When the show can't stop:
Eduardo Monteiro tells how Ovation ticked all the boxes for this important project
Marcos Souza, Project Manager of one of my most important clients, Orquestra Petrobras Sinfônica, handed me a score with seven minutes of music. He asked me to distribute each orchestra section in a speaker for installation at a technology fair here in Rio de Janeiro, the RIO2C. I immediately thought of using Ovation as the platform to accomplish the task.
The work, specially composed for this event, entitled "Brasil, Vertentes (Brazil, slopes)," was written by the composer Vittor Santos. The situation demanded that it should be played in a loop for 10 to 12 hours a day without interruption, making clear that I should use Ovation's looping capability. It would also be important to have a system with redundancy and Ovation can also provide that.
Impressed by the richness of the orchestration, I suggested using a speaker for each woodwind and brass section, four for percussion, and ten for strings, which utilized double microphones during recording . Add to the 22 speakers two subwoofers, and we have a 22.2 output bus configuration which is a standard offering on Pyramix and Ovation. This was a complex project and we had little time for preparing everything. We needed to acquire the software, assemble the machines, record the material, mix, install, design the stage, etc.
In the first phase, I recorded with Pyramix, Horus, Hapi, and Anubis, and I could count on the virtuosity of the Petrobras Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Felipe Prazeres. My colleague, the great audio engineer, Carlos Ronconi, also worked on this first phase. I started editing and mixing, which I had to complete on-site, considering the acoustic conditions we had to face and the need to get the mix to sound correct in a room of this size.
Colleagues who worked with us from the Loudness Sound Company, who provided the sound installation, some with decades of audio experience, were impressed, first with the fun during testing, when we pulled the AC cord off the master computer, and the music didn't budge. The redundancy was perfectly in sync, just as the client demanded. And then with the system's stability, which regularly delivered over 12 uninterrupted hours of operation without any glitch or dropout, from April 26 to May 1 of 2022.
With a 22.2 output bus on each machine, we had a total of 48 output channels with redundancy. The connection from our Horus to the Digico console was via MADI. We routed each output channel to the 24 Meyer Sound speakers. The speakers' positioning followed the instruments' arrangement in a symphony orchestra.
The public was thrilled with the tour they could take through the orchestral instruments. The production provided a baton and a printed score for them to conduct the orchestra, which added to the fun. In the future, other performances are planned, with Ovation controlling lights and other effects our team is creating.
It is a great product and, above all, highly reliable. And the redundancy was definitely not needed on this occasion!