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Rathausmarkt Open Air Hamburg with Alcons Audio

Rathausmarkt Open Air Hamburg with Alcons Audio
Rathausmarkt Open Air Hamburg with Alcons Audio

Germany – In 2022 the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg once again treated its classical music loving citizens to the Rathausmarkt Open Air, which also heralds the new concert season of the Philharmonic State Orchestra under the baton of star conductor Kent Nagano.

Since 2019, the company responsible for the acoustics and mixing of the concert has been Munich-based FARAO Studios GmbH, on whose behalf Uwe Biesgen from Creativsound in Berlin planned the Alcons Audio sound system and managed it on site as system engineer.

Event-Net GmbH from Halle (Saale) is a competent and classic-experienced service provider and was, therefore,  assigned to provide and install the entire sound reinforcement technology for the Rathausmarkt Open Air. In contrast to 2019, when the larger Alcons double 14'' LR28 was used, this year the company opted for the somewhat more compact Alcons double 12'' LR24 pro-ribbon line array system.

The Dutch loudspeaker manufacturer's LR24 fills the gap between the compact LR18 (2x 8'') and the large-format LR28. LR24 is a three-way, bi-amp mid-sized line array system. Featuring Alcons' multi-patented pro-ribbon technology for mid and high frequencies, the system offers an exceptionally wide dynamic range as well as a quick transient response with up to 90% less distortion. This allows for an intuitive linear response while offering optimal intelligibility and an uncompressed, pristine sound experience at any sound pressure level.

For the main sound system, Event-Net supplied in total 32x Alcons LR24 (16x L / 16x R) as well as 14 Alcons LR18 for centre coverage. Nine LR7 (1x 6.5” micro line-array) were used as near fills. The nine VR8 that had been used until then were replaced by LR7 due to the lower overall height of the stage. A bass array consisting of 22 Alcons BC543 3x 18’’ cardioid subwoofer completed the audience sound system.

For monitoring on stage, Uwe Biesgen planned 12 LR7 (on four positions of three each), four VR8 (8'') and four QRP20/90 4x 6.5'' point-source column. Another six LR7 were available as spares. The system was driven by 31 Alcons Sentinel 10 Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers on three positions. Digital signal distribution and amplifier control was handled by a Riedel RockNet network.

Since a significantly larger audience had been expected at this year's edition of the Hamburg classical music highlight, Creativsound and Uwe Biesgen chose to provide a delay line (L-C-R) consisting of four Alcons QR24/80 and two Alcons QR24/110 (4x 6.5'') column speakers each, with an array-length of almost 4m / 13ft. in total, in conjunction with three Alcons 12'' BF121 directly radiating 12'' high-performance subwoofers for the first time. The outfill consisted of four Alcons QR24/80 and two BC543. Since the outfill was placed on the same level as the bass array, the same bass systems were used.

Like the main system, both delay and outfill positions were controlled and driven by Alcons Sentinel 10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. An additional nine processor amplifiers were used for these four positions. The delay line was set up closely behind the FOH.

"The QR24 systems blended in very well, both acoustically and visually," says system engineer Uwe Biesgen. “This is due to the extremely coherent dispersion behaviour, which provided a discrete sound refreshment even over long distances, without disturbing the localisation towards the stage. To ensure that the delay positions were not visually perceived as a 'disturbing structure', we took advantage of the narrow design of the speakers and placed them right in front of the local lanterns.”

"The system performance was very good and comparable to the result we had achieved in 2019 using the larger LR28," concludes Uwe Biesgen. "The artistic management, the musicians and the audience were all very satisfied with the sound experience."

photos: Alcons Audio Germany

11th January 2023

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