AutoRouter at hub of Helsinki centre upgrade
Tuesday, 15 November 2022
konserttisaliconcerto-grosso2018-11-17akirask1Musiikkitalo features a 1,700-capacity concert space
Finland - Concert venue, TV and recording studio, Musiikkitalo (Helsinki Music Centre), has upgraded its existing Optocore infrastructure with the addition of an AutoRouter intelligent patchbay. This has provided the venue with greater flexibility by freeing up its DiGiCo SD8 at FOH to take on a more portable role within the large complex.
Although the venue originally opened in 2011 as a 1,700-capacity concert space, it undertook a system upgrade in 2017, when an Optocore network was introduced for the first time. “The original design became overloaded and it was too awkward to add anything - and so we added a couple of [Optocore] DD32FRs for signal distribution to the amps and SD racks, and added Optocore to the DiGiCo FOH mixer,” stated head of studio, Jori Tossavainen.
Once again, the Optocore equipment was supplied by distributor, Intersonic. “We have supplied the bulk of the audio equipment for Helsinki Music Centre from day one so we’re very familiar with them,” stated Intersonic sales manager, Pauli Molnar. “Optocore is a very popular high-end professional networking solution in Finland so we did have some experience with the brand even before taking over the distribution.”
Optocore had again been foremost in the minds of Jori Tossavainen and the venue’s head of sound, Kirsi Peteri, who in addition to the main concert hall oversees five satellite rooms at Musiikkitalo. At the same time, his colleague Teemu Hammaren, head of video and technical director for broadcast, manages a full TV broadcast and recording studio at the venue.
Kirsi and Jori prepared the specification and upgrade, while assisting with the configuration was Intersonic’s technical specialist, Pekka Patrikainen.
AutoRouter had been essential to the upgrade, confirmed Tossavainen. It is suited for installations with multiple connection points and mobile stage boxes as well as live events - as is the case at Musiikkitalo.
“With this upgrade we decided to release the old [DiGiCo] SD8 from its FOH position and deploy it as a portable unit within its own flightcase (and as a monitor desk),” continued Jori Tossavainen. “At the same time, we went to the digital split, so we could also free up an SD rack which could move alongside the SD8. These are now used all over the house and are connected by the AutoRouter to the main system.”
AutoRouter wasn’t alone in Musiikkitalo’s shopping list. They also added a pair of Optocore M8 MADI devices as well as a new DiGiCo Q338 console with an Optocore loop at FOH, replacing the former SD8. On the broadcast and recording side, the previous Studer consoles were replaced by three Lawo mc² 56 consoles for the control rooms over a Ravenna network and Merging Technologies’ Anubis and Horus interfaces. The overall budget for the upgrade was around €700,000.

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