The Pope in Milan – sound reinforcement for over a million with Electro‑Voice

September 6, 2012
  • Pope Benedict XVI attended World Meeting of Families in Milan at which over a million people participated
  • For the event at Bresso Airport, exclusively Electro-Voice sound reinforcement equipment was used
  • The solution was installed and operated by M.M.S. of Milan

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, visited Milan in June to attend the seventh World Meeting of Families. At the nearby Bresso Airport, the Pope celebrated the Feast of the Testimonies and High Mass with over a million believers. A stage the size of a church was constructed for the event, featuring a semi-transparent dome inspired by the windows of Milan Cathedral. The challenge posed to the sound reinforcement team involved not only reproducing the Pope’s words but also the sound of an orchestra and a choir of 1,500. The provision of sound reinforcement was the responsibility of the Milan-based service company M.M.S.

“For the event at Bresso Airport, exclusively Electro‑Voice sound reinforcement equipment was used”

To provide homogeneous and transparent audio coverage throughout the 790,000 square-meter area, a number of Electro-Voice line array loudspeaker systems were installed. The PA clusters were distributed evenly, with the elements flown from 20 scaffolding towers. The task of ensuring not only that the vast congregation could hear the Pope’s words but also that their view and the lines of sight of the television cameras remained unobstructed fell to some 275 technicians.

The sound reinforcement system was designed by Massimo Sartirana, whilst Domenico Carnuccio served as both the FOH and systems engineer. The systems used comprised one X-Line line array made up of 48 elements, an XLC line array made up of 96 elements and an XLVC line array made up of 16 XLD281 elements. The personal monitoring for the Pope was supplied by two white EVID 6.2 loudspeakers, whilst 16 EVID 3.2 loudspeakers provided foldback to the remaining participants on the stage. The enclosures were powered by a variety of Electro-Voice power amplifiers including 60 P3000, twelve TG5, six CP3000S and eight P2000 units.

Equipment list (extract)

48 x Electro-Voice X-Line elements

24 x Electro-Voice XLC-DVX

72 x Electro-Voice XLC 127

16 x Electro-Voice XLD281

16 x Electro-Voice EVID 3.2

2 x Electro-Voice EVID 6.2

12 x Electro-Voice TG5

60 x Electro-Voice P3000

8 x Electro-Voice P2000

6 x Electro-Voice CP3000S

snapshot, gm, September 2012

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