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Sennheiser supports 46664 concert in Johannesburg

Gearhouse South Africa supplied design, full technical production and crew to the 46664 Concert staged in Johannesburg’s Ellis Park stadium on World Aids Day. The landmark show featured an address by Nelson Mandela and a line up of leading local and international performers including Just Jinger, Freshly Ground, Johnny Clegg, Jamelia, Corrine Bailey Rae, Goo Goo Dolls, Razorlight, Live, Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox. Live high-profile personal appearances also included Naomi Campbell. Imprinting the dramatic strap line “It’s In Our Hands” on people’s minds and aimed at raising AIDS awareness.
Gearhouse Johannesburg’s Audio Operations Manager Dave Tudor, system designed and co-ordinated the supply of all-things-audio for 46664. As part of this, Gearhouse asked Britannia Row in the UK to send a team of engineers and technicians to help run the FOH and Monitors. Britro has been involved in 46664 Concerts since the first one in Cape Town in November 2003.
They chose a well tried-and-tested Turbosound Flashlight system, flown 8-wide and 4-deep either side of stage, together with 74 Flashlight subs on the stage – 36 a side, plus a further array of 16 TSW124s a side for additional movement. Although the system sounded awesomely loud, clear, rich and perfect for a stadium gig, it was one of the final shows for which it was used in the front line, with Gearhouse taking delivery of a new L-Acoustics V-DOSC system just 2 weeks later.
For delays they used 12 L-Acoustics Kudos per side, hanging off TFL towers just behind the main FOH tower.
The FOH console system was supplied by Britannia Row, consisting of two Digico D5s, set up in classic festival A/B style, with a Midas XL3 “showboard” from Gearhouse to run the Soweto Gospel Choir, VT playback and all the presenters’ mics.
Processing was a combination of XTA 224s and 226s, all being routed via Dolby Lake Contours. Amplification was done by several BSS 760s and 780s, with the ground stacks powered by MC² 760s and 1250s and L-Acoustics LA48s for the delays.
Outboard processing at FOH included TC system 6000 digital reverb, Avalon tube compressors, along with TC 2290 delays and a Lexicon PCM 91.
The Brit Row team was led by crew boss Andrew Burch who worked alongside Gearhouse’s system tech Jaco De Wit in dealing with several visiting sound engineers - all the major acts and a proliferation of the local acts brought their own. The onstage sound team was headed by Britro’s Stefan Krista, who’s brief included the daunting task of collating specs from all the bands and from there creating the show patch. Monitor world was kept in check by Gearhouse’s Revil Baselga and main engineer Andreas Furtner, plus four stage techs doing mics and lines. The monitor consoles were two of Gearhouse’s new Yamaha PM5Ds, being run through a Yamaha DME 64 router for re-patching.
Gearhouse provided 40 L-Acoustics HiQ 115XT wedges for the stage mix, together with 3 L-Acoustics Kudos side-fills per side, stacked vertically as opposed to horizontally, with SB 118s for the bottom end.
Gearhouse had commenced discussions with Britannia Row a month beforehand regarding their role in the sound mix. There is a long history of co-operation between the two companies, and Tudor explains that it was also a great experiential opportunity for some of his less experienced crew members to work with the Britro engineers. Both teams integrated perfectly and enjoyed the experience.
Sennheiser supplied the whole microphone package which was looked after by Dave Hawker and Mark Saunders from the UK working with Sennheiser South Africa for any additional requirements. Sennheiser has been involved in sponsoring equipment for all the 46664 concerts and also has a close relationship with Britannia Row. The Sennheiser 3000 system consisted of over 80 channels of wireless plus SKM5200 hand-held mics with Neumann heads, Sennheiser EW935 vocal mics and EW300 IEM systems. Then there were approximately 250 additional Sennheiser and Neumann wired mics. The kit and infrastructure included a huge antenna array to make it work across the whole stage area, together with some “magic” touches to make it “really fly”.
Naomi Campbell at 46664
Naomi Campbell with wireless Sennheiser system and L-Acoustics wedge monitors
Left speaker-array below and above screen
Turbosound Flashlight systems flown and stacked.

Click the link to read more about Tim Dunn's impressive visual production design. Another link will direct you to a feature about the Srceen and LED setup

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