More than 20 Yamaha digital mixing desks were deployed during the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, which delivered a knockout success for Azerbaijan when it took place at Düsseldorf’s Esprit Arena earlier this month.
The spectacular event saw Yamaha work closely with rental company Neumann & Müller to provide a reliable and high quality sound system.
“I came up with a concept for the show in June 2010 and we worked on it through to April this year, when we set it up at Neumann & Müller’s premises for four days of testing,” said Arthur Koll, who worked in close conjunction with the event’s senior sound engineer, Jochen Jensen. “On 19th April the rig was set up at the Esprit Arena and from then on it was 24-hour working, through the two semi-finals on 10th and 12th May, until after the final on 14th May.”
The huge Yamaha system included five PM1D, six PM5D-RH, three M7CL, a DM2000 and several 01V96 digital mixing consoles, plus two DME64N digital mixing engines and a range of MSP5 powered monitors.
Redundancy was extremely important, as the show was being broadcast live and there was only 45 seconds between acts, meaning that each of the main consoles had a duplicate backup in place. Consequently, two PM1Ds were used for monitors, two PM5Ds for the main front of house mix, two PM5Ds for the vocal effects mix, and two more for the continuity mix between acts. Separate PM1Ds mixed the performance by Stefan Raab and Jan Delay during the intermission, while another PM1D was located in a rehearsal room.
Although Neumann & Müller’s engineers handled show sound, Koll and Yamaha colleagues Andy Cooper and Ruben van der Goor were available to assist throughout.
Koll summed up: “Only having 45 seconds to reset the stage and load the settings for the next act was a real challenge but, despite the show’s complexity and there being absolutely no margin for error, everyone was in a good mood. Jochen has worked on many shows with us and said it was undoubtedly one of the smoothest!”
Image Credit: David Heuer