Meeting Topic: High Definition Audio and New Trends in Live Sound
Moderator Name: Terry Nelson
Speaker Name: Claude Cellier (Merging Technologies), Luca Giannerini (Live Sound Engineer), Giacomo De Caterini (Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome)
Meeting Location: Lugano (TI), Switzerland
It was with great pleasure that the AES Swiss Section organized its first meeting in the Tessin on the 13th of June. Warm thanks are to Patrick Greppi for organising this event.
The meeting drew over 40 members from both the Tessin and Italy and was held at the Grott Hard Café, just outside Lugano. We also had the pleasure of Leo Leoni, the founding member of Gotthard (and who also runs the café/restaurant!)
Patrick Greppi opened up the meeting with a brief overview of the basic principles of acoustics and the history of sound reinforcement techniques up to the present day — from the first valve (tube)-based equipment to present-day digital. He concluded by pointing out that a good 'workman' needs to understand his tools and how to best use them for optimum results.
The first speaker was Claude Cellier of Merging Technologies, who outlined the fundamentals of DXD technology and how it came about. Whereas digital may be considered convenient, it is only now that the audio quality can be the equal of analogue. This was very ably demonstrated by a series of response graphs and, in particular, the curves of an impulse response treated in the analogue and digital domains. It was edifying that the DXD response was the only one to virtually mirror-image that of analogue.
Giacomo De Caterini is a recording and live sound engineer from Rome has felt that music has always been speaking to us — we just weren't listening well enough! Though 'HD digital' can give good results, the new SACD (or DSD) and DXD technologies move the response into the 'Ultra' domain and offer improved micro-dynamics, a sense of clarity in the upper registers and an extended frequency response.
As well as for studio projects, Mr. Caterini has been using a Merging Horus DXD system for live events, the mixing console being the Pyramix Virtual Console in the computer. This means that the signal path is analogue in from the stage to the Horus and analogue out to the amplifiers. Events include both classical and jazz concerts and the public — even critics! -- have noticed a heightened sense of reality with the sound.
"Before, I heard the sound coming from the loudspeakers, now I hear it from the stage'.
This effect has also been commented on by musicians, who say they 'hear' their instruments for the first time.
For Leo Leoni, the date of the meeting marked the official release of Gotthard's new album, "Live & Bangin'", which was recorded using DXD technology. The band is very happy with the results and an excerpt was played.
Igor Fiorini has very much the same philosophy as Giacomo De Caterini and various concerts with virtuoso musicians have led to critical acclaim from the public and acceptance from the musicians. A chance meeting with engineer, Luca Giannerini, at a trade seminar led to the latter taking up the DXD banner and using it for live work — with the same success.
The evening ended with a very social dinner at the Grott Hard Café.
Written By: Terry Nelson