Reference Laboratory Looking Ahead in Pro Audio
Reference Laboratory - JOHN RYAN @ Umbria Jazz 11 (english version)

John Ryan
*: My Umbria Jazz 11

(*) Freelance Sound Engineer / Consultant

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John Ryan - The successful collaboration with our friend John Ryan (right) continues. He has given us the honor of joining the staff of the Reference Lab @ Umbria Jazz 11, in the last 3 days of the festival. What else to add? Piero Bravin and John have made the sound of the Arena Santa Giuliana, unforgettable. John was also kind enough to want to share this beautiful experience (personal and professional) with all our friends and web users. Here are his competent... impressions.

Notes from Umbria Jazz 11
by John Ryan

I would like to take a moment to thank Reference Laboratory, owned and run by Angelo Tordini, for giving me the opportunity of being part, even if only for three days, of the well established and functional technical crew of the Umbria Jazz 11. I was present only during the last three days, having to substitute my friend and colleague Piero Bravin (left) , since he had to reach a previously Piero Bravinarranged engagement with another gig. Allow me to catch your attention with a few personal feelings about this experience.

I reached Perugia by train on July 14th, from Florence, met at destination by my personal chauffeur, Angelo Tordini, . My main interest that day was to be the “shadow” to Piero, to see how the entire technical concept and audio project had been built and to look over the pre-programmed stage changes and mixer patch memories for the following three days, during which I would take command of FOH of Arena Santa Giuliana

This crossover was without doubt very smooth and painless, having found a well organized and logical set of configurations. As I expected, everything was planned for 99% of the circumstances...the minimum changes we would subsequently bring to the channel lists organized by Willy Rossetti and the mixer memories for the PM5DRH previously made by Piero, would only be due to last minute changes made by each individual production and their sound engineers and stage managers. 
Umbria Jazz 11 - FOH facilities for PRINCE concert - click per zoom...It is well known, by now, that communications with most productions are not always 100% exact and that adapting artist’s technical requirements to those found at festivals is not always easy. This is something to keep in mind, just like what I often go through when touring Europe with Nile Rodgers. It is important to have the will and professional attitude to interact with guest crews, with calm and awareness that not always these productions and their artists are happy with what they found previously, in other festivals and that a good part of our job will be of assuring that the artists and their productions may keep a good memory for the services offered. Simply, a great team work. 

I can honestly say that all of the productions performing during my three days, as well as those before me, have been totally satisfied and that the audio team (and lighting team) worked at the highest levels to fulfill each artist’s tech rider.

Per As far as the Adamson PA, for some time present at Umbria Jazz, the general feeling has been of great satisfaction and trust in a system well designed by Didier Dal Fitto and meticulously aligned by David Dohrmann

Umbria Jazz 11 - main cluster: Adamson Y18 array system (Arena Santa Giuliana)Personally, I was very surprised by the sound, evenly distributed throughout the entire venue. The system included 12 Adamson Y18 + 2 Adamson Spektrix Wave per side for the main clusters, plus 4 Spektrix as front fill and 3 stacked Spektrix as out fill on each side. To complement the system, there were a total of 16 Adamson T21 Subs (6 on each side + 4 in the center, in cardioid mode). I’m not new to the T21, but it was my first time with the cardioid configuration. This not only allows a substantial attenuation of sub frequencies spilling over the stage, but also allows wall to wall even coverage throughout the entire venue, including the FOH position and rear seating area, at over 50 meters distance, without the typical lobing or attenuation, maintaining the entire audio range constant between the hung clusters, downfills and stacked subs. 
My perception at the FOH position was identical to what was perceived from the front rows on. Additional positive comments also came from friends and colleagues visiting the concerts, among others, Klauss Hausherr and Cecco Penolazzi, lively complimenting us for the homogenous sound and coverage, also directed towards those doing the mix. In some circumstances, the mix didn’t exactly match the taste for some people in the audience, maybe for the exaggerated general SPL or for a sometimes confused mix, but the overall sensation from these professionals is confirmation that the PA answered to its expectations.

From my FOH position, I’ve had the pleasure of gathering compliments also from the guest wound engineers as far as the alignment and settings made during setup of the PA. Giving these professionals the possibility of using a perfectly tuned system, puts them in a position of working as if they were at home, quickly finding the balance and sonic quality of the artists they work for, even without full knowledge of the PA system. Those that already had worked with an Adamson system, admitted they had never heard it “sound” this well.

In conclusion, I am fully satisfied with the result and honored to have played, even if for a short time, in a team made of serious and prepared professionals and with a technical organization that showed no flaws, in any of the departments, from Stage Management to the last audio assistant – and allow me to mention the excellent work done by the lighting crew, led by Ettore Dell’Orti of Event, always on time and enlightening. The whole result is due to a 25 year long relationship with Umbria Jazz, expressly wanted by its artistic director, Carlo Pagnotta. This relationship with Reference Laboratory as technical partner and supplier of Adamson audio equipment, Audix microphones and the entire cabling system, Reference Cables, and carefully chosen depending on the musical instrument and/or the audio source used. From the microphone source or D.I., to the last link between speaker cabinets, the Reference Laboratory cabling made it possible to maintain consistency and quality of all audio signals, also appreciated by international artist line up and their crews present in this edition. 
The enormous audience and the press have contributed in making this event unforgettable.

John Ryan

Leggi l'articolo di John Ryan sull'Audix D6...More about John Ryan:
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John Ryan and his Audix D6 - zoom su Flickr...

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