17 June 2016

Malmö comes aLive with the d&b DS10

The Malmö Live complex is a stunning architectural vision, a clean cut combination of angled glass and concrete. Inside this multipurpose venue is a concert hall, home to the Malmö Symphony Orchestra; a flexible performance space, known as the Cube; a congress centre, five star hotel, and restaurants. Nominated for Sweden’s most prestigious architectural award, the Kasper Salin Prize, the building is fast becoming a new hub of cultural excellence.

The oak and brass concert hall is in complete contrast to the building’s bold exterior, as Kristian Ahlmark, senior partner for architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen, explains: “We wanted to achieve two things: an absolutely world class sound and a room with a musicality that works with the music, like sitting inside an instrument. The result is a composition of cubic elements. Each surface has a function, angle and size that supports the acoustics.”

The audio installation for both the concert hall and the Cube were put out to public tender; Arva Trading AB beat the competition to secure the project. Technical manager, Ronny Sjöstrand: “The tender documents demanded a very high technical standard. We supplied an EASE simulation of the concert hall with specification for SPL, STI value and equivalent SPL, frequency and STI on every one of the sixteen hundred seats. Our submission was to install a d&b system of primarily Vi loudspeakers with T10 and Yi for the delay system. T10s with V-GSUBs were also specified for the Cube.”

Integrating the system was helped by the new d&b DS10 Audio network bridge, which offers an interface between Dante and the AES3 digital inputs of d&b amplifiers, while also providing distribution of Ethernet control data. Each unit is able to provide up to sixteen AES3 output channels via the Dante audio transport protocol through Ethernet, allowing for a significant reduction in cabling requirements. For the project it meant reductions in time and cost, as well as impact on the building’s infrastructure.

Sjöstrand consulted with Jonas Wagner and Boris Rehders at d&b Application Support. “Although this is a purpose built room, there were still areas that required some imaginative solutions to ensure even coverage throughout the hall,” explains Wagner. “On the first floor balconies both behind and left and right of the stage, we mounted 8S loudspeakers recessed into the ceiling. Aside from the aesthetic impact for FoH, where they are installed behind the stage, the speakers can be used as monitors for the choir platform when required. A rather unique solution but one that worked perfectly here.”

Yi12s are used for the second balcony and Yi8s for fills while T10s are employed at the front of the stage and for the side balcony delays. D80 amplifiers power the main Vi8/Vi12arrays, and the installation specific 10Ds amplifier drive the fills and delays.

“The total project also included sound installation for other parts of this huge complex, which has been described as ‘a city within a city’,” concludes Sjöstrand. “For Arva it represents a total of eight months planning and installation work. Malmö Live is a very special venue; we are especially happy that both the consulting company and the concert house are so pleased with the result.”