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News CAMCO at the Stadtkirchenfest
November 2006 - In Germany, the huge Stadtkirchenfest attracted more than 10,000 members of different Christian organisations to Berlin's Alexander-Platz. With music, speeches and religious services, the extensive festival programme was an excellent test for the newly-matched CAMCO Vortex 6 amplifiers with NEXO's GEO D10 cabinets and GEO SUBS.

Over ten thousand people attended the ecumenical "Stadtkirchenfest" in Berlin, from 170 Catholic, Protestant, independent Christian and Orthodox groups and communities as well as welfare organisations and action groups. They gathered in the square between the Church of St. Mary (Marienkirche) and the so-called "Red City Hall" for an extensive festival programme covering a range of musical performances as well as a number of speeches, an ecumenical mass and an evening service.

To handle the technical side of the festival, the Council called in an expert consultant, Clemens Müller, freelance production manager and sound engineer. The design proposals for this complex sound system were drawn up by PAM/events Gesellschaft für Veranstaltungstechnik mbH, with the support of Reinhard Steger from CAMCOkk GmbH and freelance sound engineer Ralph Metzler.

The south side of Berlin's Alexander-Platz in front of the "Red Town Hall" was selected as the main venue - although it is directly adjacent to residential neighbourhoods. For this reason, Berlin's Public Order Office set a volume limit of 63dB(A), measurable at a distance of approximately 270m in front of the stage and 100m at the side behind the stage.

The organisers wanted to have a sound reinforcement system which guaranteed speech clarity across the entire venue. The distance from the stage to the barriers at the end of the square was about 110 metres. So, for the fringe and evening programmes, a normal concert PA system would be required for the area in front of the stage (approx. 50m) and a separate system for announcements during the performances in the rear section (about 50-110m).

The main PA consisted of 9x GEO D10 cabinets and 3x GEO D subs arrayed on each side of the stage, aligned to provide coverage to about 65m from the stage. The delay system was made up of two hangs of 8x GEO S805s per side and was flown about 55m in front of the stage on tip towers. In addition, 4x L-Acoustics MTD 112s were used for the nearfill and center cluster.

Due to the strong directivity characteristics of the bass, there were fears that there could be blackspots at around 10 - 15 metres in front of the stage. To counter this, additional sub basses were planned but then not needed as the GEO SUB's performance exceeded expectation. The equipment at the main mixer position included a Yamaha PM5D console and a Yamaha DME 24 for signal distribution, distortion compensation and time alignment.

Sascha Richter was in charge of the monitor position, using a Midas XL340, 6x BSS FCS960s and 14x LE400 wedge monitors from Martin Audio on stage.

Regarding the final selection of equipment, Tim Wasner from PAM/events explained that "our company is a very satisfied NEXO GEO S user so it was obvious that we would be having a closer look at the new NEXO/Camco product.

"The opportunity arose for Ralph Metzler and myself to attend a GEO D Seminar at Camco in Wenden-Gerlingen in August 2006. To be honest, after Reinhard Steger's impressive GEO D demonstration, I've just been waiting for the chance to test and assess the system 'on the road' in a larger set-up. Essentially, it was a matter of checking the practicality of larger-scale GEO D systems, and whether the excellent sound quality presented in the seminar could be reproduced at a live event.

"For various reasons, the production of the Church Festival seemed to be the ideal opportunity. On one hand, there were the noise regulations, which required a system with very good directivity at the front but very quiet to the rear. And on the other, the event's programme covered all possible varieties of PA reproduction: this is our core acoustic business, events requiring high speech clarity and then choirs, school kids' bands, classical music and professional rock and pop productions.