d&b creates a Hogmanay to remember
Thursday, 21 February 2019
dbhogmanay158-castle-street-judge-jules-credit-jordan-macglaghlanCelebrating New Year in Edinburgh
UK - Edinburgh Castle and the medieval Old Town offered a magnificent backdrop to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebration for thousands of revellers who welcomed the new year immersed in a city centre-wide high quality pro audio installation.
In collaboration with the sound designer Dan Jones, Catalyst Event Production Services was tasked with specifying, installing and operating a sound solution for much of the event that would envelope partygoers, leading them to "a complete d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker, amplification and R1 control software solution".
UK-based live entertainment company Underbelly, which has produced the event on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council since 2017, bills Edinburgh’s Hogmanay as “one of the biggest celebrations in the world”. The famed Street Party showcased Scottish and European musicians, street theatre artists, dancers, choirs and aerialists, while the midnight firework display was set to a specially-commissioned track by German band Meute.
The team split the designated party areas of the city into four ‘arenas’. Within each of these PA towers were constructed, spaced at 20m intervals. In total, 22 towers were built, each carrying arrays of d&b loudspeakers consisting of two Y8, one Y12 and a Y-SUB, along with two Y10P for near-fill.
There were further systems deployed on The Mound, where six towers were erected. Each tower consisted of arrays of three T10, one Q-SUB and two T10 near-fill. An additional system made up of eight Y8 and two Y-SUBs provided further fill coverage. Amplification was provided by 24 D80, 13 D20 and four D12s.
With the addition of PA for safety announcements, the installation used a total of 211 d&b cabinets, utilising d&b Y, T, Q, and C series. The system was designed to give a 3D experience along the street, immersing partygoers in the soundtrack of the night - including the specially commissioned 5.1 surround track for the ‘midnight moment’. Catalyst also provided PA for two of the larger stages utilising V and J-Series cabinets.
Underbelly’s head of production, David Watson, comments: “Catalyst were an obvious choice. They are able to adapt and respond to whatever challenges the job brings. Scale doesn’t concern them and their detailed, technical approach, coupled with a can-do attitude, delivers quality on site.”
Catalyst’s technical project manager, Mike Wright, continues: “Our brief was to provide support for the client’s wish to create an immersive experience on the street. Physical barriers, such as buildings and trams, made creating true ‘surround sound’ difficult, so we needed a clever solution.
“Each tower received a discrete audio channel from left, left centre, centre, right centre and right and there was also a discrete sub channel per arena. This allowed the FOH engineer to ‘steer’ both live and recorded content to create the effect of movement.”
The complexity of the system required the routing of 46 discrete mixes from FOH as well as 20 channels of zoned safety announcements. All systems were designed using d&b ArrayCalc and managed using the d&b R1 Remote control software.
Project manager Andy Kidd and systems tech Sam O’Neill built the R1 file for the Hogmanay events in-house, with assistance from Oran Burns from the d&b GB Education and Application Support Team.
(Jim Evans)

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