John Gale


  • Tournée Utopia 2018
  • Tournée Cornucopia 2019-2023

John Gale

Ingénieur·e du son

Ingénieur du son

Avec Gareth Fry, il est en charge du son spatialisé à 360° sur la tournée Cornucopia.

Travail avec Björk

A propos du matériel utilisé

Le festival We Love Green de Paris a été l’une des étapes de l’artiste islandaise pour sa tournée Utopia Live. Le show fait appel à une multitude d’événements sonores calés au time code, des ouvertures et fermetures d’effets et autres choix de l’artiste extrêmement exigeante. On peut compter jusqu’à vingt snapshots par titre. Il fallait trouver une console extrêmement versatile, mais aussi compacte, pour l’intégrer dans des clubs ou théâtres de la tournée. Le choix s’est porté sur une DiGiCo SD12, dont John Gale, l’ingénieur du son, utilise soixante douze entrées et les larges capacités de traitement du son, les connexions MADI pour les liaisons avec le ProTools et le DIGIGrid, ainsi qu’une boucle optique pour les boîtiers de scène.


A propos de son travail avec Björk

“Björkspent a long time producing and mixing the album and was very specific about the effects she wanted, in particular, the panning of the flute ensemble.“She has an incredible ear for things and discussed with me that she really wanted these details to translate over into the live shows.”
“Much of the show runs on timecoded Snapshots. In some songs, there are only one or two moments where a Snapshot fires a change, but in others I may have 20 Snapshots dealing with various elements, whether that’s simply flute panning or bringing in and out various effects sends and returns, or relative fader levels for the band. I absolutely love the recall scope and safe functions of the DiGiCo, it’s the most versatile way of working and anything feels quickly achievable.”
“When I first got the confirmation for the job I knew I would need to do a bit of homework to make sure I was ready for rehearsals, particularly with regards to time-coding the Snapshots. We had to send all the equipment to Iceland for production rehearsals several weeks ahead of our start, so I called up Tim [Shaxson] at DiGiCo and he kindly invited me down to the demo room in Chessington, set me up with the SD12, a DiGiGrid MGB, endless cups of tea and let me programme away for the day. This was invaluable and just the sort of support I have become accustomed to receiving from DiGiCo.”
“Audio quality is a given, having two 15″ screens is fantastic and I love the assignability of the 2 master faders which I have assigned as something completely different. It’s also great that both banks can be assigned as anything and that it’s fully dual operator. At the rehearsal stage Björk is quite hands on and likes to push faders, so it was very easy to give her a bank and still be working on something else myself on the other bank. There are lots of other small details, too, like having a quarter inch and mini-jack for the headphone outputs. It also works really well outdoors with brighter screens and LED metering, and the extra DMI slots make it really very versatile as a console.”

Re-creating Björk’s songs live is no simple task. Take her vocals, which are often submerged in effects—at FOH, Gale ran them into dual ProTools rigs set up with timecoded ProTools sessions running specific plug-ins in order to handle the live vocal and flute effects. To get the vocals—and the considerable onstage flute ensemble—into the Pro Tools rigs, Gale used two RME MADIface USB, compact, 128-channel interfaces, which provide MADI I/O over USB 2.0.
As might be imagined, ensuring low latency was crucial, as audio had to pass in and out of ProTools quickly without any audible pops, glitches or perceived delays. “We experimented with the buffer sizes to find a low setting that was rock solid,” explained Gale. “I’m using the MADIface in this situation for the vocal effects, like reverb and delays, on Björk’s vocal microphone and also the live effects on the flute ensemble. I’m also sending these effects back to Björk’s monitor engineer so it has to be as low latency as possible as she’s monitoring this on stage.”
RME interfaces use the company’s TotalMix software to handle routing and mixing, and Björk’s musical director, Matt Robertson, made use of it during rehearsals and pre-show setup checks.
“The musicians on stage have TotalMix setups too, so that they can listen to their own mixed outputs, without having to have the monitor engineer switch to a particular scene or snapshot,” Robertson said. “There is also some very clever stuff you can do with TotalMix to route timecodes to various outputs and even back into the same device which can sometimes be really useful. If you need a duplicate timecode output on 36, it’s easy to route it in TotalMix without having to make any changes to your playback session.”

prosoundnetwork - juillet 2018

Björk was very keen for the surround sound element to be introduced, but there was a lot of discussion about how we would approach taking our stereo sound sources and tracks and make that work in an immersive object-based format.

prosoundnetwork - août 2019