L-Acoustics sound system powers up Philharmonie Essen

L-Acoustics sound system powers up Philharmonie Essen
The Alfried-Krupp-Saal at Philharmonie Essen needed a modern sound system to cater for its diverse musical repertoire, selecting an L-Acoustics Kara II sound system to strengthen sound reinforcement in the venue.

As the hall’s programme developed beyond a traditional classical music offering, a new audio system was needed that had the power to cater for pop, rock and jazz concerts.

Acoustic consultant, Müller-BBM Building Solutions, performed the acoustic planning for renovations at the venue in the early 2000s, and was approached again by Philharmonie Essen to design the new system.

The system required an 18-ton adjustable polygonal panel above the stage to improve the auditory experience for both musicians and the audience, using the hall’s unique reverberation characteristics to make the room’s acoustics work for live orchestral works.

The newly-installed Kara II based system was supplied, installed, and commissioned by Amptown System Company, an L-Acoustics certified partner integrator in Germany.

The audience area is covered by left/centre/right arrays of Kara II arrays, comprising 12 cabinets left and right, with eight Kara II in the centre. Four KS21 subs per side were deployed in cardioid configuration, providing low frequency energy at each side of the stage with nine compact 5XT spread across the stage lip to provide front-fill while keeping sight lines clear.

A pair of A10s, one Wide and one Focus, sit atop a KS21 subwoofer, allowing the audience to localise vocal content at stage level.

Arrays of three Kara II cabinets per side cover the upper side balconies, using the adjustable dispersion, with two enclosures trimmed to a very narrow horizontal dispersion of 70 degrees. The lowest cabinet is set to 90 degrees to cover the middle balcony.

The choir balconies, above and behind the stage, are served by four arrays of A10 wide, with the two inner consisting of three A10  Wide and two outer arrays counting one A10 Focus and A10 Wide respectively.

The rear balcony area is covered at the side, behind the Kara II arrays, is covered by an A10 Wide for the upper balcony and two A10 Wide per side for the lower balcony.

Calibration was performed using a P1 processor in combination with M1 software, taking approximately two hours to analyse all 122 separate measurements, as the M1 measurement sequence handles up to four microphones at once.

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