Total Production


14 February 2008

(Austria) - The countdown began at the end of last year to find Austria%u2019s new musical star, with ten candidates competing in the ORF 1 TV reality series Musical: Die Show.

Austrian company, Showproduction, equipped the studio with a pair of Soundcraft Vi6 digital consoles, meeting the enormous channel requirement of  FOH sound engineer Thomas Stoegmueller.

The ORF employee has worked on all eight series of Musical: Die Show, and he again planned the entire audio set-up this time around.

The show was broadcast live from the television station’s largest studio, which seats up to 800 people. The production entailed a star-shaped stage, a resident 23-piece big band (with ten singers) and four people on the jury.  

When it came to defining the requirements for a FOH mixing set-up there were two main issues. “One was the remote position of the FOH, meaning that only desks with remote Stageboxes and networking could be considered.

“The other issue was that during planning the amount of inputs exceeded 90, and during the show more than 100 were actually used. Of course, sound and handling are also always a consideration when renting a new product.”

The sound designer’s decision to specify a pair of Vi6's over a single big desk was based on a combination of value-for-money, feature set and availability.

A day’s hands-on training at local dealer, Klangfarbe — enabling him to conduct comparative testing with other premium desks — was all the sound engineer  needed to convince himself that the Vi6 was his best option. “I had a long talk with Jack Langer and Roman Jagl at Showproduction, who ensured me that the desks would remain reliable throughout all the eight shows,” he said.

In fact Jagl’s recommendation came from personal experience since he had toured Germany and Austria with Christina Stürmer — using the same two desks that the ORF engineer was considering.

Splits were set up to monitors, recording and broadcast live feed — and FOH with the Vi6. “In fact it was a classic FOH situation,” said Stoegmueller. One Vi6 handled the band mix, and the other took care of all the rest, and the speaker distribution.

All 64 inputs were used on the band console. “The instrument effects had to be inserted into the Aux-Masters. But there was only one stereo feed to the second desk, which handled the remainder of the inputs (24 wireless, video, spare mics, etc.) and all the outputs. I had 30 sends handling all the speakers and vocal effects.”  

Thomas Stoegmueller had nothing but praise for the Vi6. “When I chose it, I had no idea how great it sounded — but I was immediately impressed once I had it set up in the studio.  

“It has a sound of its own — which I really liked — and it is also rich in colour and adds lots of presence. The built-in Lexicons also add loads of ‘fun’ and sound quality — I have never, ever used a 480 so easily!” The only piece of outboard he used was a Manley Voxbox on one vocal group — everything else was straight off the Vi6’s.

The main surprise, apart from the sound, he says, was the handling. “At first, I thought I would just get used to it somehow, but after a very short time I simply loved it. Now that I am back [on our house desk] I really miss the analogue feel.

“Also the multiple touch screens and well-planned knobs allow you to work quicker than on any other console, while the software design — where you route inputs or switch outputs between aux and group — is very clever and useable. The simplicity of the menus speaks for itself.”


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