Renowned FOH Engineer for Jean-Michel Jarre (JMJ), Alain Courieux, visited Montreux Jazz Festival with the electronic titan to headline the Auditorium Stravinski.
The French artist is known for the visual aspects of his performances, but his intricate relationship with high end audio is also a force to be remembered.
Courieux told TPi: “I started in this business after I studied classical music, and after my interest in production peaked, I began working in pro audio during the 1970s. I have worked for various rock bands during my career, and when I met JMJ, we clicked. I started working with him some years after we met – initially for his 2004 show in Beijing for which he was looking for an engineer who was able to manage the 5.1 set up he wanted for his Forbidden City concert.”
Their relationship has continued with ease and Courieux has since brought DiGiCo consoles into the fold. He furthered: “David Webster and Bob Doyle first introduced me to the D5 console during an exhibition in France and I’ve used them ever since. I‘m very happy with what these boards can do.”
For the MJF appearance Courieux used a lot of multiband compressors, reverb and external gears including one DME 64 Yamaha and an M 6000 TC Electronic with the SD7 desk provided. Monitor Engineer Vincent Mantz also used a DiGiCo SD7 console for his mixing duties.
Continued Courieux: “The DiGiCo team always work closely with us, as Vincent and I are very keen to try the new technology on offer from them.
“JMJ knows exactly what results he wants to achieve; he is a very smart artist who is determined to create the best show possible, this of course includes the best sound quality available.”
The show also utilised 12 channels of Shure PSM1000 IEMs, 12 channels of Shure UHF-R Wireless microphone systems, and four channels of Sennheiser EW300 IEMs.
DiGiCo Technical Specialist – and South American whirlwind of personality – Fernando Delgado spoke of the emphasis DiGiCo places on relationships, technical support and its involvement with the prestigious event: “Montreux is a festival I am always ready for. Although it requires a lot of hard work from DiGiCo, the opportunity to see how the best engineers in the world use our consoles to mix on is priceless. Especially when they become our good friends, such as the Jean-Michel Jarre crew. This year Alain and Vincent brought us some great memories and delivered an incredible sound in the Stravinski; it was perfectly balanced and refined – truly an amazing show to hear.
“Every year we see more and more bands bringing their own DiGiCo desks to their shows at MJF, so it can be very busy at times, but it is great to see what we have achieved here; the challenges are far outweighed by the rewards.”