The 50th Montreux Jazz Festival, held in July 2016, marked the first deployment of the Stage Tec (full name, Stage Tec Entwicklungsgesellschaft für professionelle Audiotechnik GmbH) Platinum DSP unit for large mixing consoles.
Radio Television Suisse (RTS), the TV and radio broadcaster for French speaking part of Switzerland acting as a service partner of the festival since 2013, upgraded the AURUS mixing console in its HD1 OB vehicle with seven of the new Platinum DSP boards.
The way was thus paved by the for recording the archive and broadcast productions not just at 96kHz, but also in 5.1 surround too. This resource-intensive project required more audio channels in sound production than are normally available: “a perfect opportunity for the Platinum DSP, which almost triples the channel count in comparison with the previous DSP board”, says Stage Tec.
RTS and Stage Tec also installed an additional NEXUS STAR into the HD1 to act as router and host for the mixing console DSP. In this scenario the STAR enables a configuration with 160 input channels and 84 buses plus 54 bus channels (214 channels in all); the Platinum DSP provides up to 128 buses at 96kHz.
The debut was reported to be a success: the concerts in the Montreux Jazz Lab were parallel mixed in 24-bit resolution at 96kHz in stereo and 5.1 surround. “Platinum DSP has fully met our expectations”, said Yannick Dumartineix, head of OB Van and Studio Production at RTS. “We have the same desk but with more power and no compromise on the highly renowned audio processing, so we get exactly what we expected. We are really looking forward to the new features.”
An estimated 250,000 fans thronged the three concert halls and numerous open air stages on the lakeshore promenades. RTS recorded all concerts at three venues using three of their own OB vehicles as well as an additional private one. The Montreux Jazz Lab, a concert hall that holds around 2,000 people, is where RTS deployed the audio facilities of HD1, the flagship of its OB fleet.
"We had applications just like the RTS production in Montreux in mind when we designed the Platinum DSP boards," says Jens Kuhlmann from Stage Tec, who has overseen the temporary modifications made to the HD1 for Montreux since 2013.
Pictured: The control room of the OB Van HD1 from RTS; Yves-Alain Schneider (head of audio production) mixing at the AURUS console during the Jazzfestival in Montreux