Can you introduce yourself?
I am Antonello D’Urso. I am a guitarist, producer, programmer, arranger, composer, sound engineer and AFAM teacher based in Italy.
Can you tell us about your professional experience?
Tours and record collaborations all over the world (since 2013 to date) with top Italian pop rock stars such as Vasco Rossi, Angelo Branduardi, Franco Battiato, Alice, Luca Carboni, Giusy Ferreri and sound engineer.
I work as an arranger, producer and sound engineer in my own studio. I also collaborate with historical Italian studios such as Fonoprint (Bologna), Ex-Cantine (Imola), Over Studios (Cento, Ferrara).
I am an AFAM university teacher of pop rock guitar since 2018 until today at the State Conservatory of Music « Antonio Scontrino » in Trapani (TP).
What is your role on the show?
My role on Vasco Rossi’s stadium tour is as acoustic guitarist and playback player.
I use several acoustic guitars (6 and 12 strings). Some are tuned half a tone below. They all go through the Helix Floor where I set eq, dynamics efx, reverbs, delays.
I control the Helix scenes with program changes
How did you get involved in the creation and editing of the live show ?
When the backing tracks for each song was ready I created a session where I added all the click references (more than one) for the musicians, assigned all the routings, LTC for lights/video with all the offsets.
During the rehearsals there were several changes to the song structures (longer intros, short or long endings, breaks, etc.) as well as other routing requirements for audio or process interventions on the backing tracks.
The great thing about this tour is that everything is played live. The support of the backing tracks is reduced to a minimum (a few shakers, a few pads in some intros or effects, and only in one song the backing vocals). The importance of the laying of the song is mainly determined by the sync of everyone in this big show.
What’s the stadium tour like?
The stadium tour is superlative!
To prepare for this show, the biggest production in Italy, we did about a month of musical rehearsals where we perfected every detail of music, sync and stage design.
The team is formed by top professionals, number one in their field, starting with the band, the crew, set design, video, lighting, etc.
Everything is studied and rehearsed in detail before the tour starts because then there is no time to test new things or change anything, which is why the rehearsals are essential.
When things start to go right, the morning of rehearsals is usually dedicated to those who have to make substantial changes to sounds, tunings, tests etc.
Usually in the morning before the convocation or after the lunch break I would make substantial changes on Ableton Live, change the set list, communicate the new LTC offsets, link the tracks that had to be mixed together. For me there were very few breaks during rehearsals. All very tiring but extremely beautiful.
What are the technical issues involved in such a big show?
The technical issues of such a big show are the same as those of a small show in my opinion.
Surely having a big stage in a stadium changes a lot from an audio and scenographic point of view.
I think that if you can do your job on a small stage, then you can do it on a big stage. Of course, seeing so many people in front of you impresses and excites, but this must not condition your way of working well otherwise you are not made for that. In my opinion, the greatest difficulties are encountered in small contexts, where you have to take care of almost everything, whereas the bigger the context, the more the roles are delimited and you can think only and exclusively about what you have been engaged for.
I have provided for both the guitars and the whole playback system the spare because the show cannot stop because of a problem which affect everyone connected to me.
What is your playback setup?
For my setup I used 2 identical systems to use redundancy.
Mac Studio Pro with Ableton Live, Apollo UAD X16, iConnectivity MioXL, Radial SW8, LIOBOX, Nektar Pacer.
How does the LIOBOX facilitate your work on the show?
LIOBOX has facilitated my work a lot. It is connected to the MioXL to use for redundancy. From the LIOBOX I managed the play and stop of songs. In the show, the setlist management is crazy. I couldn’t do without it. With one click I managed the 2 computers with a very unique working simplicity.
During rehearsals, pause mode (almost impossible on Ableton), rewind to a specific point in the song, skip songs…it was all easy, fast and professional.