Open air and crystal clear at Nature One festival
This was the twenty first Nature One, the largest European outdoor electronic music festival. Over 65,000 revellers descended on the small German town of Kastellaun for the party, located at Pydna a former NATO missile base. While the festival’s motto was simply ‘stay as you are’ there were some significant changes in store for the 2015 crowd. For the first time, the central open air arena featured a sound system from d&b.
Under contract from Nuremberg based entertainment service provider, pave GmbH, Tobi Weiser was tasked with taking care of audio control, a man whose involvement with the festival spans several years. The decision was made to cover the dance area with a four-point sound reinforcement system, with loudspeakers set up in all four corners. Each position was covered by J8s, along with two J12s for wider coverage at the bottom of each array. Four V-SUBs provided the loudspeakers at the rear with additional low end support.
“The four line arrays were supplemented by a SUB array in front of the stage,” explained Weiser, "much to the delight of the revellers, who enjoyed plenty of heart thumping, low end bass without any loss of clarity." The technical team set up thirty six J-SUBs stacked in twelve sets of three, with the two end stacks facing outwards to create the desired level distribution. Four J12s were positioned on the subwoofers as nearfills, spread along the front edge of the stage. Meanwhile, elements of the Y-Series were employed for monitoring duties; to the right and left of the DJ two stacks stood to about eye level, consisting of three Y8s and two Y-SUBs. “This generated enough air vibration and sound to fulfil any DJ's wish for specific levels,” added Weiser. "Overall the d&b system delivered an allround sensory extravaganza."
Prior to the live event, careful system planning took place at pave, during which the team ran detailed ArrayCalc simulations on the festival system. The sound system was designed to deliver an alternating stereo effect so that the audience standing between two loudspeaker positions always perceived the stereophonic sound. To direct the sound towards the stage for people standing in the general dance area, a delay was added to the rear loudspeakers. The key task here was to strike the right balance between the sound direction and the stereo effect.
“The sound produced in other party areas across the site had no detrimental effect on the sound experienced on the main floor,” concluded Benjamin Lechner from pave. “Those ‘in the know’ when it comes to electronic music were full of praise for the quality of the sound on the open air dance floor. They savoured every second, and well into the early hours of the morning.”