A Happening on the Plains of Abraham

September 30, 2005

by -- SF Marketing

Axion Sonorisation SÉA is a sound reinforcement organisation based in Québec City, Québec. The company provides complete sales and rental services in professional sound, lighting and audiovisual equipment. Axion has been in business for 6 years now and was formed by the merger of Transition and Focus, companies involved in the music business since 1984 and 1992, respectively. Today, 30 professionals form the nucleus of the firm while over 60 freelance technicians are added depending on the day’s challenge. Axion installs and operates their stage designs which can be found across a variety of venues such as the St-Félicien Zoo, the Québec Winter Carnival, hockey arenas, Festivals such as those at Caraquet in New-Brunswick and Carleton in Gaspésie, as well as tours of well-known Quebec performers such as Wilfred le Bouthiller, Richard Séguin, Daniel Lavoie, Lynda Lemay, Daniel Boucher and Jorane.

Each year, the concert that culminates Les fêtes de la St-Jean festivities is the most anticipated show of the season in Québec City. It always features the best artists, the audience numbers in tens of thousands and the show is broadcast live on the TQS network. It is not surprising to learn that the event’s producer, La Société des fêtes de la St-Jean, calls upon Axion each time to design and supply sound and lighting equipment for the event. François Corbin, Axion’s president, does not hesitate to say: “For us, this is probably our biggest challenge of the year. When this steamroller starts in April, we’re running flat out until mid-summer!” He adds: “And to have a chance to make it, we need the best equipment available”.

So, what is actually found in Axion’s toolbox? Primarily, SGM projectors for lighting and Shure, Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) and Lake Technology equipment for sound.

“When it comes to TV, lighting is of prime importance. We start with a classic base of 120 projectors but the real difference comes from the addition of 24 Giotto 400 and 12 Palcos. We don’t know of any other more reliable projectors than the Giottos and these always seem to add a professional touch to the whole of the show. As for the LED Palco projectors, we were amazed by their power, and their colour palette is practically infinite. The lenses are quite versatile, heavy AC is not a requirement, maintenance cost is minimal, and they’re very efficient and relatively small. Demand for these fixtures has been quite high in our shop since their arrival last spring. We never hesitate to use SGM equipment; what they do, they do better than others and furthermore, in absolute silence” comments François Corbin.

In regards to sound, he adds: “Shure microphones have always been the starting point here. For this project, wireless PSM600 and PSM700 are required, 24 to start. This means a lot of antennas in the area and more often than not, only at the last minute do we have an idea of the total picture as more wireless mics and devices are added each day. It’s almost military strategy when it comes to eliminating technical conflicts and Shure products are flexible enough to offer worthwhile solutions. As for sound quality, I guess we can agree that Shure sets the standard.”

“Then comes 16 EAW KF730 speaker enclosures and 8 SB730 subwoofer cabinets setup to project sound on a 110 degree angle. Surprisingly, this is more than enough to cover the grounds and the sound is just beautiful. Once sound delays were taken into account and the networking fine-tuned, the executive sound engineer Sylvain Guay was in heaven. Also, I would like to say that the Plains of Abraham is an ideal site to benefit from the usage of the Lake Contour. With our wireless Tablet PC, we could walk around and make numerous adjustments and even revise these once the spectators arrived. The nice thing about Lake devices is that they are the perfect fit to any sound reinforcement system and in a strange way, help you “rediscover” your equipment.”

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