Sennheiser turns festival green

This year’s Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montréal, Quebec incorporated a Green Stage, sponsored by Sennheiser Canada’s K-array loudspeaker and subwoofer technology and Innovason Eclipse console and signal processor.

Evenko, formerly the Gillette Group, conceived the green stage at Osheaga and worked to make it a reality. Solotech delivered lighting technology and sound engineering chops in a bid to ensure the production value of the Green Stage competed favorably with the best of conventional stages. Infinite Island Power, which specializes in producing live green events, brought renewable energy technologies to the stage. Sennheiser Canada designed an efficient sound reinforcement system via the K-array loudspeaker and subwoofer technologies and the Innovason Eclipse digital console. Combined with a live microphone package, Sennheiser claimed to have elevated the fidelity and impact of the green stage music while, at the same time, significantly reducing the demand placed on the renewable energy technologies.

Infinite Island Power’s contribution incorporated Sharp solar panels, WindTronics wind turbines, clean gas generators, and battery storage devices, as well as computer control technology that synchronized and optimized the energy portfolio’s output. Hamlet Heavy Timberwork built the lighting and sound deck out of locally harvested and recycled timber.

Vaino Gennaro, business director for live sound products at Sennheiser Canada designed the Sennheiser Green Stage’s PA system with three K-array KH4 two-way line arrays per side in a stereo configuration. Six K-array KS4 dipole subwoofers and two KO70 sub bass speakers per side added bass. Finally, four K-array KH15 two-way line arrays spread evenly across the front of the stage provided front fill. All of the K-array units that were used are self-powered.

“The K-array products are remarkably efficient,” said Gennaro. “They are lightweight, and have a very small footprint,” said Dan Fletcher, engineer with Infinite Island Power. “For the same output and even greater fidelity, the K-array system drew 45 per cent less power. On the face of it, some concert promoters are reluctant to go ‘green’ because they see it as a trade-off. But with K-array, there is no sacrifice in performance. It’s a very easy decision, as the K-array production value is high, the energy savings are substantial, and greater efficiency is the direction we need to be moving in as a society.”

“The Innovason Eclipse is a comprehensive and deeply functional digital console,” explained Gennaro. “On the input side, it has all of the necessary EQ, filtering, compression, gating, delay, etc. On the output side, it has all the signal processing required of the K-array system, including crossovers and time alignment. So, with just one box, we can run the whole show without any need for power-hungry output gear.”

Sennheiser also supplied the stage with microphones including three e 935 wired vocal mics, six e 906 guitar cabinet mics, and two MD 421 II bass cabinet mics. Dual drum risers each had four e 904 clip-on tom mics, one e 905 snare mic, one 901 & 902 bass drum mic combo, and three small-diaphragm e 914 condensers for overheads and hi-hats. Four channels of ew 500-935 G3 wireless microphones and four channels of ew 300 IEM G3 wireless personal monitors gave artists the freedom to move around for maximum theatrical impact.

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