DiGiCo SD9 Provides Solution For Belgium WWI Celebrations
Belgium-based GSF Sound & Light Rental is no stranger to complex events, having worked on many illustrious productions. None the less, delivering the audio and lighting requirements for the World War I celebrations in Cointe, Liege this August was a challenge; one that its DiGiCo SD9 helped them meet.
Working directly for the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Belgium, via event agency Alice Events, GSF not only provided a complete PA on site, as well as lighting and electrical requirements, but also had to supply broadcast feeds for local Belgium television station RTBF, which in turn sent the signal to various OB vans for the multitude of television stations that would transmit the event around Europe and Russia.
“When dignitaries, including HRH King Philippe of Belgium and HRH Prince William from the UK, speak into your microphones for a live broadcast, there’s no place for failure,” says GSF’s Sammy Freh. “To make sure it all ran smoothly, we needed a powerful digital console with a lot of inputs and outputs, but it also had to be compact because we were very limited on space at Front of House. The SD9 was the perfect solution.
“My brother and business partner, Sabry Freh, mixed all sources – lectern mics, solo tenors, children’s choir, military orchestras from both Belgium and Germany, as well as those for the commemorative video – with the SD9 and sent the different feeds to our L’Acoustics KARA loudspeaker system, as well as to RTBF.”
Sammy continues, “We had a multitude of zones including VVIP, VIP and Veteran tribunes PAs, lectern and press stage monitoring, as well as a personal monitor for their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen of Belgium and much, much more. We used the SD9’s Snapshot feature for every part of the show, using different EQ compression and delays for each VVIP speech, the musical elements and the sound for the films.”
Nerve racking as it was, the day was a complete success and GSF received universal praise and congratulations from the Chancellery, RTBF and Alice Events.
“It really was challenging,” says Sammy. “It was a live broadcast of an outdoor event with bad weather conditions; everything and anything can go wrong in those circumstances and having lots of VVIPs listening to your sound and speaking into your mics adds to the pressure.
“The eyes of Europe were watching Belgium on that day and everyone at GSF is immensely proud to have been part of the success.”