Santa Monica, CA, September 5, 2013 – Rihanna’s “Diamonds World Tour” is making its mark as one of this year’s most successful tours to date. According to a mid-year chart by Pollstar, it already ranks as the 11th largest grossing worldwide tour, having generated more than $50 million in ticket sales to date. Already well into its U.S. leg, “Diamonds World Tour” features several performances in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. At the core of the production system is Antelope Audio, whose products facilitate clocking for the entire rig, including playback for synchronization, lighting, MIDI, sound effects and vocals.
This is the best sounding tour I’ve ever been a part of and we’ve been running really hard,” says Demetrius Henry, playback engineer for the Diamonds World Tour. “We didn’t think we could get our playback rig to sound any better, but the Orion³² interface has taken things to another level —the difference was like night and day.” Currently, the tour is running two Antelope Audio Orion³²s and a 10M atomic clock on playback, in addition to a Trinity | 10M combination at front of house (FOH). The Trinity | 10M combination, which is a favored selection among the world’s top mastering engineers, serves as the primary clocking duo for the entire production.
In addition to playback and FOH, there are two Antelope Audio Zodiac+ converters being used in conjunction with the keyboard rig on stage, providing artifact free, high-resolution audio for the duration of each performance. Kenny Scharetts, keyboard technician for the Diamonds World Tour, appreciates the piece of mind that comes with using the Zodiacs: “We have the Zodiacs racked up directly beneath the keyboards and they are so compact and rock solid. When I turn them on, I know they are going to be there for me — it is a dream to have this kind of stability and reliability.”
Since the beginning of the tour, which is now about half way through the North American dates, the Orion³², Trinity | 10M and Zodiac units have been performing flawlessly. Before hitting the road, the production crew put all of the equipment through its paces with several rehearsals, including two full dress rehearsals in Buffalo with a full P.A. before hitting the road. “Every department was able to get a full testing of their gear to make sure it was show ready,” says Kyle Hamilton, FOH engineer, Diamonds World Tour. “From the beginning, the Antelope gear has been running smoothly.” Sonically, it has taken the sound quality to the next level, according to Hamilton: “For me, the Trinity | 10M combo has given me an audio image full of depth and clarity, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. The mix has always been clear, but now it has an extra sheen, sort of like what you might find on a nicely waxed car.”
The tour is massive in both musical content and technical scope. With a runtime of 97 minutes and a total of 36 songs, including interludes, the production team is running about 115 inputs in total. With such an extensive rig, the production team decided to take a holistic approach and clock the entire rig using Antelope, in addition to using its premium quality converters across nearly every part of the audio system. “Sonic changes don’t just occur at the console,” observes Hamilton. “It also has to do with the converters that are used throughout the system, in addition to the clocking. Also, it would not make any sense to have just one aspect of the system clocked — clocking the entire rig with Antelope gives us a consistently high quality result.”
On the Diamonds World Tour, the production team is focused on not just quality, but efficiency too. “Rack space is a precious commodity out here on the road — it’s like real estate: you only have so much land.” says Henry. “The fact that we are able to fit 32 channels of I/O on the Orion³² is a dream come true.” At playback, two Antelope Orion³²s and a 10M are run through a pair of Apple MacBook Pros, which Henry says are lightning fast.
With a rock solid production team and reliable, great sounding equipment in place, FOH engineer Kyle Hamilton couldn’t be happier with the results they are achieving night after night. “It is immensely satisfying for us to be setting new standards in the quality of our live sound productions,” he says. “Every time we plug in another Antelope device, everything goes up a notch.”