|The PA system includes Electro-Voice XLE181 and Dynacord VL 262 loudspeakers with OMNEO technology|
The Zirkus Circolo was one of the highlights of the annual Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Freiburg, with this season’s total attendance of around 25,000 spectators. The organiser, Mack Events, ensures with new attractions each year that there’s never any shortage of variety within the sawdust ring, the story behind the scenes has tended to be one of continuity; this was the eighth year running that MAMMAGAMMA Licht & Ton Service of Emmendingen near Freiburg had been entrusted with responsibility for the sound reinforcement in the 1,000-seater big top. Invariably for this commission, sound engineers Uwe Schmitz and Krishan Kaiser rely upon systems from Electro-Voice and Dynacord, but there was one novelty this year: the integration of OMNEO network technology.
A tent poses special challenges when it comes to sound reinforcement, as Schmitz explains: “Zirkus Circolo’s big top is a circular tent with an area of around 1,600 square metres. The curvature places special demands on the audio system. Furthermore, the very hard roof tarpaulin is highly reflective.” To rein in the sound reflections, great care has to be taken with the planning and orientation of the speakers. Support was also provided by the audio measurement software SysTune.
The ensuing calculations, added to the positive experience of previous years, led the MAMMAGAMMA team to choose systems from Electro-Voice and Dynacord to tackle the problem. The main PA was provided by an XLVC line array comprising eight Electro-Voice XLE181 elements to the left and right of the stage. Two Dynacord VL 262 loudspeakers supplied near fill and the same number out fill to round off the coverage. To ensure homogeneous low frequency distribution throughout the spectator area, 4 x 2 Electro-Voice XCS312 cardioid bass elements combined to form horizontal arrays – flown, to avoid resonance effects with the tent roof. Dynacord Power-H amplifiers were used to drive the audio system: the seven H5000 and two H2500 power amplifiers were equipped with RCM-28 remote control modules. Four Dynacord M12 monitors powered by a Dynacord DSA 8410 amplifier provided the foldback to the band.
Thanks to the RCM-28 modules, Schmitz and Kaiser were able to integrate the sound reinforcement components into an OMNEO network. The use of this open, IP-based standard made full digital signal processing possible from the stage box input to the output of the power amplifiers. Thanks to IRIS-Net software and its individually configurable graphic user interface, the system could be set up, monitored and controlled remotely using OMNEO. “The OMNEO premiere was a success,” reports Schmitz. “The new network technology made our work far easier by offering new possibilities such as IP networking and simpler network cabling. In my opinion, technologies such as OMNEO are going to play an ever-greater part in future. For this reason, those of us in the pro audio sector really do need to get to grips with the whole subject now.”