23 September 2015

Turkish Parliament installs d&b for clearer debating

It is a matter of fact that the human ear brain mechanism is a highly sophisticated system capable of identifying where sound comes from with amazing accuracy. “Using this information, with even the slightest difference in loudness, the brain can clearly identify the change and thus locate direction. “This in essence was the challenge presented by the requirements for a new sound system in the Turkish Parliament building Ankara,” explained Tayfun Konuralp of Atempo, Turkey’s leading provider of professional audio and d&b Distributor. “With a requirement for a major improvement in intelligibility, the desire was added for any member of the parliament to be able to easily identify who was speaking and from where, even during the most heated of debates.”

“The old system had been falling short of modern standards for some time,” said Mr Yakup Bayraktar, former Tonmeister, and Technical Manager of the Audio Department at the parliament, “intelligibility was so poor it could become uncomfortable and tiresome for our members.”

“Mr Dr Wolfgang Ahnert had already been engaged by the parliamentary authorities to find a solution,” added Konuralp “Mr Dr Wolfgang Ahnert is something of legend in acoustical consulting and design. As the inventor of EASE software, we anticipated our skill set would be taken to a new level by his proposals and we were not disappointed.”

Put to open tender, Atempo presented a system using a mix of d&b systems. “The debating chamber is a fan shaped auditorium seating five hundred, with a central main platform from where the speaker of the house manages the sessions. In essence this is a two system solution: there is a front facing system of left/right Ti10Ls so that the platform can address the whole house. The second system is distributed, a set of ceiling clusters, using individually amplified 10S loudspeakers arranged to face downward and in a cross formation to give 360 degree propagation. The key to this system is the Salzbrenner Stagetec Nexus matrix system management that, through programmed time settings, can localise sound to the region of any parliament member who is talking, relative to the rest of the chamber. Naturally that’s quite a complex and variable timing structure for such a broad coverage area, so selection of the correct loudspeakers and their consistency of performance, particularly in terms of pattern definition, was crucial. The d&b product range conforms very precisely to what their published data states, so for me I would not attempt such a sensitive installation with any other product. You need to know the system can deliver exactly what it says it can on paper.”

Installing the system coincided with Turkey’s presidential elections, “Which cut install time in half to just six weeks,” said Konuralp. “The Ti10L line array systems were commissioned immediately so the inauguration of the President could take place. The more complex testing and commissioning of the 10S based localisation system took place immediately afterwards. At the same time we initiated training sessions for the parliament’s own technical team under Mr Yakup Bayraktar. He has a very good team with a deep understanding of the physics of sound reinforcement and they recognized the operational concept of localisation easily. This is the first and only such audio installation in a debating chamber with localisation in Turkey; in fact such systems are pretty unique as far as we understand, there is one in the Berlin Parliament we know, and maybe one or two others elsewhere. Mr Bayraktar’s team engaged with the process very quickly and soon took control.”

“All the problems of the old audio system have been solved,” concluded Mr Yakup Bayraktar. “I would like to congratulate Atempo once more for the very professional job conducted in this project.”