Marco Borsato played to a quarter million at the Gelredome


Marco Borsato has created a blend of Latin and North European cultures that makes his impact as a singer irresistible. A consummate vocalist who can turn his rich honeyed tones to many a classic song; Bacarach might be his idiom, yet he can also mix it with his pop contemporaries, and is not averse to some powerful rock influences when the mood takes him.

His appeal is broad, to give you some measure of just how broad, last winter Borsato played ten sold-out concerts at the Gelredome in Arnhem, a twenty six thousand five hundred capacity football stadium with a fully retractable roof. That's over a quarter of a million people in ten days! Such venues are always tricky for amplified sound; with the roof closed the potential for a lively reverberant field is immense. Borsato's chosen sound supplier Peak Audio nevertheless took the challenge with d&b audiotechnik's all new J-Series line array system.

"Peak was one of the first companies in Holland to invest in the J-Series system" said Peak Audio director

Will-Jan Pielage. "Our aim was to get hi-fi sound in every part of the venue." A man of his word, Pielage devised a system installation using over one hundred J8 augmented by ten of the wider angle J12 and twenty four flown J subwoofers in sixteen separately flown clusters. "The biggest issue when you use so many arrays is time alignment, and that was a big job for us." The complexity of the system design was predicated by Borsato's extensive stage set, an elaborate mix of LED video technologies comprising sweeping seven metre high walls flanking a spectacular upright guitar centre piece. "The brief was that system design could not be allowed to affect audience sightlines." With the entire system driven by d&b D12 amplifiers this made time configuration a lot simpler. "The DSP inside the D12 meant we could digitally insert delays between the clusters, plus we have six Lake Contour units for system control and EQ."

Normally a front man to a typical electric band, guitars, drums, bass, keyboards, and a horn section; for Arnhem, Borsato also had a substantial orchestra. Pielage mixed front of house assisted by Michael Story using a Yamaha PM5000 with a Midas H2000 taking duty for the orchestra. Borsato began his career with a success in the Dutch program Soundmixshow, winning in 1990. In the seventeen years since, he has grown to become one of Holland's best-loved artists.

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