Electronics – Adriana Mater
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For general technical notes go to www.saariaho.org/Electronics-general-notes.html
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The electronics for this opera can be run with a Max patch including separated spatialisation of the four parts (SATB) of the choir around the audience through eight channels.
An additional musician is required to trigger the cues in the score. They should do this from a position within the orchestra using a MIDI keyboard (or directly on the computer at the mixing desk).
The solo singers may be amplified but the sound should remain natural at all times; the amplification should be barely, if at all, noticeable.
In both rehearsal and performance the sound engineer/musician should read the score and adjust the relative levels of the orchestra, singers and electronics on the mixing desk, according to the given context (musical interpretation, equipment, acoustics of the performance space).
- Macintosh computer equipped with an external audio interface compatible with Max (cf:www.cycling74.com), e.g. Motu: www.motu.com, Digidesign: www.digidesign.com, RME:www.rme-audio.com
- MIDI controller keyboard (8 octaves) to trigger the pre-recorded sounds from the computer
- MIDI interface to connect the MIDI controller keyboard to the computer
- Microphones for the four parts of the choir (SATB), and wireless microphones for the four soloists (e.g. DPA: www.dpamicrophones.com)
- Mixer & octophonic diffusion (plus return monitors for the conductor, the musician triggering the cues and the singers)
The amount of amplification required naturally depends on the performance space, but it should never cover the acoustic sound of the instruments and voices.
The general level should be rather loud, but not painfully so.