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ATI Paragon II Ties Together R. Kelly's Involved Stage Show

(August 17, 2001)
Accomplished songwriter turned performer R. Kelly hit the road in July with a full entourage of musicians and an Audio Toys Incorporated (ATI) Paragon II monitoring console to bring them all together on stage. The tour supports his urban R&B album, "TP-2.COM", certified 2x platinum just six weeks after its release. With a decade of "behind the scenes" experience writing and producing for Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, and countless others, R. Kelly understands what it takes to stay on top. Consequently, he's organized a top-flight stage show, rife with musicians and technical hurtles in an effort to attract even more concert-goers into his fold of avid fans. After three weeks of rehearsals in (beleaguered) Broward County, Florida, his caravan took off for three months of world travel. So far, they've played to sold-out venues containing 3,000 to 16,000 people.

Accomplished monitoring engineer Vince Buller operates a fully-exploited ATI Paragon II at the monitoring position. Supplied by Eighth Day Sound rental company, the Paragon II is the only console fit for a stage show as involved as R. Kelly's. With a veritable crowd of musicians and synthesizers, eight dedicated in-ear mixes, separate mixes for upstage fills and downstage fills, a musical director's mix, five submixes for the drummer's own mixer, and three stereo effects, Buller has plugged into each of the Paragon II's seventy-two inputs and tapped each of its forty outputs. "If something can be used on this console, you better believe I'm using it!" stated the animated Englishman.

In addition to its sheer number of inputs and outputs, Buller cites the Paragon II's internal routing and monitoring flexibility as indispensable. "I can monitor a signal anywhere in the signal path," he noted. "If I have a problem somewhere, it's a simple matter to isolate its source before the signal leaves the console. The Paragon II is the only monitoring console I've found that allows me to perform the umpteen tasks asked of me with grace and fluidity (and Robert [Kelly] has asked the most!) The possibilities are limitless. I've yet to find something it can't do!" Buller went on to explain that there are even features accessible via under-module jumpers that he has yet to tap!

With equalization and dynamics processing on each channel, the Paragon II allows Buller to tailor input signals for in-ear and sidefill use. The console's rich, "ATI" sound adds a pleasant, almost human quality to the huge mix which inspires a greater performance from R. Kelly and his band. "The controls are wonderfully responsive," commented Buller. "The EQ section is lovely, quiet, and reliable. The whole thing is simply awesome! I love it!"

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Related Keywords:monitoring console, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, R. Kelly


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