dBTechnologies in Bologna.

Some people want to help and some people just don’t want to know, and I ask myself if I am one of those people, as a local, who would go out of my way to help strangers who are obviously foreigners.

The Italian people I have encountered are generally helpful and ready to offer some time to an older geezer who muddles his way through a few Italian phrases and is ‘mi sono molto grato’. Some other nationalities just can’t be bothered or they regard you with suspicion. The worst are other travelling Kiwi’s – they all seem a bit closed off and self-contained and taking this travelling thing a little too seriously, ‘best not talk to strangers . .’
Hotel staff might seem to be helpful but they have often given me urban transport advice that is plain wrong.  ‘Just take any bus from the corner, they all go to the Stazione’. But not mine.
Luckily, an older Italian women who had no English managed to communicate to me that I should get off this bus at a certain stop and take a tram to the Stazione, using the same ticket. I was catching my train from Florence to Bologna but who knows, without her help I’d probably still be sitting on that bus touring the distant outer suburbs of Florence.
I always leave an hour up my sleeve for situations like this because all the train stations have good cafes and a place to sit down and hang out.
The Metros are easy but buses are so hard to figure out, for example, I might get on the right one with the right number but if I was on the wrong side of the road if takes me in the opposite direction. I must get a good bus app for my phone.


I was going to write about the fascinating time I had at the dBTechnologies HQ hear Bologna. Marco, their Senior Application Engineer, spent about 6 hours showing me all the gear, we had lunch and he dropped me back at my hotel with VIP tickets to the concert that evening in the Parco delle Caserme Rosse where they are using two of the  big dBTech VIO line array systems, of course.

Marco travels the world giving technical support for the dBTech systems and I learned so much about the world of live music and technology today – and we had some great laughs. He talked about how so many of the mayor artists these days like Dua Lipa and Justin Timberlake just use backing tracks now. They might have musicians on stage bouncing about but they’re just there as props, all the real work is being done by an operator sitting in a soundproof truck back stage, running all the music cues. The front-of-house engineer just has one fader for the vocals and all the rest of the music is managed from the back stage truck. Marco shared this pic of the technician handling the Justin Timberlake. Tragic really.

Although, there’s still plenty of guitar bands that are authentically live and since covid people are keen to get to concerts again. The fact that Spotify and Apple Music are dominant means there’s no money in recorded music anymore. Sure, CDs and Vinyl sales are there but not in the sheer quantities they were, the major money is  now in the live scene, everyone knows that – and it’s booming all throughout Europe.
If you’re interested in all this, there’s a very recent Rick Beato podcast about music making  and music consumption on YouTube, linked here.


Author: Tony Richards

This was originally a travel journal to share with family and friends but when home again it became a general blog about anything that came to mind – but now I'm travelling again, this time wandering the streets of Italy – do check in. Ciao baby!

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