This summer, on the Florence date of Sting’s marathon Back to Bass tour (the tour originally started in 2011, coinciding with the release of two compilation albums commemorating the 25th anniversary of his solo career), the artist and his stellar band performed at the city’s Cascine Park for an ecstatic sold-out audience, which was able to enjoy every nuance of Sting’s hits, thanks to an Outline GTO audio rig supplied by Emporio On Stage and helmed by the artist’s veteran FOH Engineer Howard Page.
Page explained: “The secret to good live sound is to know your audience, so you make a decision based on them, and with Sting I look for perfect clarity and definition, tuning the PA in a very smooth flat way – like studio monitors.”
Another of Page’s secrets lies in the bottom end: “I want the bass notes to be short and tight. The way to achieve this is not to bias the PA tuning towards the long end, and not have it too strong. Many larger line array sound systems have tuning which has a big boost from the bottom end up to 2000Hz, and then rolls off. Those systems often lose clarity because of the summation of the instruments, with the mix itself giving you too much of this frequency range.”
Although it was only the second time he had worked with the Outline system, Page opined: “It worked great with these techniques and the settings available enabled me to easily achieve a smooth, natural response across the entire frequency range. The guys have done an amazing job here. I’d like to pass my thanks to them for their great work on the settings, and the excellent coverage that the system gave across the entire venue.”
Regarding the deployment of his firm’s recently purchased GTO system, Angelo Catoni, Owner of rental firm Emporio On Stage (also the concert’s Lighting Contractor): “We designed the sound system together with Outline, and aim at providing the ‘ideal’ system for various productions’ needs: for example, with Massive Attack, we strengthened the mid / low range and with Sting we’re looked for a response that was as natural as possible.”
His firm works with a wide variety of Italian and foreign productions and Catoni confirmed excellent feedback regarding the audio, adding: ”We’re really proud to have an Italian sound system, with Powersoft amplifiers managed by an all-Italian crew!”
Angelo added: “The first reason I chose Outline GTO is because I am convinced that it’s at the top, or at least on a par with other top systems we all know. When I started looking for a sound system that would enable me to further raise the quality offered by my company, I heard many different opinions, including a very positive one by a person I greatly esteem – FOH engineer Andrea Taglia, perhaps among the first to use and appreciate it, with tenor Andrea Bocelli.”
Outline’s Luca Giaroli continued: “GTO is now a mature project, thanks to its numerous international applications, and we now have pre-sets able to ensure PA men and sound engineers a good starting point. As he expressly told us after the first listening, Howard Page just balanced the channels (especially sub and bass) according to the standards the rest of his setup provided, and checked that the alignments we proposed were to his liking.”
After the event, confirming that the first feature to look for in a ‘live’ system is intelligibility, Page said that today GTO is definitely among the systems on the market that best meet this requirement.