Klee undulates in tune through d&b

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Orson Welles famously quoted 'In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.' Well, not quite. For starters, the cuckoo clock is German. And what of the cheese, the banks, the chocolate, the mother of all penknives and Ursula Andress? The country also spawned a considerable number of architects and artists, the most revered of whom, among the Swiss at least, is Paul Klee. So revered, in fact, that when the decision was made to build a museum to hold four thousand of his paintings, only an architect as great as Renzo Piano, the mind behind the Pompidou Centre would serve.

The building, which is located in Bern, Switzerland is designed to undulate in tune with the landscape, reflecting the sky in its steel roof and plunging down into fields of barley, artfully sown on the instructions of the architect. That the building reflects Klee's own fascination with nature is obvious; what is less known is Klee's love of music, here paid tribute to with a three hundred seat subterranean concert hall. Funding came from a combination of public donation, the Canton of Berne, and the Müller Foundation (MMMF).

A priority for the Klee, and the Müller foundation was to implement the combination of fine arts with music, which resulted in two rooms filled with audio equipment, the Auditorium and the Forum. The Auditorium is used mostly for jazz, some classical and modern classical and for conferencing events. The installed PA system is all from d&b audiotechnik, with a Yamaha DM2000 desk and the German Nexus Systems, though TiMax is sometimes used for spatial audio modelling.

The main Auditorium uses a 12:2 surround sound system of d&b Ci60s, Ci90s, Ci80s plus a Q10 and E12 subwoofers, all driven by d&b D12 amplifiers. The designed intention is to use this system for mainly electronic music performances and conferences. Transmission uses MADI protocol to the Nexus router and d&b's ROPE C remote software. The routing for all audio is through the Nexus, none of that happens in the desks, leaving them free for just mixing purposes (there are for example, eight dedicated channels of installed microphone feeds for 'ambient' recordings). The Forum on the other hand is primarily for dinner and conferencing functions and uses a Yamaha DM1000, again with distributed Ci-Series loudspeaker from d&b controlled via the Nexus router.

Christian Simmen of John Lay, the museum's supervising architects, Erwin Schenk the technical manager for Zentrum Paul Klee and other concerned parties, listened to the d&b installation at the Konzert and Congress Centre (KCC) in Lucerne, liked it, and consequently specified a d&b system for the centre. 2M Audio supplied and installed the entire system and also provided the requisite training, whilst Andy Bauman an independent systems designer was appointed to manage the project on their behalf.

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