When Bryan Ferry’s tour reached Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (cap. 2,100), the production worked with a local specialist to make the most of the artiste’s sound in a venue designed to be one of the most acoustically advanced in the world when it opened in 2017.
Despite placing 70 loudspeakers in the hall’s ceiling, audio company PM Blue says it wanted the sound to be unobtrusive but unforgettable.
“Fidelity to the original source is of great importance to us, which is why we try to follow the natural direction of sound of the room,” says PM Blue project manager Jo Stankowski. “The Weinberg Hall of the Elbphilharmonie [where the concert took place] is designed so that sound is carried from the stage to every seat.
“We worked for a long time on our system design to realise the appropriate sound direction here, so the listener wonders why he sees loudspeakers when the grand piano is loud enough already.”
For the audience-facing system, the audio comprised a main PA plus an arrangement for the upper seats. The main rig was a stacked LR18/90 compact line-array by Netherlands-based Alcons. This was placed on a BC543 triple-18” cardioid subwoofer. The near-field infill was provided by four LR7/120 micro line-arrays, while the rearward projecting sound system consisted of six 3 LR7/120, each on a tripod.
The higher level seats were supplied by a truss circle above the stage mounted with six 10-piece Alcons LR18/90 arrays for each left/right main, side and rear slope. Additionally, a cluster of two Alcons RR12 point-source arrays served as rear-fill for the nearfield. For low frequency support, a cluster of eight Alcons LR14B line-array bass were mounted.