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A return to Rimini for reborn Italian expo

The Italian trade show is back, and business is brisk!

Organised by Italian Exhibition Group (the company formed by the merger between Rimini Fiera and Fiera di Vicenza), the second outing of the Music Inside Rimini expo featured several new sections for 2017: Professional Video and Broadcast, Integrated Systems, and Music Inside Education, featuring workshops and conferences.

A fundamental role in the Rimini event was played by ‘Live You Play’, a format launched by industry veteran Gianni Fantini, for which three of the venue’s 6,000sqm halls hosted three fully equipped stages (audio, lighting, video, and lasers!). Every hall had a resident band, which played a 25-minute set on each of the stages in turn. The three live shows were followed by three “virtual shows”, during which all the hardware installed was presented. These shows ran all day, giving trade members the opportunity to hear and see all the latest equipment at work under real-life conditions in nine different combinations. Among the sound engineers drafted in to helm the consoles for the occasion were veterans Paolo Talami and Klaus Hausherr, Davide Lenci and Valeria Barbini.

In Hall A3, Stage 1 featured a Bose Show Match rig powered by a quartet of Powersoft X8 amps. Stage 2 was the Electro-Voice domain (X2 Advance line array), with monitoring courtesy of six Dynacord AXM 12 and MyMix personal monitors.

Stage 3 featured two Nexo arrays: one based on STM M28 boxes, the other on GEO M10s.

Turning to Hall A5: Stage 1 was Adamson territory, an S10 system (mainly) powered by four Powersoft X4 amps. Stage 2 hosted L-Acoustics KIVA II; Stage 3 spotlighted JBL VTX kit and Crown iTech amps.

Finally in hall C3, Stage 1 hosted one of the three Italian rigs, namely FBT fielding its

new MUSE line array. There was also a MITUS 206LA line array with relative subs.

On Stage 2, Outline’s Mantas 28 was to the fore. Stage 3 hosted two rigs: one by K-Array, the other QSC.

Several top distributors and manufacturers gave their insight on the event, confirming the visitor quality and the important role played by the event as the only ‘real-life’ trade showcase in Italy. All confirmed the attendance of numerous rental firms, many of which were from central and southern Italy, perhaps because the trip to Prolight + Sound wasn’t feasible (it’s over 1,300 miles from Palermo to Frankfurt!).

“As a leading manufacturer and distributor of event technology solutions, Music Inside Rimini is a very important trade fair for us,” said Adam Hall Group’s Gabriel Medrano, international sales manager for southern Europe/South America. “MIR fair has become an industry event for the Italian market, with well-known rental companies, retailers and installation companies looking for innovative products.”

The stylish MAUI P900 powered column PA system was one of the stand’s eye-catchers.

“We’ve always done good business with the live industry, but now that we’ve entered the installation market, things are going really well,” Stefano Rocchi, MD for distributor Audio Sales (right).“On the stand, there was a lot of interest in the Green-Go digital intercom. We’re exclusive Italian distributors for Powersoft’s rack power amps, and a lot of interest was shown in the X4 and X8 units.”

“At the live stages, they were all pros, including important sound engineers, but as far as Bose is concerned, the installation market is our main business in Italy,” said Paolo D’Innocenzo, sales manager, Bose Professional Italia.”However, letting visitors hear what our ShowMatch system can do was very important. We also introduced a new product for the conferencing sector.”

“There’s room for growth, particularly in the installation field, to which the organizers should pay more attention,” noted Graziano Sommaschini, BU manager, for Exhibo.

“Our top attractions were the C-Class Allen & Heath dLive console and Sennheiser’s D6000 new-generation wireless mic.”

“Around 80% of FBT products are exported and although this year’s first quarter as far as Italian audio sales go, was poor, we’re hoping for an upswing over coming months,” revealed FBT Audio’s sales director Mauro Tanoni. FBT had the misfortune of losing both of its founders, Vinicio Tanoni (92) and Bruno Baldoni (88), in the first three months of this year.

Assunta Fratocchi, managing director of Link, told PSNEurope: “About 20% of our turnover is generated by Italian sales, so the market’s important for us, particularly the live event sector. The product that attracted the most attention among the new products on show was the new LKO hybrid optical/power connector, able to provide configurable solutions for the transport of power, Ethernet, audio, video, DMX and GPI/O.”

“Our products were exhibited by our Italian distributor Mods Arts,” said Giorgio Biffi, CEO, Outline. “About 80% of the visitors I spoke to were from the live event field. Italian sales account for slightly less than 20% of the turnover and this year our top-selling Mantas enclosures were featured on the live stage.”

Andrea Guerranti, technical manager for Sisme, said: “We recently launched a video division, as the AV integration is becoming increasingly important and the product that attracted the most attention was a brand we recently began distributing, Visionary Solutions, with its Duet encoder.”

“Our turnover is more or less equally divided between retail, live, installation and conference markets and the product that attracted most attention was the Dynacord TS400 Vertical Array,” said Pierfranco Galeone of Texim.

“Although the live stages were the centre of attraction, there was also considerable interest in the products targeting the system integration market,” remarked

Marco Roveri of Leading Technologies. “On the stand, Harman’s Connected PA app attracted great interest on behalf of visitors.”

One product that was neither seen nor heard, but attracted considerable interest was a series of panels mounted on the stage with the Adamson rig. As well as considerably reducing sound pollution (particularly at outdoor events), the panels are manufactured from recycled plastic bottles, can be very rapidly installed and also improve listening conditions for the bands on stage.

Simultaneously to MIR, Rimini expo centre also hosted the Music Inside Festival, two nights organised by Lemmo’s Agreement featuring top DJs such as Sven Vath, Ralf and Chris Liebing.

The AV and lighting contractor Amandla Productions kept the decibels high with an impressive array of speakers by Rome manufacturer Loud Professional, powered by Powersoft at all three stages (Green, Blue and Red).

Green featured 24 3-way line array elements and 32 hybrid sub/bass enclosures, powered by ten 10 Powersoft X8, plus 10 front-fills driven by another X8.

For the 24 line array elements, 24 subs and 10 front-fills installed at the Blue Stage, system designer Michele Azzimonti configured 8 Powersoft X8 and four Digam 7000 (the area’s VIP zone speakers were powered by a pair of K3 DSP).

Red Stage hosted 16 2-way line array elements, 8 hybrid infra/bass enclosures with Push Loop Technology and two front-fills powered by four X8 and an X4.

After the event, Azzimonti enthused regarding the result of the Loud Technology/Powersoft combination.

“I immediately noticed the difference during the first soundcheck after fine-tuning: a fantastic, powerful deep sound that was well controlled at the bottom end. I also found the X series’ limiters particularly ‘musical’, it was impossible to hear when they intervened, keeping the sound clean and coherent, no easy job at EMD festivals.

The Input/Advanced EQ section was also really great and other Powersoft features that enabled me to handle the system better than usual included the Active Damping Control, which I didn’t use to compensate long cable runs, but to add impedance, obtaining a controlled effective bottom end in particularly reverberant environment such as the expo centre’s halls. Another important aspect is that to drive the same system with other platforms we’d have need twice or three times the number of amp racks!”

After the events, the organiser reported a total attendance figure of over 30,000 for MIR and MIF and confirmed the next edition for May 2018.

Main pic (Sven Vath) credit: Simone Marte