The Deutsche Theater in Berlin stars with a new AURUS control room
Berlin, June 2009: Actor and Actress of the Year, Production of the Year, Scene of the Year, and finally Theatre of the Year 2008 — Germany's top award winning theatre is located in Berlin — the Deutsche Theater. This multi-award-winning theatre was recently equipped with a state of the art audio system from the SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP, installed during the complete redevelopment of the auditorium.
Since 1995 the theatre has been equipped with an extensive NEXUS network including a CANTUS console and therefore, for the core of the new audio-control room, it opted for an upgrade of the proven NEXUS plus an AURUS console. At the end of February 2009, the MEDIAGROUP, which as a general contractor was in charge of the entire audio and video installation, delivered a ready-to-use house to the theatre management.
»Our aim was a state-of-the-art audio-installation capable of handling productions of any size,« says Marek Sawitza, head of audio at Deutsche Theater. »In this regard, the co-operation with SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP was ideal since we could integrate the new AURUS and NEXUS components seamlessly with the existing system, which after all has been in use since 1995—at reasonable cost and without any compromise regarding quality and reliability.«
The core of the new audio control facility is a 48-fader AURUS equipped with four RMD DSP boards which was relocated from the stalls to an open space inside the auditorium. Depending on the setup, this system supports a configuration of, for example, 128 input channels and 48 outputs; however, the Deutsche Theater has implemented a base set up with 60 input channels, 24 studio groups, and 64 aux channels. The existing NEXUS audio network, consisting of nine Base Devices with 220 analogue I/Os, was supplemented with two more Base Devices and a NEXUS STAR core router, which also accommodates the AURUS DSP and optical-interface boards. This NEXUS configuration now offers an awesome pool of 348 analogue and 1,300 digital I/Os. The backbone of the audio infrastructure is a fibre optic network, which makes almost any place in the house accessible - including the stage and the stalls. Marek Sawitza: »To us, utmost flexibility was one of the key requirements in order to meet the demands of creative production ideas. The handy solution includes two mobile NEXUS units that can be placed virtually anywhere in the house. For example, when the producer needs a choir on stage, providing the required microphone inputs is mere child’s play.« At the same time, an intelligent cabling concept ensures campus-wide distribution of all signals. All junction boxes feature not only standard audio and video ports, but also multiple LWC and RJ45 ports with flexible format assignment. »In essence this allows for routing any format and signal to any location in the house,« says Sawitza.
The fact that the development of forthcoming productions could not be interrupted until completed was a major logistical challenge. For this reason, the AURUS desk was made available to Sawitza and his crew three months before the scheduled handover so that the forthcoming season’s productions could be prepared in the in-house audio studio. A few days before handover, the console simply had to be connected to the audio network prepared previously and was soon ready for use after minimum calibration. »Before we calibrated the system,« says Sawitza, »we conducted an acoustic simulation of the new auditorium using the EASE system. This allowed us to operate with an ideal acoustic picture right from the start—with just a few EQ adjustments. That made work much easier during the stressful time shortly before the reopening!«