Elton John's FOH engineer, Matt Herr, with the Yamaha CL5 digital console.
Anaheim, CA (February 25, 2013)—When Yamaha held its 125th anniversary celebration at this year’s NAMM Show, unsurprisingly, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) was deeply involved, bringing the music of performers like Elton John; Amy Grant; Chaka Khan; Dave Grusin; Earth, Wind & Fire; David Foster; Dave Koz; Michael McDonald; Sarah McLachlan; Toto; Lucy Schwartz; Leogun; and the USC Marching Band to the audience inside Disney’s Hyperion Theatre.

YCAS managed all live audio production equipment requirements, including the design and implementation of a large-scale Dante network from inputs to speakers and were on hand for assistance to guest artist engineers.

Three Yamaha CL5 digital consoles were used at front of house (one for the orchestra, one for the house band, and one for guest bands) for a total of 150 inputs, two CL5s were used at monitors, two DME64N digital mix engines were used for Dante Network Bridging and FOH speaker system processing, NxAmp4x4s for amplification with NX-DT104 Dante cards, NEXO RS18 and S118 subwoofers, Nexo PS10 speakers for front fill, Nexo 45N-12 stage monitors, LS600 and DXS15 subwoofers for drum mix subs, and, flown for the first time in the U.S., the new Nexo STM line array used as FOH Mains.

“The new CL5 console is amazing,” said front of house engineer Bryan Lenox, who mixed many of the guest artists as well as the house band. “The three CL5s were linked together and talking to one another during a very complex show. We had a multitude of artists, background singers, multiple pianos, horns, percussionists, a multi-track recording truck, and a live broadcast stream of audio and video. The console is very user friendly and quick to get around; the flexibility, touch screen, and color-coding groups of faders are very helpful especially when having to make quick moves. The console routing is great, and although you can do just about anything with the routing, the layout can even be customized by the engineer.”

Lenox said the Neve and Pultec plug-ins sounded great on kick, snare, bass, and vocals. “The new Nexo STM rig sounded unbelievable and very rich sounding while retaining detail, clarity, and punch. It was very easy to get a great sound with the combination of the consoles and the STM.”

Elton John who ended the concert with a five-song set, playing a Yamaha Pianos Disklavier reproducing piano onstage, accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra, as his actual piano keystrokes were faithfully played, note for note, in real time (via MIDI data) on remote Disklavier pianos all over the world. He and the orchestra were visible on adjacent monitors in sync with the remote piano performance, and even fans from around the world without a Disklavier were able to witness the event via a live streaming feed.

“I enjoyed using the CL, in fact, when we have solo shows with Elton similar to the Yamaha event, it will be my desk of choice,” states Matt Herr, front of house engineer for Elton John. “I'm a fan of Yamaha desks and have been for many years. The product reliability and global service is second to none.” Herr has been using a PM5K when the band performs with John. “The CL is very user friendly and sounded really good in my opinion. The Neve inserts sounded fantastic; I used one of the compressors on Elton's vocal. Normally, I use an outboard compressor, but this one worked quite well. As far as the Nexo STM line array, it sounded nice and smooth, and I'd like to get my hands on it with the band and really drive it to see what it can do. It seems like it would be a good large line array as opposed to some of the smaller ones out there.”

Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.