Hessensound relies on d&b XSL systems at the “Stadt ohne Meer” festival

© Hessensound

The “Stadt ohne Meer” open-air festival was held for the fifth time this summer. Around 10,000 people attended the two-day music event, during which acts such as Megaloh, Bilderbuch, and The Haunted Youth performed on two stages. In 2023, XSL loudspeaker systems from d&b audiotechnik guaranteed a homogeneous sound that enabled the audience to enjoy a supreme sound experience thanks to cardioid dispersion.

The main stage at “Stadt ohne Meer” has been managed and supplied with event technology by Hessensound for the past three years. In previous years, loudspeakers from the d&b Y-Series were used, which were replaced by XSL modules in 2023.

“Our task was to cover a space with a depth of 50 meters, which extended to the area just in front of the catering section and chill-out zone located further back,” reported Marc A. Helbig, event technician at Hessensound, who was responsible for the sound system. The XSL loudspeakers allowed us to achieve a homogeneous sound over the entire depth of the space – which meant that a delay line was not needed.”

Line arrays with eleven XSL units were flown to the left and right of the main stage, consisting of nine XSL8 (top, horizontal dispersion of 80 degrees) and two XSL12 (bottom, horizontal dispersion of 120 degrees) loudspeakers. Subwoofers were set up solely on the ground. Powerful bass performance came from 7 x 2 d&b V-SUBs, which were distributed in double stacks along the front edge of the stage. Between the stacked d&b subwoofers, the Hessensound crew had positioned four SL-SUBs (3 x 21", cardioid dispersion) upright in INFRA mode. The hybrid bass ensemble was operated at the festival as a “mixed SUB array” and was easily able to meet the sound requirements of the performing musicians in terms of bass power – with even deep Moog synth bass sounds being effortlessly reproduced.

We used ArrayCalc to plan the sound system. Reliable simulations are possible with this software. What’s more, you can think in advance about the ideal way of approaching a sound reinforcement concept in a specific context. ArrayCalc is a brilliant planning tool: The results at the venue correspond to what was planned beforehand.Marc A. Helbig, Event Technician at Hessensound
© Hessensound
© Hessensound

As the latest member of the SL-Series, the d&b XSL system possesses all the positive features of the familiar GSL and KSL family members, from impressive directivity and extended bass frequency response to the proven rigging, cabling, and transport solutions.

Extraneous noise at the festival is undoubtedly an issue in Giessen, and the cardioid dispersion of the XSL systems and the d&b subwoofers served us very well in this respect: The festivalgoers were able to enjoy a supreme sound experience without annoying the local residents. It goes without saying that we complied with the prescribed sound level limits at the measurement points set up across the area. The feedback we received from the people working at the FOH was consistently positive. The XSL system’s performance at the festival in terms of sound, pressure, and homogeneity was really impressive for its size!Marc A. Helbig, Event Technician at Hessensound

Among other things, the d&b XSL systems feature impressive broadband directivity, with cardioid dispersion behavior across the entire frequency range. This results in less crosstalk among open stage microphones, improved clarity and presence of individual instruments, and significantly reduced tonal discoloration in the midrange. On and behind the stage, it is quieter, and the oft-bemoaned “booming” disappears. XSL systems give monitor engineers more control over their sound, especially in the mid- and low-frequency range.

During the festival, we were approached by various bands and artists who told us how pleasantly quiet it was onstage compared to the audience area. The excellent cardioid effect often leaves people looking very impressed. Colleagues at the monitoring point were pleased with the significant reduction in unwanted signal transfer among the open microphones, along with the fact that they were able to concentrate more fully on the music than on the issue of how to avoid feedback and other forms of interference. The difference compared to non-cardioid systems was clearly audible in Giessen. Personally, I think it’s brilliant that the seamless workflow that is mentioned time and again at d&b works so well in practice.
Marc A. Helbig, Event Technician at Hessensound
The new XSL systems perfectly complement Hessensound’s existing portfolio with audio solutions from d&b audiotechnik! The mixer of a band at ‘Stadt ohne Meer’ told me that he was positively surprised by the very direct sound of the XSL system – which I found remarkable given that the colleague in question usually prefers to work with loudspeakers from another market player. Beyond the ‘Stadt ohne Meer’ festival, we successfully used our new XSL systems at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin at the beginning of June, and in November they will provide good sound at a prestigious event in Munich. And needless to say that the SoundGarten concert series – which we organize ourselves under the brand name ‘hs live’ – will also use XSL audio solutions.
Mario Borschel, Owner of Hessensound
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