The national harvest festival Vendimia in Mendoza, Argentina, is one of the world’s most important events in viticulture this year. Being the first post-pandemic edition of the festival the expectations were set high, not the least for the music and entertainment performances during the festival.
We had the opportunity to talk with Sebastian Wanzo, responsible for the Vendimia festival sound design and owner of the system integration and rental company, Wanzo Producciones.
“As a sound designer for this year’s edition I proposed the incorporation of an immersive audio processing system to support and provide realism for all audio-visual effects on the different festival stages”, said Sebastian Wanzo.
To accommodate the technical requirements for the immersive audio processing, SPAT Revolution Ultimate, with its recently released WFS add-on option, was running the set up and processing of the Vendimia immersive system, a Clair Brothers system provided by Merino Productions with four Avid Venue S6L consoles provided by Vasco Hegoburu and Wanzo Productions.
“With a stage over 80 meters wide and with no possibility to mount any front systems beyond the front fills systems, a 6.1 system was defined and set up using the Clair Brothers system”, said Wanzo.
The routing and configuration was kind of a hybrid setup, where one of the S6L consoles was dedicated to the orchestra and delivered a stereo bed, and another S6L took care of all the effects, the effect automatizations, and dealt with the immersive feed for all the sound towers. A third S6L handled all the monitoring for the orchestra, and the fourth S6L was dedicated to the streaming of the mixes.
“In 2019 we had an experience together with DB Technologies and with the Argentine designer of the ISSP Immersive Sound System Panning software, Ianina Canalis, which was decisive in understanding that the future of our industry was going in this direction”, added Wanzo.
“Prior to the pandemic, we did a lot of productions with traditional multichannel audio systems (opening ceremonies of airports, stadiums, etc.), but in the end it was during the times of the pandemic we deepened our use of immersive audio processing systems, including SPAT Revolution, for shows via streaming and a few traditional live shows with reduced audience. This was how we discovered the potential and the infinite possibilities offered by SPAT Revolution”, said Wanzo.
The system design for the festival, presenting a diversified musical program, and a large area to cover with a significant distance between the clusters, and no possibility to set up a cluster front, definitely gave Wanzo and the team some real challenges.
“Throughout time we have been testing the different panning techniques offered by SPAT Revolution, but the one we used the most for live ended up being the WFS. FLUX:: included us early on in a beta tester team of this soundfield synthesis processing technology, which has worked out really well, even in situations such as Vendimia where we had very distant clusters”, said Wanzo.
“Understanding the artistic potential SPAT Revolution provided us, gave us the possibility to achieve an impressive and consistent result in the end”, added Wanzo.
With Wanzo’s experience in sound design and immersive systems, for the Vendimia festival system, with four S6L consoles all handling different parts of the workload, there were still a lot of strings to tie together in the end.
“Already from the beginning when we started using the software, we experienced the support to be very good, and defined the creation of a series of demonstrations with a 9.1.4 system, giving producers, musicians and people associated with the technical production the possibility to hear it in action and give their opinion. The positive return from all these people embarked on preparing the system for the large-scale show they expected for the Vendimia festival”, said Wanzo.
“The possibility of controlling the SPAT Revolution with the Avid S6L surface was very important here”, added Wanzo.
Talking about Wanzo’s creative approach for sound design with immersive audio and the Vendimia setup, the conversation continued in a discussion about the future in live audio, and the advantage of immersive audio in live productions.
“From a strictly technical perspective, the best options for coverage and overlap is using multiple systems, as this allows us to reduce the size of our speakers and increase the headroom of the system, without the need to use a lot of equalization to place the sources in the frequency spectrum”, said Wanzo.
“The creative possibilities are infinite and puts us in a situation where we are achieving realism in the reproduction and creation of sound landscapes never before achieved. It is the beginning of a new path, and I weigh the immersive audio system as one of the outstanding elements of the Vendimia festival”, added Wanzo.
“We are really grateful, and I want to thank all the people who supported us in this project, especially the people from FLUX:: Immersive who’ve been supporting us throughout the process. We have great projects ahead of us in the future, and SPAT Revolution, with all its evolution, is definitely staying as our main tool for this”, continued Wanzo.
The International Organization of Vine and Wine, OIV (Organization Internationale de la vigne et du vin), the foremost international organization in global viticulture, has granted a unique recognition to the National Harvest Festival Vendimia (Fiesta nacional de la Vendimia) in Mendoza, Argentina, as an anthropological festival and one of the main attractions of the world in the field of wine tourism.
Vendimia 2022 – Mendoza Argentina
Vendimia 2022 Crew
General direction: Vilma Rupolo and Federico Ortega
Musical direction: Mario Galvan and Pablo Budini
Lead audio designer, Engineer: Wanzo Producciones, Sebastian Wanzo
Co sound design: Daniel Wanzo
Foley assistance: “Chino” Osorio
Monitors: Emanuel Acuña
Orchestra: Emiliano Abraham
Streaming: Pablo Garay