Sound engineer Norbert Ommer, responsible for audio production, has chosen the digital mixing system Yamaha Rivage PM10 for the opera Bählamms Fest.
Founded in 2012, Ruhrtriennale is a triennial cycle of musical and artistic events held from August to October in the German industrial region of the Ruhr; a unique festival encompassing a wide range of performances, all of them in places created within the industrial architecture of the region.
For each cycle, a new artistic director is appointed. For the period 2021-2023 is the renowned German theatre producer and director Barbara Frey, who has inaugurated the program with the surrealist opera Bählamms Fest, based on the play The Feast of the Lambs, by Leonora Carrington.
This production of Ensemble Modern, a world-renowned collective of soloists, has again had the sound designer Norbert Ommer, who has chosen the Yamaha Rivage PM10 digital mixing system for Bählamms Fest.
Ommer was one of the first sound engineers to use the digital mixer Yamaha PM1D for classic productions, with a high number of inputs and outputs.
“This production of Bählamms Fest it has not been a traditional opera, explains Ommer.. An essential part of the composition was the feeding of multiple sounds and the communication of feelings of alienation.”.
For this project “we use software from the Institute for Acoustic/Musical Research and Coordination (IRCAM) to transform the sounds of singers. On four Macintosh laptops, voices were analyzed to find the fundamental frequency or pitch, to later play a pre-recorded sound based on the detected tone In addition, the orchestra was located in a pit, but in a part of the assembly area that turned its back on the public”, Says.
This expert's sound design has been crucial, not only to turn the Jahrhunderthalle congress centre into the acoustic equivalent of an opera house, but to get the sound of the orchestra to fill the entire auditorium and, as underlined, “Envelop the singing voices”.
To achieve this, he designed a system with 124 microphone inputs, mixed in the I/O rack Yamaha Rivage PM10 with conversion RMio64-D Dante/MADI, routed to 44 Outputs, Including 12 surround sound channels Ambisonics.
“The basic idea of sound design was based on the L-C-R principle -explains-, but I used different provisions, each of which represented different sources of sound and was arranged according to the law of the first wavefront., or Haas effect“.
For this design, Ommer also used ‘effect systems’ On stage “in order to expand your sound space, so to speak, while the audience was additionally surrounded by sixteen fountains to create a multichannel spatiality in the auditorium”.
The choice of Yamaha Rivage PM10 responded to the need for a fast and reliable system, with a large number of channels. “I wanted a mixing system that would give me great clarity and sound quality., many inputs and outputs and, above all, simple operation. I work alone and read the score while mixing the performance, and needed very fast access to all parameters and also offered maximum operational reliability.”.
Another important element of this team has been “Preamplifiers, that can be controlled very precisely; something very important for opera singers with its high dynamic range. It also has great sound filters, that do not color it when used with classical instruments and voices”, Adds.
The production has been a success, “in which many critics highlighted the high quality of the sound and the clarity of the voices, Norbert emphasizes.. The Ensemble Modern and the conductor Sylvain Cambreling They were amazed by both the beauty of the sound and the perfect functioning of the system.”.
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