Soundscape at the St. Gallen Festival: A concert hall sound in the open air.
The 13th St. Gallen Festival lasted from June 29 to July 13 2018. Besides classical concerts and dance performances, the program included Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Edgar”. Seven open-air performances were accompanied by the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra and members of various choirs. The performances all took place with the distinctive two towers of the Baroque cathedral forming an impressive backdrop for the stage.
At the 2018 St. Gallen Festival, a d&b Soundscape System was the key player providing excellent sound for the1400 guests. Andreas Baumann and Michael Sutter (Tingo GmbH) were responsible for the d&b Soundscape System. They set up their workplace in the control container packed with technical equipment. The monitors there displayed d&b ArrayCalc and the d&b R1 Remote control software.
Sutter had this to say about the d&b DS100 Signal Engine: “This year was the first time we used the DS100 live at the St. Gallen Festival and the experiences we’ve had so far with the new d&b processor during the performances are very good! The system works with absolute reliability. Setup management is intuitive, provided you are familiar with the d&b operation philosophy [Workflow]. We had prepared a complete ArrayCalc file containing all the patches – so we were ready to start on the spot very quickly. Using 3D plans which we received in advance from the rigging company, I was able to simulate the stage in ArrayCalc and then draw in all the loudspeakers. On site, I set up everything as I had planned in advance - it needed only some minor tweaks. The DS100 is fully integrated in R1 and ArrayCalc.”
The d&b DS100 Signal Engine assumed the output positioning of the audio signals and room simulation at the St. Gallen Festival.
“In the En-Space segment, the DS100 offers six rooms at present - at the St. Gallen festival, we used the KKL Lucerne,” explained Michael Sutter. “In my opinion, the sound on stage this year is the same as if you were sitting in a room – the signals supplied by the DS100 act as a real room, not like a reverb program. You have the feeling of sitting in a concert hall much more than in previous years; the sound experience is much more realistic.”
Peter König from the St. Gallen Theater was responsible for mixing the opera performances. “This year, I really appreciated the feeling of being in the opera house during the performances,” commented the sound engineer. “Although it was an open-air performance, the critical voices had an especially beautiful sound.From an artistic viewpoint, a decision had to be made how to strike the right balance between the natural acoustics of the cloister courtyard and the artificially reproduced room acoustics of the d&b En-Space software module to obtain perfect listening pleasure.”
Daniel A. Meyer, founder and owner of 2M Audio GmbH, supervised the St. Gallen Festival from the start - the sound reinforcement concept and sound design are based mainly on his ideas. Tingo GmbH and M&M Hire AG supplied the equipment and dealt with audio-technical planning and execution in St. Gallen. The contact partner for the St. Gallen Theater is Habegger AG which acted as main contractor for lighting, sound, and rigging.