A Yamaha Rivage PM10 system mixed the live and broadcast sound for a canonisation ceremony led by Pope Francis in the Vatican City’s St Peter’s Square.
The Rivage PM10 was located in a temporary control room in the Benediction Hall. Massimiliano D’Angelo mixed channels 1-72 for the live St. Peter’s Square sound, sent via Dante and a Rio3224-D I/O unit, then AES/EBU format over a Stage Tec matrix to the amplifiers and fixed speaker clusters in the square. Meanwhile, Alvaro D’Amico mixed channels 73-144 for the international broadcast feed.
Wouter ‘Tony’ Verkuijl of Yamaha, who co-designed the Vatican’s Yamaha and Dante audio infrastructure, comments: “Previously, the live mix for events in St Peter’s Square was done on a Yamaha CL3 console, with broadcast mixes on a Yamaha M7CL-32. However, recent events highlighted that the Vatican needed a mixing system which can handle more than 64 channels of Dante and be operated by two engineers at the same time, independently of each other. Rivage PM10 delivers those benefits and many more, but the familiarity of Yamaha’s Centralogic user interface meant that it would immediately be familiar to the sound engineers.”
He adds: “The most difficult part of the audio mix at these events is always the Sistine Chapel choir. But, having mixed it on the CL3 for several years, the sound engineers didn’t have any problem with the Rivage PM10. In fact the only difference was that they had several comments from people saying that this time it sounded better!”
A one-day training session was all that was needed for Yamaha’s Alessandro Arturi to bring six members of the Vatican’s audio team up to speed with the Rivage PM10 system. Meanwhile, Verkuijl showed the system to Francesco Masci, the general manager of technology of Vatican’s Dicastery for Communications Roberto Bellino, head ceremonies at the Dicastery for Communications, three of the Dicastery’s network specialists and a representative of the Governorate of the Vatican State.
“Of course the philosophy of Rivage is both an evolution and expansion of the Yamaha digital mixing platform, on which these people have worked for more than a decade,” says Verkuijl. “For them, the main difference is that it is bigger and better, and with the higher channel count there is correspondingly more patching. Thanks to both Yamaha’s clear update philosophy and the vast experience of the Vatican’s technical team, they mastered Rivage PM10 very quickly.”
The Vatican is a long-term owner and user of Yamaha digital mixing consoles. It has a large Dante network that connects St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square with the Benediction Hall; this will be expanded to cover the Apostolic Palace, Holy See Press Room and further spaces.