SysTech for the Wise Guys – Schwabenhalle Augsburg 30.11.13

I got a call about two weeks ago, asking me, if I’d be available on the 30.11.13 and 1.12.13 to do system alignment and design for 2 shows by the Wise Guys, Germanys premiere a capella group.

One show would be in the Schwabenhalle in Augsburg and one in the Liederhalle in Stuttgart. They had recently hired a new FOH Engineer, Jan Karlsson, and since the engineer on the rest of the tour also handled system design, they now needed a systech as well, so not to overbear Jan.

I agreed to do the job. I like the group and the company that asked me – Ostalb PA.

Schwabenhalle in Augsburg has 4000 seat capacity, and Liederhalle in Stuttgart 3,000. Seemed like a mid-sized job. Then I got the material sheet for Augsburg:

  • 16 Meyer Sound MILO
  • 20 Meyer Sound 700 HP
  • 38 Meyer Sound M’elodie
  • 4 Meyer Sound CQ-2
  • 4 Meyer Sound UPA 1-P
  • 2 Meyer Sound Galileo System Processors.

That blew me away, I had done festivals for 15,000 people with considerably less. So clearly the focus here was not on economics, but on sound. I immediately liked that.

They kept referring to my task as “mapping”. A term I was unfamiliar with, and still am. However, I thought, if I delivered a good design and alignment, I could make them happy.

Communications with the venue proved to be difficult, with the person assigned to deal with me insisting he had long given all the relevant information to the Wise Guys crew, After I assured him, this had in fact not happened, he asked me, what the hell my job was, and why a systech was needed anyway.  I managed to procure the desired information via the Wise Guys management.

Arriving at the venue on the day of the show at 9am, I was pretty nervous. They wanted to be ready with the PA at 2 pm. Quite a task, I thought, given the sheer number of loudspeakers.

But, thankfully, Eric Neubert and the wonderful crew of Ostalb PA were allready there for some time when I arrived at 9. They had handled all the rigging, and even had the left and right MILO and flown 700 HP ready to go, once I provided the angles and splaying.

I had prepared a design and handed it to them. We decided to use a center cluster, because Left to Right was 28m and mid-coverage might have proven difficult otherwise.

The quantitative side looked like that:

  • Main LR: 8 MILO.
  • Center 8 M’elodie
  • Delays: 4x 7 M’elodie

We had 9 feeds coming from the console: Main (LR), Subs, Delays, Outfills (LR), Infills (LR), Center. We set the Galileos up so one Galileo managed the main PA and the Subs and Center, the other did Delays and Outfills and Infills. So we had no patching from one Galileo to the other.The Wise Guys use a completely digital setup, Wireless Mics go via AES to MADI to the DigiCo SD8 console, and then with AES to the Galileos.

We managed to set the PA up by 1pm. I then spent 2,5h tuning the PA with Jan. Using Smaart v7, our ears and a lot of walking, we managed to get a great sounding system.

The main difficulty was getting the flown 700 HPs and the ground stacked, end fired ones to work as one. That took a lot of measuring, and a fair amount of trial and error.

The show was a success, with no complaints. Wise Guys are all about intelligible lyrics. We delivered that to every seat,

Thanks to the Wise Guys for allowing me to design without economic limits. Such a treat.

Some images below:

View from the Delay
View from the Delay
View from the audience
View from the audience
MAPP Center
MAPP Center