second half of Jan. Together, the three concerts that made up this tour was attended by around 75,000 people. The entire tour was produced by BTOS Productions, while the Chennai and Coimbatore concerts saw AKR Events and Noise and Grains Productions handle the event production. These concerts also brought together on stage other legendary musicians and singers like S.P. Balasubramanian and Hariharan, as well as contemporary singers like Benny Dayal, Hari Charan, Vijay Prakash and Neeti Mohan.
The first leg of the three-city concert was held at YMCA Grounds, Chennai on Jan 16, and witnessed around 24,000 people attend. Full- fledged rehearsals for this commenced right at the beginning of the month at KM Conservatory, Chennai. Attended by a crowd of more than 30,000 fans, the Coimbatore concert took place on January 23 at the Codissia Trade Fair Complex, while the tour culminated on Jan 31 in Madurai. This last concert saw around 20,000 people present.
In addition to the concerts themselves, SOUND.COM also provided equipment for the rehearsals held at Chennai. The equipment deployed were all high performance, top of the line systems, like the latest in the line array systems by JBL Professional.
The entire production design was finalised only once the audio system and design was in place. This concert was significant since it was the first time AR Rahman performed in Madurai and Coimbatore. This called for a spectacular auditory experience.
On managing the sound for this mega-tour, Warren D’Souza, Founder and Managing Director, SOUND.COM said, “AR Rahman Nenje Ezhu tour produced by BTOS Productions is undoubtedly the biggest tour production that’s been put together and when you do a show with an Oscar, Grammy and multi Award winning artist, things just come into perspective as to how one has to push the boat out in live sound and tour technology, to make this a sonic success. We started this with a firm thought in mind that we are not going to compromise on audio production quality and safety right from the rigging and flying to the sound and for that we had made the production very clear that everything on this tour will come from Mumbai – including the scaffolding, the audio equipment as well as the backline.”
The Equipment used:
• JBL VTX V25 II (30 nos)
• JBL VTX V20 (24 nos)
• JBL VT 4888 for delays (24 nos)
• JBL VT 4887 for side fills 44 SUB woofers (12 nos)
• Crown I-Tech HD Amplifiers (64 nos)
The sub woofers were arranged in cardioid format in order to prevent sub-woofer energy from spilling onto the stage.
The complexity of the show begins with the immense use of RF. With over 64 frequencies used, the RF planning and coordination had to be robust. With SOUND.COM’s strategic investments in radios, catering to artists’ growing requirements has been a fairly streamlined exercise. Given that there was a huge band set up on stage with several musicians, there was a requirement for almost 140 inputs on the show. Soundcraft Vi6 and Vi3000 were used for Front of House (FOH), and Digico AR SD 10 and SD 9 for monitors. Also deployed were 26 radio mikes and 32 wireless IEMs.
All three shows were multi-track recorded with Nuendo Live and the Waves Tracks Live software. The recording had redundancy planned out meticulously.
On what SOUND.COM added to the mix on this tour, D’souza added, “The first and obvious change on this tour has been an incredible upgrade to JBL V25 II and the new waveguides has added as a new dimension to the sound of the JBL VTX system. It sounds like a JBL VTX on sonic steroids, amazing balance of power and a noticeable improvement in the way we can mix at low and high volumes and achieve the same sonic balance.”
The three city tour took place in the second half of Jan. While SOUND.COM provided all audio equipment, BTOS Productions managed the tour.