20,000 opera fans were able to enjoy Puccini’s La Bohème this July at the second NDR Klassik Open Air classical music festival, in balmy summer weather in Maschpark in front of Hanover’s historic town hall. LiveAudio event technic’s Georg Hentschel was responsible for the sound design, using Martin Audio MLA systems for the best results. The paying audience loved it – as did thousands more without tickets behind the stage, who transformed Maschpark into a giant harmonious overspill area. The open-air concert was also broadcast live on NDR TV and internet live stream.
LiveAudio event technic is an events service provider that specialises in audio for classical concerts, and they’ve been using Martin Audio Multi-Cellular Loudspeaker Array (MLA) systems for years. For this July’s event, they used two elevated MLA systems, one each side of the stage, each with six MLA modules and one MLD downfill module, and with a pair of Martin Audio MLX Subs at the foot of each rig.
For close-in sound, six Martin Audio W8LMD downfills were used with XTA signal processing and Crest Audio power amplifiers. Completing the sound system were a DiGiCo SD7 console for front of house and a DiGiCo SD10 live digital console running the stage.
The sheer numbers in the audience meant that they would need to make sure the sound was reaching a physically wider area than usual – 135 degrees in this case. Two MLA compact systems of six MLA modules each were therefore rigged up as outfills. “This solution for such a broad sound spread worked really well,” was Hentschel’s enthusiastic response to the MLA setup. Reaching the audience in the ‘wings’ wasn’t the only technical problem that needed solving – they had to avoid disturbing the NDR live TV broadcast at all costs. The MLA systems’ flexibility in outputting both high power and hitting the quiet notes was therefore critical.
"And there was something else Hentschel had to watch out for: “Avoiding bouncing the PA off the walls of the Rathaus was a real problem. Thanks to the MLA setup, we were able to completely avoid echo effects.” Back-sound was almost completely eliminated, leaving the stage free from interference.
The rigged MLA systems were also lowered to mid-stage height (7.5m). This enabled Hentschel to keep firm control of the mix and acoustically integrate the PA system with the orchestra. The end result for the open-air event was excellent sound quality that was praised not just by the organisers, but by the singers themselves.
Source: Martin Audio