Eclipse presides at Classic Open Air Berlin

Friday, 13 August 2010
Eclipse presides at Classic Open Air BerlinA total of around 32,000 people attended the five sold-out concerts of Classic Open Air Berlin
Germany - A total of around 32,000 people attended the five sold-out concerts that comprised the 19th edition of the Classic Open Air event in Berlin from 15-19 July 2010. The first night was inaugurated by German TV personality, Herbert Feuerstein, who hosted a spectacular 'musical request' night complete with lights, lasers and fireworks.

The following evenings were filled with Verdi and Tchaikovsky performed by some of the biggest names in classical music, as well as a swing night. The event culminated with The big night of film music performed by Mousse T. and his band and the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg. TSE AG of Berlin was once again responsible for the sound production, and this year they selected two Eclipse consoles from Innovason to handle FoH and monitoring duties.

Martin Kaiser, technical director for Classic Open Air Berlin, explained that for an event of this nature where the audience is particularly discerning, it is even more important to achieve a natural, transparent sound with zero distortion.

"Classical music lovers generally have very high standards where sound quality is concerned, and it's up to us to make sure that they aren't disappointed," he observed. In order to achieve that, TSE AG set up the sound reinforcement system according to the principles of the delta stereophony system. This ensures that the sound is heard as though it is emanating directly from the stage, regardless of the position of the seating or the loudspeakers. In terms of routing and consoles, the event required 96 mic inputs, 16 line inputs, and 48 outputs. One Eclipse was used for FoH, and another for monitors including internal effects plug-ins, whilst two stage racks delivered the I/Os.

When TSG AG received the stage plans, the consoles were pre-configured one week prior to the set-up at Lawo's headquarters in Rastatt. All of the patching was prepared, and a showfile for each concert was created. At the same time, a training session was provided for the sound engineers Manfred Bamberg (FoH) and Steffen Klimt (Monitors). Once the engineers were up to speed, they were able to continue working on the showfiles in offline mode from the comfort of their own homes. "This kind of preparation makes for really fast and intuitive work flows at the event," noted Kaiser.

On the first day of set-up, the consoles were installed on a network, making the entire system ready for operations by the end of the day. On the second day, the network was tested for redundancy and line-checked. "Both consoles worked with the FoH's gain settings while the monitor console merely adjusted the level with digital gain, which meant that we didn't need a separate I/O rack for each console", said Kaiser.

"Usually, we require up to 70 channels for orchestra, choir and soloists for such concerts. The film orchestra on stage with Mousse T, required a staggering 96 channels. Nonetheless, the console remained clearly laid out since we can operate on one operating level - separate groups are assigned to a Smartfader", said Kaiser and the two sound engineers when asked about the advantages of the Eclipse. "This means that we can work quickly and easily with access to all the functions we need without having to scroll through endless pages or layers."

Each evening was recorded live directly onto the integrated 64-track digital audio recording system, M.A.R.S., for the artists and the organizer. There was no need for additional wiring or signal splitting thanks to the complete integration of the console system. "The results were truly amazing," concluded Kaiser. "Contrary to what we have experienced with other consoles that we used for recording on this event where the recording sounded nothing like the original, the output from the Eclipse was clear and unaltered. We all appreciated the difference."

(Jim Evans)

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