Singer Cœur de pirate Straddles the Atlantic on New Tour with VENUE

Following the successes of her self-titled album, Cœur de pirate, in 2009 and latest album, Blonde, in 2011, French Canadian singer Cœur de pirate (whose real name is Béatrice Martin) is basking in the glow of several awards, including the Victoire de la Musique 2011 Female Artist of the Year. She’s also been busy performing at alternating tour dates between her home country and Europe, jumping across the Atlantic with her band. Also along for the ride—a pair of VENUE live sound systems.

For the European dates, engineer Florent Livet chose a VENUE SC48 to mix front-of-house, while monitor engineer Sam Corbé chose the VENUE Profile.

“On the first Cœur de pirate tour,” Livet recalls, “I was in charge of general sound control as well as the front. The console choice had to fulfill several requirements—it couldn't be too bulky, it had to fit within our tight budget, and be very quick to set up. I spend most of my time in front of Pro Tools at Motorbass Studio, and the SC48 was a no-brainer for me. It fits into my workflow, it meets our specifications—and I love the mushroom-shaped buttons!”

“At the monitor,” Corbé chimes in, “in addition to the Profile's excellent ergonomics, I wanted a fast system that would be easy to install. When I arrive at a venue, it only takes two people a few minutes to install the control system.”

“Digital consoles are now the order of the day, and it no longer makes sense to use external preamps,” Corbé explains about his control monitor. “I also try to limit the amount of hardware carried around for effects. I use my Profile's dynamics metering and EQ. I simply feed each ear mix into an SPL Vitalizer, which I then use across the whole range of stereo channels.”

Livet adds, “At the front, I'm very comfortable with the SC48's array of internal dynamics and processing, but I also like to keep a few essential physical peripherals on hand. Not so much for the sound, since the plug-ins available for the console can often replace those racks, but for general work environment reasons. My rack consists of a Drawmer MX50, Universal Audio 1176, Tube-Tech CL1A, Chandler LTD-1, Midas XL42, Distressor, and TC M6000. Most of those peripherals are for voice, kick, and bass—my three pillars of sound.”

Cœur de pirate tours are often interspersed with television appearances. On those occasions, Livet and Corbé have come up with a specific configuration to use.

“For those,” Corbé explains, “we put the Profile at the front-of-house, and I control the front mixes and monitoring from there. Florent sets himself up in a quiet part of the stage and uses the SC48 to prepare the mix that will go out to broadcast.”

“I also use the SC48's FireWire output as a backup to save a multitrack onto my laptop,” Livet continues. “The systems can also be used in post production if needed. When live, I also use the FireWire link for broadcast cue operations. I connect my measurement microphone to a port on the console, and its input is transferred to the measuring software on my computer over FireWire. When running sound checks, I can also carry out a Virtual Soundcheck with Pro Tools on my computer. It's simple and effective, just like the VENUE consoles.”

After a month of touring in France, Cœur de pirate will return to Canada to continue her tour, with many more concert dates scheduled.