August 2, 2023
French rap superstar Soprano embraces KLANG for his Chasseur d’Étoiles Tour and beyond
Saïd M’Roumbaba, known by his stage name Soprano, emerged as a prominent rapper and musician in 1999 when he joined the rap group Psy 4 de la Rime. Their collective efforts yielded three albums between 2000 and 2009 before disbanding in 2010. Having become a successful solo artist in 2011, he has released seven full-length albums. In June last year, Soprano began the Chasseur d’Étoiles Tour for the promotion of his latest album Chasseurs d’étoiles. Live sound engineer Pascal Rossi, started working with Soprano in 2003, initially introduced the innovative KLANG system during show rehearsals. Since then, the singer and his musicians have been fully utilising the German in-ear monitor specialist’s immersive in-ear mixing technology, using it throughout the tour and beyond.
“I first started working with Soprano over two decades ago and began mixing monitors for him in 2005,” shares Pascal. “During the early years, when Soprano was still part of PSY 4 de la Rime, we relied on wedges for monitoring. However, as he ventured into his solo career, we made the strategic decision to transition to in-ear monitors. At that time, the setup encompassed a typical hip-hop ensemble, featuring two DJs and two backing singers.”
“It wasn’t an option for me to go back to traditional stereo mixes. Everyone is really pleased with the KLANG system. It has provided Soprano and his musicians a much-needed sense of space in the monitor mix, resulting in a more natural soundscape. Why on earth would we ever change that?”
Pascal Rossi– Monitor Engineer for Soprano
Over the years, Soprano’s stage setup has evolved significantly. “We now have an Ableton rig on stage, controlled by two musicians and a DJ,” Pascal continues. The musicians play analogue synths, acoustic and electric guitars, and an SPD-SX, just like the DJ. Additionally, we have the constant presence of five singers on stage and, depending on the show, guest appearances.”
Pascal emphasises the importance of capturing the audience’s interaction for Soprano, stating that he strategically places six ambiance microphones around the stage to ensure the singer can hear the audience clearly, as he often engages with the crowd during his performances.
The remaining 35 channels incorporate a diverse range of elements such as click tracks, countdowns, instructions for the musicians, conversations among the artists, and coordination with the technicians. “All of this content is going through my DiGiCo console, allowing for seamless distribution across various domains within the stage setup, such as lights, video, and rigging,” Pascal explains.
The introduction of the KLANG system in 2021 brought a remarkable shift in the overall sound experience. Pascal recalls his initial encounter with the brand, saying, “I was testing the KLANG:fabrik during a festival tour and was immediately impressed by the enhanced clarity in the mixes.” He further explains that this experience led him to switch to a DiGiCo console to fully integrate the KLANG system for subsequent tours.
During rehearsals for the 2022 stadium tour, Pascal introduced the KLANG system to Soprano and his musicians, and they were instantly captivated by its capabilities. “The integration of KLANG was seamless,” Pascal states. “For the Chasseur d’Étoiles tour I used a DiGiCo SD7 and an Orange box with a DMI-KLANG. We had 62 channels running through the DMI-KLANG, distributed across 11 different mixes.”
Since March of this year, Soprano and his dedicated production team have hit the road once again, embarking on an exciting journey across France, armed with their DMI-KLANG for a series of 70 shows. Pascal notes that the notion of reverting to traditional stereo mixes was swiftly dismissed, thanks to the resounding and unanimous feedback received from the entire crew.
“It wasn’t an option for me to go back to traditional stereo mixes. Everyone is really pleased with the KLANG system,” concludes Pascal. “It has provided Soprano and his musicians a much-needed sense of space in the monitor mix, resulting in a more natural soundscape. Why on earth would we ever change that?”