Heavy metal in South Tyrol with Electro-Voice
January 3rd, 2013
- 10,000 heavy metal fans attended the 20th Rock im Ring festival in the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy
- Headline acts were Volbeat, Suicidal Tendencies and Heaven Shall Burn
- Spacelights-Veranstaltungstechnik of Bolzano was company charged with sound and light production
- Main PA consisted of 32 Electro-Voice XLD281 line-array elements flanked by a variety of XLC and Xsub systems
Among the rock and heavy metal fraternity, the Rock im Ring festival in the South Tyrolean town of Klobenstein am Ritten is increasingly acquiring cult status. Where else can you enjoy the best metal bands in the world performing against a spectacular mountain backdrop? The twentieth jubilee edition of the festival this year attracted over 10,000 fans to the small town near Bolzano and they were rewarded by the performances of top acts like Volbeat, Suicidal Tendencies, Heaven Shall Burn, Valient Thorr and Insanity Alert.
Responsibility for the sound reinforcement was assumed, as in previous years, by the Bolzano-based rental company Spacelights. Technical support was provided by Texim, the Italian distributor for Electro-Voice and DYNACORD. Klemens Riegler, Spacelight’s managing director, has seen the festival grow dramatically in the course of its second decade. “In the last five or six years in particular, more and more fans have been attending,” he reports. “Rock im Ring is no longer just a local event; it attracts rock fans from all over Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.”
Larger audiences, of course, pose larger problems for those responsible for the sound reinforcement. “This time, we wanted to offer fans the ‘optimal system’, adds Riegler. “We examined the ground plan of the festival location and using LAPS 2.0 simulations worked out the best way of covering the area.” The solution for which the Spacelights sound engineers opted was a main PA comprising 32 XLD281 enclosures complemented by eight XLC215 and eight Xsubs — all manufactured by Electro-Voice. Twelve Electro-Voice CP3000S and twelve Electro-Voice CP4000S amplifiers provided the required power.
“The rider included the stipulation that the sound pressure level should be an even 100 dB throughout the audience area,” remembers Riegler, “so we knew we had our work cut out.” Rock im Ring is the biggest open-air event in the whole region, with a stage 16.5 x 12.5 meters in extent (and 8 meters high), and an audience area measuring 40 x 70 meters. It was the size of the stage, in the view of the Spacelights MD that posed the biggest problem. To ensure the foldback was loud enough for the performers’ liking, he opted for PX1152M high-output monitors from Electro-Voice underpinned by a PSD218 powered subwoofer from DYNACORD, with two TX1122 loudspeakers from Electro-Voice supplying drum-fill. Three Electro-Voice CP4000S amplifiers delivered the requisite power.
Riegler attributes a large share of the credit for the success of the main PA to NetMax, loudspeaker presets and FIR filters. A different loudspeaker preset was used for each of the NetMax outputs (XLDFIR, XLC215, XSub 80 Hz). The graphic user interface provided by the IRIS-Net software also paid dividends for the Tyrolean sound specialists, as it considerably facilitated the setting and control of the installation. “With the new generation of presets and filters, the performance of the system was to an enormous extent linear. It sounded absolutely superb! Furthermore, with the Temp limiters of the presets, nothing can go wrong, even when you’re drawing masses of power over a long period of time.”
In fact, the length of time the event lasted was another of the challenges it posed. The workload on the Saturday was particularly heavy, with the first band taking to the stage at 11 in the morning and the last leaving it at 2 am the next day. “Most of the bands only played for 30 to 40 minutes,” remembers Riegler, “so we had to cater for a large number of different line-ups. And bear in mind, the headline acts all had highly individual ideas when it came to sound. Fortunately, at the end of the day, everything went exactly as we would have wished. In fact the customer described the sound as ‘perfect’, so what more could you ask?”
snapshot, gm, September 2013