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Katara Amphitheatre stages grand opening with Optocore

An Optocore system was deployed by French rental company De Preference for a one-off show to inaugurate a new amphitheatre in Qatar, writes Paul Watson.

An Optocore system has been used by French rental company, De Préférence, for a one-off show by Greek composer, Vangelis, to inaugurate the new Katara Amphitheatre in Doha, Qatar.

Vangelis had written a celebratory opus for the grand opening and the Paris-based production company constructed an optical fibre ring, using seven of their Optocore and SANE converters, delivering the sound to a 3,000-strong audience.

De Préférence’s project handler, Dominique Guerder, said: “Thanks to our large inventory of Optocore devices we have the capability to construct advanced networks for events of this scale. The show was a big success.”

The De Préférence crew constructed an elaborate network loop, via Optocore fibre and SANE Cat5 Ethernet platforms, using X6R-TP / X6R-FX converters. These were capable of handling the main and pre-mixes, including the orchestra and chorus premixes from the Yamaha DM2000 desk, while Optocore DD4ME’s were deployed to connect via a MADI bridge to the DiGiCo SD7 FOH desk for recording purposes.

Yamaha DM2000 digital consoles were placed on the network: one handling the stage recording premix and one sending a chorus premix to the SD7 and the monitor console. From the DiGiCo environment, the digital signal passed through an Optocore DD4ME Dual MADI network device to the Yamaha DME64 PA processor.

The DD4MEs interfaced between the SD7 and the Optocore loop and an Optocore DD2FR-FX was used as the MADI interface for recording, with two multitrack recorders: one for playback connected directly to the SD7 and one to the Yamaha desk.

Despite reverberant surfaces, De Préférence sent low-latency L/R signals to the clusters of L-Acoustics KARA loudspeaker enclosures, positioned around the amphitheatre, via the 8-In/8-Out Optocore X6R converters – these were also assigned to the intercom – while a 64-input Optocore stagerack serviced the chorus.

The concert also brought together the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (a multi-national ensemble) and Moscow’s Yurlov State Academic Choir, as well as superstar soprano, Angela Gheorghiu and tenorissimo, Roberto Alagna.