The World Listens
STAGETEC Products Gaining Ground in the Asian Market
Big sports events, sensational theatre productions and concerts, international conventions - there is currently no other continent that is as socially and culturally active as Asia. Enthusiasm for new technologies and the focus on state of the art international standards are also evident in increasingly versatile pro-audio installations based on AURUS, AURATUS, and NEXUS
8th of August 2008: 91,000 spectators are present to experience the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in the Chinese capital, Beijing. The national anthem rings out from 200 line arrays – fed via a large NEXUS audio network. All delay lines are perfectly timealigned using the NEXUS DSPs. The largest public-address system in a Chinese stadium excels with unprecedented intelligibility – not least because of the direct digital connections between the power amplifiers and the NEXUS.
Heard 40 Billion Times
STAGETEC systems are also used to mix the audio for the PA systems feeding the stadium and VIP areas. Equally important, they also supply the international sound mixes to the linked broadcasters. For these purposes, the stadium’s NEXUS network includes two AURUS consoles: a small 8-channel unit and a large 40-channel desk. So, not only the spectators on the spot but also an estimated 40 billion cumulative TV audience all over the world will experience the superb sound quality of the opening and closing ceremonies, the athletics events, and the soccer final. The distribution of the international sound mixes to all connected OB trucks – currently an estimated 60 vehicles – and the various technical centres is achieved using MADI lines. When it came to selecting the audio technology, it was the allembracing digital-networking capabilities that tipped the balance in favour of STAGETEC systems. Other key benefits identified included the analogue-style operation of the consoles in conjunction with their exceptional audio quality. With this decision, the planners of the Summer Games in China are in good company on the international scene: STAGETEC products have set the tone at many great sporting events such as the Winter Olympics in Turin or the Football World Cup in Germany in 2006.
OB Truck invasion
Of course, a great event such as the Summer Games also relies on STAGETEC systems in many other locations. Broadcasters, especially from Europe, will send an armada of OB trucks to China – many of them with NEXUS, AURUS, and CANTUS systems on board. Many temporary studio installations – for example, Italian broad-caster RAI‘s Beijing studio – will be based on AURUS systems. The same is true for China‘s biggest national broadcaster CCTV with their new OB truck and Hunan TV Station with their HDTV vehicle.
Premiere of AURATUS XL in Japan
From the technical point of view, there had already been landmark developments in this area last year. At a presentation of the AURATUS XL, a larger version of the AURATUS digital mixing console, the people at the Italian broadcaster RAI were so enthusiastic about the new design that they promptly rented the prototype to broadcast the Athletics World Championships at Osaka in Japan. The console was in continuous operation for three weeks during August 2007: 16 hours a day. This was a truly successful acid test! Soon after the original AURATUS had been released in January 2007, many broadcasters began asking for a version featuring significantly more audio channels and the concept of the AURATUS XL was born. Providing 140 channels, the prototype used in Osaka offered around three times as many channels as the standard version AURATUS.
The Fame Spreads
Just a few months after the World Championships one of the most popular radio stations on Japan’s mainland, FM 802, opened four new on-air and production studios. Each studio is lavishly equipped with an AURUS console. Although this was quite a novelty since it was the fi rst AURUS installation at a Japanese radio station the operator already knew that the console would meet all reliability, artistic and fl exibility requirements as well as providing technical perfection. Many years of positive experience with the mixing console in other Japanese installations, for example at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, the iMedio Media Centre in Osaka, and Japan’s largest private TV company Fuji TV, had already spread the fame of STAGETEC systems in Japan.
At the Prefectural Culture Centre in Ibaraki an AURUS and NEXUS has recently been installed for a completely different application, live sound reinforcement. A main console, plus a portable slave desk for studio and FOH use, integrated into a NEXUS network is supporting the manifold events held in the Culture Centre. One main focus of the system design was the mobile NEXUS Base Devices used as stage boxes, which provide first-class microphone inputs.
AURUS and AURATUS
Kuala Lumpur-based Radio Television Malaysia is a long-term AURUS user. Recently, two new studios were equipped with the two existing AURUS consoles. The gaps left in the studios where these AURUS desks used to be are now being fi lled with two brand-new AURATUS consoles – a conceptually and spatially obvious solution. The small, cramped studios used for news and live recordings gained more space by installing the AURATUS units and these also enable news features to be produced even faster than before. Just a few months earlier, RTM had taken delivery of Malaysia’s largest AURUS. This console is used for recordings and all kinds of events at the big Auditorium Perdana.
Theatre and music play a major role in Asia’s extensive cultural life. One house with an international reputation is the renowned Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay in Singapore. Opened in October 2002, this institution presents concerts, drama and dance at their two great halls and two studio stages. The extensive repertoire requires excellent audio quality. To enhance this, and to integrate convenient signal routing throughout the building, from summer 2008 a total of 19 NEXUS Base Devices and a NEXUS STAR will network the entire premises. The Esplanade engineers placed particularly emphasis on the outstanding signal quality provided by the NEXUS microphone preamps. Beside which, other factors such as future extensibility and fl exibility in everyday use begged for a NEXUS to be implemented in this application. A similar situation existed at the Grand Theatre of Wuhan, China, where the NEXUS network was put into operation in 2007.
Technology and products by the Berlin based manufacturer STAGETEC are taking the Asian region by storm. China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore – not forgetting the installations at the Sejong Centre of Seoul, Korea, and the National Congress Centre at Hanoi, Vietnam.
When the Olympic anthem is played for the last time in the Beijing stadium on the 24th of August 2008, this excellent German audio technology will once again have proved its worth.