Celine Dion's Search for Monitoring Perfection

Jan 1, 2013 9:00 AM, By Blair Jackson

Polls


Mix Regional

The Mix Regional section for Mix's September 2014 issue focuses on Miami. Send us your studio news: updates, sessions, new rooms, plus club performances and installations. Let the Mix audience know what is going on! Send photos and descriptions to mixeditorial@nbmedia.com.

photo of Francois Lalonde

If you read Mix’s December 2012 cover story on recording Celine Dion, you know that the pop chanteuse is quite particular and demanding when it comes to being able to hear herself in the studio. The same is true in concert, and it has taken a lot of trial and error, spearheaded by Dion’s monitor engineer, Francois Lalonde (pictured)—who also happens to be her vocal recording engineer—to perfect their current live monitoring setup.

The key element, Lalonde says, was getting Dion a custom pair of Ultimate Ears 7 in-ear monitors “that are like a hybrid between molds and comply foam. With a normal shell, when a singer opens and closes her mouth, that changes the canal a bit and that changes sound. With Celine’s UE7s, the actual tip that’s going into the ear canal is foam; the rest is a mold, so it brings down the noise, but it can expand when it’s in there, so the feel is always the same and the sound is always the same.” Lalonde says that it took about a year to perfect the system, working in coordination with Ultimate Ears’ Chuck Reynolds and designer Boone Chanthavong, along with David Gutierrez and Jeanette Smith-Coffey.

Dion sings into a wireless Sennheiser mic with a Neumann capsule, transmitted to a Sennheiser EM 3732 receiver. Lalonde’s monitor rig also includes Pro Tools 10 HDX (at 192 kHz “to get the latency down to 0.4 ms,” he notes); BSS Varicurve EQ; Sound Performance Labs TwinTube De-esser; Alan Smart C1 compressor; Neve 33609 compressor; TC 4000 reverb; a Digidesign mic preamp for wired mics; and a Shure PSM1000 transmitter.

Besides Lalonde, Dion’s live sound team also includes FOH and Tour Manager Denis Savage, sound system specialist Francois Desjardins, wireless and audio specialist Marc Theriault, and monitor engineer Charles Ethier. “We really work closely together to always improve the monitoring system,” Lalonde says.






Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95

Newsletters

MixLine

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.