New stage management system for the Düsseldorf Opera House

SALZBRENNER media equips Deutsche Oper Düsseldorf with one of the most advanced media systems available on the market.

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Opernhaus Düsseldorf Zuschauerraum © HansJörg Michel

The Düsseldorf Opera House, which in its present form dates from the mid-1950s, with a seating capacity of over 1,250 and a stage 20 metres wide and equally high, is considered one of the most distinctive venues in the German cultural landscape.

Demands on the in-house technical infrastructure are correspondingly high, and this is especially true of the stage manager’s workplace, which is the focal point of every production. As part of the renewal of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein media system, the system integrator SALZBRENNER media, under the leadership of the planning office Walter Kottke (BWKI), was commissioned to manufacture and install a modern and future-proof stage management system in 2020.

Systematic competence

The new heart of the system, which has been specially tailored to the requirements of the versatile venue, is a powerful control processor unit including all the necessary interface and automation options, attached to which is a highly flexible stage management console. Thanks to the completely mobile console design, the system can be operated on either side of the stage, as required. The console system, custom-made by SALZBRENNER media, is complemented by a wired and wireless intercom system with a multi-channel matrix from system supplier Riedel, which can currently address up to 50 wireless receivers and 14 stationary units in parallel. During the course of the modernisation the control room, located on the fourth floor of the opera house, was also equipped with the latest video and audio programming capabilities and integrated seamlessly into the overall system. Smooth communication and data transmission throughout the building is guaranteed by state-of-the-art cabling consisting of a Gigabit Cat control network, fibre-optic cabling, a digital 3G-SDI video network and extended audio infrastructure including a redundant Dante network for cross-system audio distribution.

Multimedia control at the highest level

Real-time control with the lowest possible latency is one of the essential cornerstones of a professional stage-management system, and its development and implementation is one of SALZBRENNER media’s particular areas of expertise. For the new installation, a technologically trend-setting HD monitoring system individually designed to meet the customer’s needs was employed, with a total latency of less than 30ms, paired with the necessary controller integration and fast-reacting 9″ to 40″ monitors. Equipped with a scene display and full control integration of the rehearsal sound system in the hall, which is independent of the main sound system, the installation ensures reliable monitoring and call system functionality in every situation, enabling perfect communication integration of all relevant areas from the artists’ dressing rooms to the lounges and the canteen. The setup is supplemented by a bell system for the corridor areas which has a greatly expanded range of functions. Playback devices can now be integrated completely wirelessly, both from the stage manager’s console and directly from the control room. A flexible and completely IP-based cue light system with both wired and wireless cue lights also ensures that not only the ensemble but also the entire crew is kept constantly up to date during rehearsal and performances.

The complete renewal of the stage management system as well as the additional installation of a SALZBRENNER media Stagecast workstation with three selectable integrated video signals, editing software and a modern media server connection have significantly and sustainably optimised essential workflow processes at the Düsseldorf Opera House.

Downloads

Auditorium Düsseldorf Opera House © Hans Jörg Michel
Düsseldorf Opera House © Jens Wegener
Stage management console © Thomas Gabbert
Central control room © Thomas Gabbert

Tech update for the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden

SALZBRENNER media provides Europe’s most renowned opera and concert venue with state-of-the-art sound and video technology.

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Festspielhaus Baden-Baden © Thomas Straub

Since its opening in 1998, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, with capacity for up to 2,500 guests, has been one of the most important and versatile cultural institutions in the field of orchestral music and opera. Selected jazz concerts, established gala events such as the Bambi awards and the SWR New Pop Festival also find a home in the spacious and architecturally attractive complex with its integrated old city railway station.

During the venue‘s pandemic-related extended summer break in 2020, the full-service provider SALZBRENNER media was in charge of comprehensive repair and expansion work on the audiovisual infrastructure, which was in need of maintenance and replacement after 20 years of operation. In close cooperation with the commissioned planning office, Walter Kottke from Bayreuth, the team around project manager Kay Rothe developed a comprehensive concept to equip the technical capabilities of the Festspielhaus for current and future requirements. In a first step, large parts of the existing technical installations were dismantled. In addition to providing a better overview of the infrastructure, this approach also offered an ideal solution for routing cables, which is often a challenging task in existing buildings. Since the previous control cabinets were to be retained, the entire cabling along with all basic configurations and adjustments was carried out on site.

Control room and key structures

The versatility of a venue is directly proportional to the flexibility of its main control systems. For this reason, the project team also undertook a complete technical overhaul of the audio control room. In addition to the integration of a modern mixing console and audio distribution system from Yamaha’s Rivage series consisting of two consoles and matching digital routers, the interconnection of all systems was reorganised with brand new fibre-optic and network solutions with a variety of uses in mind. At the same time, SALZBRENNER media equipped the Festspielhaus with a completely custom-built stage management system, which, in addition to low-latency video monitors and first-class audio monitor speakers, also features a high-quality Riedel intercom matrix as well as control options for an integrated cue light and hearing-impaired system.

Video monitoring

In spacious locations such as the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the ability to follow the stage action synchronously at different positions is one of the most critical factors of a successful production. A perfectly orchestrated interaction of cameras, signal distribution and viewing monitors requires not only sophisticated hardware, but also a lot of custom-made solutions with regard to the architectural conditions of a building. For example, a practicable solution for the flexible installation of a conductor’s camera had to be found, since the stand height varies greatly depending on the stage situation. Thanks to the intelligent and economical positioning of the video routers, it was also possible to retain a large part of the existing video cabling without the need for any major modifications.

Stage & Sound

To achieve ideal acoustic coverage in the auditorium, the SALZBRENNER media team relied on a powerful and sonically sophisticated Alcons loudspeaker system, driven by a combination of suitably matched power amplifiers from the manufacturer and additional complementary units from d&b. Installation and mounting of the systems was also carried out almost entirely by means of manually adapted in-house custom products, the production of which was realised in proven cooperation with the metal construction company Schubert. Another highlight was the stage integration of SALZBRENNER media’s easily controllable MIC fly microphone winch system, which impressed both the customer and the expert who had been commissioned to carry out the acceptance test.

With the technical refurbishment of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, SALZBRENNER media succeeded in implementing a comprehensive package of perfectly interlocking system components, which should ensure the development potential of the venue for decades to come. “We are glad to have found the right partner for the renewal of the technology in our house with SALZBRENNER media. The handling of the project went smoothly and the sound is truly worth listening to!” says Jörg Klasser, Head of Administrative and Facility Management at the Festspielhaus. “We can’t wait to finally start regular performances with the new equipment.”

Downloads

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden © Thomas Straub (1 MB)
3D microphone winch system © SALZBRENNER media (222 KB)

New microphone winch system for the West German Broadcasting Service in Cologne (Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln, WDR)

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© WDR Köln

A new SALZBRENNER media microphone winch system in the Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal (the WDR´s large broadcasting hall) comprising of 29 2D winches and one 3D winch system ensures pinpointed high-quality audio recordings. The control and drive technology of the freely placeable support for the microphone traverse is the result of a collaboration between SALZBRENNER media and Beckhoff Automation, best known for the development of the SpiderCam® (spidercam GmbH) control technology.

High quality recordings ensured by „MIC fly“ 3D microphone winch system

The production complex belonging to the Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, the WDR´s large broadcasting hall in Cologne, is predominantly used for live productions for radio, television and internet. The radio orchestra and the WDR Big Band are main users of the hall. SALZBRENNER media, the audio, video and media technology specialist from Upper Franconia was commissioned to renew the entire microphone winch system, which is crucial for the WDR´s high quality recordings. SALZBRENNER media came into play for this project not only because of their expertise as a systems integrator and their profound know-how in the audio and media technology business, but also because of the fact that their smooth running „MIC fly“ system is currently the only certified and approved microphone winch system of its kind on the market. SALZBRENNER media had to overcome high hurdles with regard to safety regulations in order to receive the DEKRA (German technical inspection association) certification for their winches.

Most of the work had to be done during the six-week summer break, due to the full utilisation of the large broadcasting hall. SALZBRENNER media not only successfully managed the race against time, but also implemented individual customer requests like the customized user interface for control via network and additional user trainings ensure optimum operation of the entire system.

Perfect control technology achieved through collaboration with Beckhoff Automation

The 3D winch movements ensure pinpointed audio recordings through the adjustable positioning of microphones in the three-dimensional space. The control technology for the three-dimensional winch application was developed by SALZBRENNER media in collaboration with Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co. KG. The Austrian spidercam GmbH also relied on the PC-based Beckhoff control technology for the development of their winch-adjusted camera carrier system, which provides three-dimensional camera tours for major sports events. The 3D microphone winch in the Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal is controlled in a similar way to the arena cameras in the large stadiums. The newly developed software converts the room coordinates into wire lengths of the individual winches in order to precisely position the microphones to the respective requirements.

The Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal installation is used as a reference for further projects

The installation with a total of 30 installed winches in combination with the specific requirements of the WDR production complex represents the first large-scale project for SALZBRENNER media´s microphone winch system. The WDR´s broadcasting hall is thus used as a reference and showcase project for further installations which are already imminent for the system house. „Above all the tight installation spaces on the ceiling represented a special challenge. We mainly had to rely on existing ceiling openings, but also had to create new ones for the 3D winch system“, says project manager Stefan List of SALZBRENNER media referring to the particular spatial conditions of the hall. The fact that the hall is historically listed didn´t make it any easier. As a result, the existing infrastructure had to be used during the on-site installation process, but this didn´t prove to be a problem for SALZBRENNER media, the specialist for customized solutions.

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) for Munich and Upper Bavaria receives new media technology for their thoroughly refurbished head office building

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Das Kraftbild © Goran Gajanin/ IHK für München und Oberbayern

As part of the complete refurbishment of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce´s listed head office building, SALZBRENNER media was commissioned to undertake the general redevelopment of the media and communication technology. Twelve conference rooms, two control centres and several smaller meeting rooms were equipped with the latest audio, video and media technology.

The Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) for Munich and Upper Bavaria is the largest institution of its kind in Germany with nearly 390.000 member companies. It is also one of the largest business networks in Europe. The IHK for Munich and Upper Bavaria head office building comprises two representative buildings from the 19th century in the downtown district of Maxvorstadt. The engineering company Müller-BBM was commissioned to develop the concept and to supervise the structural engineering for the initial equipping of the events areas. The systems house SALZBRENNER media was entrusted with implementation of the project. In the course of general redevelopment of the head office building the audio and media technology systems were renewed. This included control and networking of the video and audio components and the digital signage system (for user-friendly media support of events and conferences). A total of twelve conference rooms were fully equipped with audio and video technology, among them the listed Handelskammersaal (chamber of commerce hall) and the Börsenssal (trading floor). The atrium, two control rooms equipped with four racks each, two control spaces and several smaller meeting rooms were upgraded to the latest state-of-the-art technology.

 

Conference rooms on the upper floors

The Börsensaal (trading floor), extending over two floors, is the largest and most complex conference room in the entire building. It is connected to an adjacent control room in the gallery from which all events on the upper floors can be monitored and controlled. From here, events can also be broadcast to other rooms via a dome camera and microphone. Additionally, three concealable projectors were installed which enables longitudinal and transverse projection in the oblong room. A permanently installed conference system enables the user to integrate the mobile conference intercom terminals.

The Handelskammersaal (Chamber of Commerce) is the second largest room in the building and unique due to its listed status. Like the Börsensaal it was equipped with assistive hearing technology. An induction loop was installed in both rooms in order to offer visitors with hearing aids an inclusive experience. Events in the Handelskammersaal can also be broadcast to other rooms. A camera and boundary microphone, as well as a projector with ceiling lift and a projection screen, were integrated into the room.

Atrium and event area

The two buildings are connected by a self-supporting glass roof over the atrium, which can also serve as an event area. For this purpose assistive hearing technology was also installed here. In addition the atrium was equipped with a large Absen LED wall, which can be used for presentations during events. Events can be broadcast to other rooms via another dome camera and microphone or they can be used to monitor the current event. There is also a mobile rack with input and output transformers, a video switcher for integrating a Thin Client and a multimedia PC which can, if required, be connected to the wall panel opposite the LED wall. On the audio side, optionally, the system can be switched into mixing console mode. The signal is then routed via Dante from the DSP to the mixing console and back. All sound sources from the wall panels, media players and wireless microphones can thus be adjusted in real time. An access point is also connected to the mixing console for remote control of the mixer.

Mobile technology for flexible use

The Beyerdynamic conference system is not the only technology which was planned as a mobile solution. In order to be able to react flexibly to various usage scenarios lighting, stage elements, lecterns, wireless microphones and video monitors were implemented in a portable manner. Apart from mobile stage pedestals, mobile digital stage boxes provide additional inputs and outputs for the mixing consoles. There is also an audio rack on wheels with radio receivers, a CD player and mixing console as well as power amplifiers for mobile loudspeakers together with video monitors on trolleys and analogue stage boxes for the wall panels in the conference rooms. All audio and video components are networked and controlled by proven Crestron media control technology. Projection screens, lighting and blackout blinds are connected via KNX to the building automation system.

SALZBRENNER media was responsible not only for systems integration but also contributed many custom-built components. All products were customised to suit the customer´s requirements, such as the projectors concealed in the ceilings, the integration of the control centre into an active office space by means of soundproofed and air-conditioned control cabinets, the proprietary lecterns with displays and the modified and customised mounts for all sorts of technical equipment distributed throughout the building.

Mainz School of Music sets the tone again

The Johannes Gutenberg University School of Music in Mainz commissioned system integrator SALZBRENNER media, located in Buttenheim (Upper Franconia Germany) to refurbish their recording studio. The full-service provider was able to score particularly because of its expertise and many years experience as a system integrator. In spite of the very tight schedule, dictated by the duration of the semester break, the recording studio was completed on time and the university´s productions were resumed as planned in time for the start of the new semester.

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The School of Music (Hochschule für Musik, HfM) is the only music college of its kind in Rhineland-Palatinate. It is also the only institution in Germany to offer these artistic studies integrated into the curriculum of a full university. In the School of Music´s professionally equipped recording studio students are able to gain experience in artistic music production under guidance. A digital video editing suite and a composer workstation with keyboard can also be found here. The school is also equipped with a multi-channel portable PA system for internal and external concerts and sound installations as well as permanent sound systems installed in the concert halls. Audio, video and media specialist SALZBRENNER media was commissioned to renovate the sound studio. Rico Weber, member of the SALZBRENNER media sales team since mid-2019, played a decisive role in winning the contract for this project with his expertise as an AV specialist. Weber was not only responsible for the installation, system integration and the commissioning of the new SSL AWS 948 mixing console with 4X48 TT-patchbay, but also provided on-site user training.

Flexible workflows and perfect sound thanks to SSL´s AWS 948 mixing console

“For a long time I have been struggling with the decision of whether or not to acquire another analogue mixing console when refurbishing the Mainz School of Music audio control room. The audio quality of purely digital jazz and pop productions never really satisfied me. At the same time I did not want to do without the ergonomic convenience of an in-the-box workflow for more complex classical music productions or for smaller quick projects, but I wanted to upgrade this with a large control surface. The AWS 948 is a great solution for me. It enables flexible hybrid workflows, sounds great and, like other SSL consoles is a leader in ergonomic layout, quality workmanship and feel. Its concept is sophisticated and very flexible – it is simply fun to work with“, says Moritz Reinisch from the HfM, clearly satisfied. “Thank you to Rico Weber and SALZBRENNER media for their good advice and perfect integration!“

 

The GETEC Arena in Magdeburg with a new sound system

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GETEC Arena Magdeburg © Landeshauptstadt Magdeburg

Magdeburg, December 2019: Music, comedy, TV shows and sports – the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg is the largest multipurpose hall in Saxony-Anhalt. The main user is the Handball Bundesliga (national first division handball league) club SC Magdeburg. The high utilization of the venue left very little time to renew the sound system as part of the building´s conversion into one of most modern halls in Germany. The experienced audio specialists from SALZBRENNER media completed the ambitious conversion scheme in just two weeks.

Magdeburg´s municipal facilities management company, responsible for the regional capital´s properties, commissioned SALZBRENNER media to replace all the PA system loudspeakers with a new, modern solution tailored to handle the different GETEC Arena utilization scenarios. Additionally, a redundant digital audio network was installed. Apart from the main control room the system can now also be controlled from four additional positions in the arena and extra audio components can be connected. Planning of the project was handled by the planning office ADA Acoustics & Media Consultants GmbH from Berlin.

Special construction for the centre cluster

The new sound reinforcement speakers for addressing the grandstands on the long side and the front of the arena could be installed at the old locations. In the centre of the hall, where the speakers are installed in a circle, each at an angle of 60°, a special solution was required. During sports events a video ring is mounted underneath the centre cluster, which partially obstructs the loudspeakers. The Franconian full-service provider’s engineers solved the problem by positioning the new line arrays in front of the video ring using a special attachment. The speakers above the stage area, which are used for conferences and similar events were mounted in the existing rigging constructions.

Very short project duration

The arena was equipped with Kling & Freitag Nomos XLS subwoofers and Gravis 15 W and Sequenza 5 W multi-way loudspeaker systems, a Yamaha QL 1 digital mixing console and a large screen video projector were also installed. Custom mounting structures for loudspeakers, patch panels and wall junction boxes were manufactured by SALZBRENNER media. “The extremely tight time frame for the installation, due to the high utilization of the hall, and the custom mounting brackets for the centre cluster speakers presented two challenges we accepted gladly and mastered”, recalls Philipp Bauch, project manager for SALZBRENNER media.

Osram World of Light in Munich with media technology from SALZBRENNER media receives the ´Sinus – Systems Integration Award` 2020

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© Lorenz Kienzle / Ranger Design

Buttenheim, March 17th 2020: Commissioned by Ranger Design Production GmbH, SALZBRENNER media made an important contribution to the timely opening of the Osram “World of Light” lighting experience by planning and installing the media technology at the high-tech company´s headquarters in Munich. Spectacular visual stimuli build a bridge between more than one hundred years of history and the future of the Osram Group. The project has now been awarded the `Sinus – Systems Integration Award´ 2020.

The modern world of experience was created in an area of around 1,300 square meters extending over two levels in two buildings. Visitors can enjoy experiences in light and get a glimpse of the future in three main areas: `Brand & Heritage´, `Products & Solutions´ and ´The Osram Mission´. Designer, planner and general contractor Kurt Ranger (www.ranger-design.com) developed the media concept and technical configuration of the Osram experience in collaboration with Martin Schniz (Techniz). SALZBRENNER media was commissioned to complete the project due to their good price-performance ratio.

An illuminating concept – ground floor

The `World of Light´ consists of two parts which are located on the ground floor and the first floor respectively. The ground floor comprises a multifunctional foyer/reception area with space for smaller events, café, press conferences and so on. An information display in reception offers scrolling text among other functions. The `Light Lab´ area, which can be separated by a glass wall, is intended for meetings and workshops and is equipped with a multifunctional 80” Microsoft Surface Hub display. A big video wall for audio and video content is located on the mobile stage. The entire area is equipped with a Fohhn sound system. Due to the limited ceiling height of only 3.5 m SALZBRENNER media opted for a front sound reinforcement system and three smaller delay line speakers at the rear for uniform sound distribution.


The `Megatrends´ area behind the foyer accommodates a coffee bar and a mobile exhibition space with six sliding walls and four integrated NEC displays with Brightsign media players. Two additional displays can easily be added when required – connections are provided. Four synchronized videos give a glimpse of the future. The large `dashboard´ display shows current information such as employee numbers, sustainability data, share prices and so on. An extra loudspeaker helps unexpectedly large audiences to hear and see what is going on at the front of the foyer. The whole ground floor has been equipped with a Sennheiser wireless microphone system and a Clickshare system for laptop access to the Microsoft Surface Hub or the large video wall. The entire media system is controlled by a Crestron DigitalMedia Matrix – any video and any audio signal can be routed to any screen. Floor boxes and three junction boxes offer flexible options for connecting mobile phones, tablets or laptops and several microphones. Additional audio signals can be fed to a separate control unit and mixed with the other signals.

Clear concept – first floor

The `Light Works´ area on the first floor incorporates six exhibition spaces for the Osram-Business Units. Each Business Unit space has at least one 46” touchscreen and a Brightsign media player for playing image films and commercials, presentations etc.. These can be operated by visitors via a touch screen interface. The spaces are designed as individual islands which are networked over IP and can be controlled via the Crestron media control system.

The `Light Box´, is a black showroom, with seating for approx. 25 people: it is equipped with a large screen, a projector and a Fohhn sound system for the presentation of image films. Osram and Clay Paky show lighting are also installed here. Data sheets for each type of lamp can be recalled on screen via associated pre-sets and a demonstration of the respective lamp´s performance is started at the same time. Light shows are run with or without video content, but always with appropriate music. Kurt Ranger: “Here, the layman may experience here what it feels like to be an artist performing on stage“.

The `Light Lane´ museum area with three display cabinets can be found behind the `Light Box´: the 11-metre-long timeline is full of exhibits of the entire history of artificial light and the Osram company. A monitor in the second display cabinet shows a continuous loop of old Osram commercials with original sound. The display cabinet is equipped with invisible acoustic transducers which utilize the glass panel surface as a `speaker membrane´. Finally, the third display cabinet presents exhibits from the Osram archive such as historical lamps, packaging, advertising posters and signs.

A successful premiere

The `World of Light´ was the first large scale industrial project for SALZBRENNER media with new challenges in networking and flexible media control. Nevertheless, all the requirements could be met swiftly. A follow-up order for a smaller `Traxon´ display cabinet with film contributions and LED exhibits for exterior lighting is scheduled to be delivered soon. Wolfgang Salzbrenner, managing director of SALZBRENNER media: “This is something completely different from a theatre project: You have to deal with other circumstances. We have gained many new insights and are looking forward to further industrial projects“.

The Sinus Award jury particularly praised the multifunctional approach, which allows for a wide range of scenarios as well as the consistent implementation from the first model to the finished project, which meets all of the customer´s requirements optimally. Special challenges were mastered in an outstanding manner including integration of the World of Light into existing areas of the company headquarters and the planning and installation of a complex media control system distributed over several parts of the buildings. The jury and the board of trustees of the prize are made up of representatives of the Professional Lighting & Sound Association (Verband für Medien- und Veranstaltungstechnik e.V. – VPLT), the European Association of Event Centres (Europäischer Verband der Veranstaltungs-Centren e.V. – EVVC), industry experts, representatives of the trade press and Messe Frankfurt.

The award ceremony

The award should have been presented to the client and project participants at Prolight + Sound 2020 in Frankfurt. Following the cancellation of the trade show the award ceremony has been postponed until next year at Prolight + Sound 2021.

The project participants at a glance:
– Osram Licht AG (main client)
Ranger Design (general contractor)
Techniz Ingenieurbüro (media technology design)
3lpi (lighting design)
– Salzbrenner media (media technology system house)
Schindler Lichtdesign (GrandMA programming)
– Tricksal (Lightelligence installation)
Livebau (lighting installation)

University of Mainz acquires new interpreting equipment

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universität-germersheim-dolmetscherkabine ©SALZBRENNER media

Mainz / Germersheim, February 2020: People wishing to pursue a career as an interpreter need to be well trained for their future professional challenges. The Fachbereich Translations-, Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft (FTSK) – department of translation research, linguistics and cultural studies – of the Johannes-Gutenberg University of Mainz, located in Germersheim, is one of the world’s largest and best known training centres for interpreting and translation. The conference rooms, now equipped with cutting-edge audio, video and media technology from SALZBRENNER media, offer the approximately 1.200 students (especially those studying for a master’s degree in conference interpreting) ideal conditions for their studies and a perfect environment for practicing their skills in various conference situations.

Installation during semester break

The 30-year-old installation was to be brought up to the latest state-of-the-art. However, the real challenge was the tight time-schedule as the semester break was the only time available for major renovations. Since no planning office was involved it was the sole responsibility of Franconian full-service provider SALZBRENNER media to manage the whole project from A to Z on schedule. Constant communication between the FTSK and SALZBRENNER project teams ensured dynamic development of appropriate solutions for the unique requirements. There was a strong focus on expandability, so that in the future further rooms could be connected to the main conference room.

Interpreting system with 3 conference scenarios

There are five independent interpreting rooms. Two of these five rooms, with a total of 24 interpreter’s booths with two communications stations each, were renewed. Teaching units and examinations are held here as well as weekly conferences. For this purpose, both rooms are equipped with additional communication stations making it possible to use the rooms stand-alone for teaching situations as well as interconnected for conferences and discussions. In the first case the system is operated entirely by the lecturers via a media control system. But it is also possible to access all audio parameters from the control room via a full-fledged mixing console with a workstation for each room. Both rooms can be controlled from here from individual work spaces. In conference mode the rooms are interconnected and the conference can be controlled fully from both mixing positions. Recording and subsequent analysis of interpretation from the individual booths is an integral part of the interpreter training which is facilitated by various recording systems (multitrack, stereo and streaming). In teaching mode, lecturers can listen in to the individual booths during interpretation or play the signals out via the installed loudspeaker system if desired. All booths are constantly recorded for analysis in plenary session at a later time.

POLARIS evolution, a user-friendly solution

It was important for the lecturers that operation of the media technology is as accessible and intuitive as possible, even for technically unskilled people, and that the total of 98 channels can be accessed without the assistance of technical personnel. The lecturers also have the option of selecting from various playback sources and adjusting the playback levels, booth recordings, microphones and “live-booth-signals.” Video recordings for analysing students´ body language, as well as the booth signals (original and interpreted), need to be transmitted to the auditorium as an essential teaching aid. For Friday conferences a streaming function is required at the touch of a button as well as AV-signal transmission from the two large conference rooms to and from each other in order to simulate virtual conferences. And last but not least in examination situations any interpretation desk must be selectable while the rest are muted, in order to evaluate each individual student in isolation.

At the heart of the Dante audio network is a SALZBRENNER media POLARIS evolution mixing console system (128 inputs, 128 outputs, 64 buses). POLARIS evolution features multi work space functionality making it possible to control both rooms independently from a single mixing console system. Corresponding channels and mixes are assigned to the work spaces via individual assignments of the respective mixer control surface. POLARIS evolution´s unique automation features provide separate automation groups for each work space which recall the necessary settings for the current scenario for each room (training, examinations in simultaneous interpreting, examinations in consecutive interpreting, conferences). This is achieved via the media control system from the lecturer´s control panel. Presets can be recalled separately for each room. With POLARIS evolution the media control system has access to any desired parameter of the system. Faders, Mutes, VCA-groups, M/S groups, Mixes and Cues are controlled via the media control system in order to facilitate user friendly operation from the lecturers´ tablet controls. Routing changes in the Dante-network are necessitated when rooms are interconnected in conference, which are also undertaken by POLARIS evolution via attached routing presets. The same applies to Dante routings which do not connect directly to or from the mixing consoles. Loading Dante presets in Dante Controller is eliminated completely, all routings are handled by the mixing console system.

The customer is very happy with the current solution: “We were aware of the complexity of our requirements right from the start “, says Dr. Lena Skalweit, FTSK Germersheim project manager. Competent advice, a flexible concept and trouble-free installation and service were crucial for the excellent realisation of the project. “SALZBRENNER met the ambitious time schedule and since the start of the semester we have a modern, flexible high-quality system at our disposal which meets our technical requirements entirely “, Dr. Skalweit continues. Lecturers, students and technical staff are completely satisfied.

SALZBRENNER appoints additional Managing Director

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Manfred Nowak has been appointed Managing Director of SALZBRENNER media. Since the end of January 2020, he has joined the management team alongside Wolfgang and Thomas Salzbrenner.

 

As of January 20, 2020, the management of SALZBRENNER media has been complemented by a third member: Manfred Nowak will manage all commercial operations as well as the project realization department. The brothers Wolfgang and Thomas Salzbrenner, who took over the management from their father and company founder Friedrich Salzbrenner, remain managing directors. Wolfgang Salzbrenner focuses on the sales and marketing departments, whereas Thomas Salzbrenner is responsible for the technological aspects, namely product management and product development.

Manfred Nowak worked more than 30 years in the large-scale nuclear facility business, taking on various positions for Kraftwerk Union AG, Siemens AG and AREVA GmbH worldwide. This earned him a lot of international experience in general management. After a subsequent 4 years as President of ŠKODA JS a.s. in Pilsen, Nowak worked as an independent consultant for the energy industry.

„With his profound knowledge and extensive international expertise, we are sure to have found the perfect match for our management team with Manfred Nowak,” says Wolfgang Salzbrenner. Manfred Nowak is also looking forward to his new role at SALZBRENNER media: “I am very excited and proud to join the SALZBRENNER media team. I am particularly intrigued by the attractive product range and the ability to develop customized products and system solutions for our customers.

POLARIS evolution and NIO xcel on Tour with Flying Colors

flying_colors_tour_polaris_nio

That POLARIS evolution and NIO xcel hold their ground even during hard touring life was proven on the latest Europe tour of the US rock band “Flying Colors”

Within one week, the band toured through Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and England. FoH engineer and Tour Manager Daniel Schindler chose the combination of POLARIS evolution and NIO xcel due to their efficiency and sound quality: “On tour, everything happens fast and, since a DVD is produced during that tour, the converter quality has to be excellent. With POLARIS evolution, you only need two minutes to set up the FoH and get everything going without any additional helping hands. POLARIS evolution also covers the routing of the record systems and the outboard via Nexus. This saves a lot of time and the sound quality is just amazing! Especially, the multiple gain controls of NIO xcel 1201 allow a recording level independent from the FoH gain. Otherwise, this would only have been possible with an additional split and additional converters.” For this tour, a POLARIS evolution system with 128 I/Os (DANTE), two NEXUS Base Devices (connected to POLARIS evolution via XDIP), 5x NIO xcel 1201, 2x NIO xcel 1202, 1x NIO xcel 1101 und 1x NIO xcel 1102 were used. Furthermore, there were two DANTE recording systems as well as a Waves Impact Server (which was connected via MADI/DigiGrid MGO and NEXUS) stationed at the FoH. All I/O routings as well as the Waves Cue link and the DAWs were exclusively handled by POLARIS evolution cue groups. “A fantastic setup I would go on tour with any time again,” Daniel Schindler adds.