Massimo Pezzali, commonly known as Max Pezzali, is a prominent Italian singer-songwriter. He embarked on his musical journey as a member of the band 883, and together, they released six albums before he decided to pursue a solo career. In 2004, Pezzali unveiled his debut solo album, II Mondo Insieme a Te, which marked the beginning of his meteoric rise to becoming one of the best-selling Italian artists of all time. Since March of this year, Pezzali has been captivating audiences during his Italy tour, accompanied by his skilled Sound Engineer, Michele Nicolino, who expertly utilises a DiGiCo Quantum7 digital mixing console at the monitor position. With its seamless blend of “great security and comfort, the console ensures both reliability and flexibility in its functionality, delivering exceptional sound quality.
Born in 1994, Nicolino sees himself as one of the ‘rising talents’ in the industry. He studied at the Scuola di Alto Perfezionamento Musicale (APM), a year-round music college in Italy, and later gained invaluable professional experience, refining his skills through live performances and recording studio work.
By working closely with professionals such as Riccardo Parravicini and Luca Morson, among others, Nicolino honed his expertise as a monitor engineer for renowned artists such as Mannarino, Willie Peyote, Michele Bravi, Bowland, and II Teatro degli Orrori. Alongside running his own recording studio, where he primarily focuses on mixing and mastering, Nicolino’s connection with Max Pizzeli was established through his work with Morson, who served as Pezzali’s engineer during the artist’s previous tour.
“In 2018, I had the pleasure of meeting Luca, who from the outset displayed genuine interest in collaborating,” recalls Nicolino. “He generously offered valuable advice and played a pivotal role in helping me secure the opportunity to work with Max [Pezzali] while he was involved in preparations for the Eros Ramazzotti world tour,” shares Nicolino.
The decision to choose the Quantum7 for this year’s tour was the result of a careful selection process and a meticulous consideration of various factors, one of which was the desire to preserve a configuration as closely resembling the setup employed by Morson during two of Pezzali’s major productions at San Siro Stadium in the summer of 2022. “By maintaining a setup closely akin to Morson’s, our aim was to ensure a seamless audio experience for the concertgoers, thereby upholding the overall high quality of the tour,” Nicolino explains.
Nicolino’s first experience with DiGiCo dates back to 2017 when he had the opportunity to use an SD9 for the first time. “It was proposed to me as an option for an upcoming tour, and since I’d never used it before and couldn’t find one available in my local area, I reached out to Federico Bianchi of Audio Link, asking if I could visit their office to learn how to operate the console,” says Nicolino. “I was immediately impressed by Federico’s willingness to help and the company’s emphasis on training. Most importantly, I was amazed by the outstanding sound quality of that console, which was truly remarkable compared to all the cheaper and smaller consoles I had used up until that point.”
For Pezzali’s tour, all the audio equipment was sourced from renowned Italian rental company, Agorà. The monitor setup featured an Quantum7 with Optocore loop and SD-Racks, ensuring top-notch audio quality.
“When it comes to monitoring, we opted for in-ears for everyone, except for a couple of 15″ wedges that we kept as backups,” explains Nicolino. “For the artist and the music director who was handling playback tracks like guitars, synths, and backing vocals, we provided an L/ R mix sent directly to their IEM transmitter. As for the band, we employed a personal monitor system, granting each member the freedom to access customised stems tailored precisely to their individual requirements. The stems were pre-mixed by me and kept separated from their own instrument, click, lead vocals, and comms channels.”
Incorporating the personal monitor system allowed Nicolino to achieve individual balance control, made possible by a DirectOut split converter, which facilitated redundancy on the two Quantum7 engines’ outputs through a manual switch. “This setup ensured seamless signal conversion in the proprietary format for the S4000 control unit,” continues Michele. “From there, all power supplies and signals were directed towards the personal mixers, enabling an analogue signal to be sent directly back to the IEM transmitters. All audio processing was handled internally within the desk, except for the voice reverb, where I utilised a TC M3000. Furthermore, both the Quantum7 and the personal mixers were flawlessly synchronised using a clock generated by an Antelope Audio Isochrone Trinity.”
With the tour proving a resounding success, Nicolino is confident that it would not have been the same had he used a different mixing console.
“Having the Quantum7 for this tour gave me a great sense of security and comfort, not only in terms of reliability and functional flexibility, but also in terms of sound quality. What I love most is the availability of Dynamic EQ for every channel, allowing me to finely adjust the timbre with musical precision, resulting in a more natural and distortion-free sound,” he concludes.
“I also had the chance to use the Mustard processing for the first time, and I found it to be an outstanding tool with exceptional sound quality. I used it on several channels, including as the main compression for the artist’s vocal channel. The Quantum7 surface allows for straightforward and efficient control of every aspect of the mix. Overall, I am very pleased with the console’s performance, and I am eager to have a further meeting with the Audio Link team to delve deeper into the world of KLANG:technologies, with their immersive in-ear monitor mixing solutions having piqued my interest for some time now.”[ENDS]
Hi res images available for download from https://gasolinemedia.jalbum.net/DiGiCo_Max_Pezalli_2023/
Show shots photo credit Alberto Anucci.
Maria Fiorellino at DiGiCo
Tel: +44 1372 845600
Sarah James at Gasoline Media
Tel: +44 1483 223333
Having the Quantum7 for this tour gave me a great sense of security and comfort, not only in terms of reliability and functional flexibility, but also in terms of sound quality
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