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Czech Republic

Harmonizing Global Sounds

Evertz Solutions for the Rudolfinum's Advanced Audio Production System with Studer

In December 2023, one of Europe's most advanced sound mixing and production systems was inaugurated at the renowned Rudolfinum concert hall in Prague, Czech Republic which is known for its classical music performances. The system features a Studer Vista X audio console from Evertz, boasting 72 faders that channel pre-mastering mixes into two independent, simultaneous multitrack digital audio workstations (DAWs). To capture the exquisite quality of live performances, the recordings utilize a high sampling rate of 96kHz. The system's design mandates a fully redundant setup, incorporating Studer's Quad Star technology within the console and a pair of server-based digital signal processing (DSP) Infinity ST cores, ensuring reliability during live recordings in front of audiences.

A total of 132 microphone inputs can accommodate even the most extensive projects, including those with major philharmonic orchestras. The Vista X's unique and innovative feature is its tuning offset compensation. Given that classical music instruments are tuned to varying standards worldwide—A4 is typically 443Hz in Europe and 440Hz in the Pacific region—the system's ability to adjust the master clock frequency within a ±0.7% range allows it to align with the reference pitch of visiting orchestras from the Far East or the United States. This capability is one of the reasons why demand for recording sessions at Rudolfinum is so high, as evidenced by the lengthy waiting list for available slots.

Challenge at a Glance:

  • Global Tuning Variance: Classical music instruments are tuned to different standards around the world, which can cause issues when international orchestras perform in European venues.
  • Demand for High-Quality Live Recordings: Live performances, especially with an audience, require reliable high-fidelity recordings that capture the true essence of the music without interruptions or failures.
  • Complex Project Requirements: Large-scale productions with major philharmonic orchestras necessitate a significant number of microphone inputs and sophisticated communication systems.
  • Limited Access for Monitoring and Mixing: Traditional systems may restrict the sound engineer's ability to monitor and adjust mixes from various locations within the auditorium.

A total of 132 microphone inputs can accommodate even the most extensive projects, including those with major philharmonic orchestras.

The Solution

The infrastructure includes six fully equipped D23m strategically placed above the ceiling and beneath the main hall, all interconnected via fiber optic cables to the Infinity ST core housed in the machine room. For smaller-scale projects in the venue's secondary hall, recordings are facilitated through a Dante audio networking card.

Another noteworthy feature is the provision for live wireless headphone monitoring and mix access using Virtual Vista software-based control surface from anywhere in the auditorium. The complexity of the talk-back and signaling system is also worth mentioning, as it enables seamless communication among the conductor, producer, sound engineer, and individual performers.

System Overview

Evertz Solution Highlights

  • Tuning Offset Compensation: The system can adjust the master clock frequency within a ±0.7% range to match the tuning standards of visiting orchestras from different regions.
  • Redundant System Design: Studer's Quad Star and dual server-based DSP cores ensure a fully redundant system for reliable live recordings.
  • Extensive Microphone Input Capability: The system supports up to 132 microphone paths, accommodating the largest projects with major philharmonic orchestras.
  • Distributed Infrastructure: Six STUDER D23m frames are installed above and below the main hall, connected by fiber optics to central servers, ensuring seamless integration and operation.
  • Advanced Networking for Smaller Projects: A Dante audio networking card is used for recording minor projects in the smaller hall, providing flexibility and high-quality audio over a network.
  • Live Wireless Headphone Monitoring and Virtual Mixing: The system allows for live wireless headphone monitoring and virtual mix adjustments from anywhere in the Rudolfinum, enhancing the sound engineer's mobility and control.

Evertz Technology Solution

  • Vista X 72 fader audio console
  • Infinity ST Core 2RU server hardware with the software package to support 1100 MEQ processing channels with 2 QSFP ports that can support up to 7A-Link connections and an optional software key to enable 2110 audio with PTP timing.
  • SCORPION-6: Silent standalone SCORPION chassis. Supports up to 6 single, or 3 dual slot modules and up to 2 SFP slots. Integrated crosspoint routing and gateway support for either ST2022-1/2/6/7 or ST2110
  • MIO-GE-RJ45: SCORPION Miniature I/O for extending control network.
  • D23m: Modular I/O Systems:
    • D23m A-link HD card
    • D23m Quad MADI-IO Board (HUB) SFP
    • D21m 8 channel analogue Input Board
    • D21m 8 channel analogue Output Board
    • D21m 8 AES/EBU I/O Board M1 (I+O with SFC)
    • D21m Microphone Input Board with 4 Mic Inputs
    • D21m Dante Card

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