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Neumann keeps it digital in Deutschland

The digital chain phenomenon – everything ones and noughts from microphone to loudspeaker – moves to Berling for a classical music festival, reports David Davies.

Back in June, Pro Sound News Europe reported on an historic live broadcast for Radio 1 that utilised Neumann digital microphones as part of an entirely digital signal chain. Now, the manufacturer has issued details of another forward-looking deployment, this time at the Classic Open Air music festival in Berlin. The digital audio infrastructure wielded by TSE AG featured two Innovason Eclipse mixing consoles and digital microphones from Neumann, including models KM 184 D and KM 143 D. An EtherSound network connected microphone interfaces, stageboxes, monitor mixes, FOH mixers and the built-in recording facility. The overall result was said to be a highly flexible set-up that was considerably easier to adjust than would have been the case with an analogue configuration. “Another powerful benefit,” observed event director and TSE AG staffer Martin Kaiser, “is its immunity to interference, especially at events with complex lighting systems. The deployment of digital microphones means that the background noise is now below the threshold of audibility for audience and musicians.

“The cumulative background noise from the large number of open channels needed when an orchestra is miked up would otherwise be quite audible. In addition, when we were soundchecking the string section we were immediately impressed by the superb sound quality of the digital mics. We hardly needed to use any EQ at all. The TLM 103 D large-diaphragm microphone proved to be a highly effective choice for the double basses.” The ability to store the gain setting in the digital microphones also proved to be an asset for the event’s sound team. Wolfgang Fraissinet, president of marketing/sales for Neumann, commented: “The companies that provide sound systems for major events are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of digital audio technology – and of digital microphones. Their successful debut at this large and prestigious event here on our doorstep marks a very important milestone for us.”