Bern, Switzerland: Zentrum Paul Klee With New NEXUS Option
New Feature introduces Controllability of NEXUS Microphone Converters from Third-party Consoles
The Swiss artist Paul Klee (1879 - 1940) is mostly renowned for his paintings. However, Klee also was a passionate musician, pedagogue, and poet. Therefore, the Zentrum Paul Klee (http://www.zpk.org/ww/en/pub/web_root.cfm), which is dedicated to his life's work, is a mixture of a museum, a concert and theatre hall, and a convention centre. The professional audio system required by this institution with various range of use is based on an extensive NEXUS audio network by STAGETEC. It interconnects the control rooms of the auditorium and forum stages, provides signal routing within the entire three-hill building (constructed by Renzo Piano), and feeds sound-reinforcement systems.
When the audio installation was designed, the key feature was layed on routing functionality. It was quite clear from the beginning, that smaller low-priced consoles would be sufficient for mixing the signals. Already in the early planning process, Erwin Schenk, the head of the Zentrum's multimedia-technical section, opted for a combination of NEXUS as audio routing system with one Yamaha DM 2000 and one Yamaha DM 1000 console. Yet he asked for one special feature: Instead of the Yamaha microphone pre-amplifiers and A/D converters of the consoles, Erwin Schenk wanted to use the famous NEXUS TrueMatch converters on the NEXUS XMAD boards. Thanks to their high resolution of 28 bits, the TrueMatch converters convert the microphone signal directly, without pre-amplification, into the digital domain. This bypasses noisy analogue pre-amplifiers and simplifies signal handling. Furthermore, this approach enhances flexibility as any microphone signal on the NEXUS can be routed to any output.
Specifically for that application, STAGETEC designed a control interface that emulates the proprietary YAMAHA protocol, so that the NEXUS XMAD boards can now be controlled from the third-party console. The interface was implemented over the RS422 control line of a NEXUS XCI control-interface board. The sound engineer now can simply change the parameters of the NEXUS microphone-input board such as gain or subsonic filter, through the controls of the console. In addition to the control line, the unamplified microphone signal is fed directly to the NEXUS that forwards it to the console over a MADI line.
The Zentrum Paul Klee uses a set-up comprising altogether six NEXUS base devices. The two control rooms, the stage, and the gallery each house one of them while the remaining two are used as mobile units to be placed wherever I/O ports are required. These mobile devices are also equipped with XMAD and XCI boards, enabling the possibility to integrate the consoles and the microphone-input remote control in mobile use, too. All in all, the entire system provides maximum flexibility and user-friendliness. The Zentrum Paul Klee installation and its new remote control option is the ideal example for a large NEXUS network with high routing demands and only minor mixing requirements.