Drum beats and shlokas about Lord Shiva fill the air as Lakhs of people gather at the ISHA Yoga centre every year during Mahashivratri – the solemn festival that marks the remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance – to witness celebrations which usually entail meditation, prayers, yoga, puja and music – a feat that never fails to enthral the multitude of followers, the likes of which include politicians, legislators, celebrities, dignitaries and common folk from across the country.
The day-long celebration includes fasting, aarthis, special pujas, processions and distribution of prasadam – all in the effort to discover Shiva and observe his principled way of life – shared by the hundreds and thousands of devotees gathered at the massive open-air ground which measures in excess of 1100ft in length and well over 650ft in width. A major part of the spectacular celebrations also involves live musical performances, which, over the years, has witnessed the likes of greats like Sonu Nigam, Daler Mehndi, Mohit Chauhan, and more pay homage to the almighty lord through their soulful performances. This of course, is in addition to performances by noted regional singers and instrumentalists, and in deed, the in-house musical troupe aptly named Sound of Isha.
Devotees are, more-often-than-not, left spell-bound by the enchanting on-stage live music and dance performances – and key to this overwhelming experience is the fact that this mega celebration is reinforced by world-class live sound reinforcement ever year, with the live audio system design, calibration and execution commissioned by Mumbai based ace sound rental solutions experts – Electrocraft – lead by the acclaimed industry stalwart, Roger Drego. The system each year is custom designed to perfectly suit the needs of the venue per the audience capacity and year-marked dimensions, as Roger explains, “Mahashivraatri is an extremely important and auspicious occasion, and the fact that the celebrations in Coimbatore is attended by lakhs of devotees every year – a number that keeps on rising steadily with each passing year – is testimony enough to understanding the kind of scale of quality sound reinforcement that this event warrants. Our reputation is one that stands solid on a lineage of delivering only the highest quality audio experience, which is why every year we ensure that the system setup for the Mahashivraatri event is bespoke and absolutely perfect. I’m proud of the fact that the entire family at the Isha Foundation have continued to work with us every year, and as time has passed, our relationship and bond has only gotten stronger. We at Electrocraft thank the Isha Foundation for including us as a part of such a momentous event every year, and it has been our pleasure to be of service to them in consistently delivering world-class sound reinforcement.”
The event this year, held on 13th February 2018, witnessed a mega production of world class quality live audio, with an amalgam of products from noted pro audio brands like L Acoustics, D&B Audiotechnik, AVID and Roger Drego’s very own signature series of products, being deployed across the venue to assure consistent, crystal clear and impactful audio coverage throughout. A total of over 100 units of the RD208LA line array elements comprised the stage FOH solution, with over 20 units of the RD10M and 16 units of the RD212M monitors deployed as the on-stage monitoring solution. The first line of reinforcement included 20 units each of the V-Dosc and K2 line array elements each from L-Acoustics, matched with SB28 subwoofers providing the much necessary low frequency fidelity – with the entire L’Acoustics rig driven through 20 units of the powerful LA8 amplifiers. The outer perimeter and flanks were reinforced through the deployment of multiple units of custom designed dual 15” columns from RD, along with multiple units of the Y-series line array elements from D&B Audiotechnik which come complete with internal amplification through matching pair D-80 power amplifiers. The RD loudspeaker setup comprising FOH, stage monitoring and delays, was powered through a complex amplification rack consisting of RD4.14, RD4.08, and RD2.22 power amplifiers, with processing and loudspeaker system management commissioned through multiple units of the DbMark XCA24 crossovers. A slew of world-class mixing consoles forms the heart of the signal chain, with two units of the AVID Profile 96 deployed in-charge of the FOH, a single unit of the AVID S6L deployed to shoulder the broadcast mix and a single unit of the Soundcraft Vi3000 deployed as the monitor mix solution. A plethora of top notch microphones (wired and wireless) and wireless monitoring solution products from brands like Shure, Sennheiser, Martin Audio, Dynacord and more comprised the up-close and personal audio reinforcement that artists and performers enjoyed while performing on-stage.
A senior administrative member of the Isha Foundation showers praises on the unparalleled sound experience every year at the Mahashivraatri celebrations, as he quotes, “The importance of Mahashivraatri is beyond words to describe for us, and for the millions of devotees around the world. Every year we welcome hundreds and thousands of followers to the celebration, and we have been blessed to have team Electrocraft take care of the celebrations and ensure that we always have a wonderful day unfold. The prarthanas, bhajans, shlokas, pravachanas and musical performances is experienced with the same kind of clarity and impact all across the ground; which goes to show what amazing coverage and uniformity the system provides. Team Electrocraft have always always always done a fantastic job with the sound here, and we are so pleased to have them on-board as members of the Isha Foundation Family!”