Total Production


4 February 2008

(Germany) - Innovative production sees California rockers Queens of the Stone Age play an intimate and innovative underground gig, performing to 300 fans from inside a German salt mine.

California desert rockers, Queens of the Stone Age, went for a radical change of scene in November of last year when they performed an exclusive one-off gig for just 300 adoring fans in an East German salt mine (yes, a salt mine). Billed as the world’s deepest ever gig, fans were ferried 700m underground to hear QOTSA perform their latest slew of hits through a Crest Audio Pro200-powered Martin Audio Wavefront W8LM mini line array system supplied by audio rental and production specialists, Complete Audio Berlin.
Complete Audio’s André Rauhut admitted that the Sondershausen salt mine definitely came top of the “most unusual venue” list, and was pretty close to earning “most challenging” as well. The first task was to bring all the material underground where it was then left for 36 hours to adjust to the climatic conditions of the underground chamber. The next challenge was to handle the massive reverberations coming off the walls. “We have a lot of experience with line arrays generally and the Wavefront 8 system in particular,” noted Rauhut, “so once we’d entered all the measurements, we were able to tune the system accordingly using Martin Audio’s line array optimization software in conjunction with the filter banks of the XTA controllers which were networked via RS485 and then controlled from Front of House. Final tweaks were made using a notebook PC once the room had filled up.”
Rauhut also mentioned the Crest Pro200 Series amplifiers as being a very important point in the signal chain. “It doesn’t matter how well tuned your PA setup is if the amplifiers massacre the signal before it gets to the loudspeakers,” he remarked. “The Crest Pro200 Series amplifiers provide clean, powerful and reliable sound reinforcement with plenty of headroom for strong peaks. In short, this was a world-class system that produced stunning results in challenging acoustic surroundings, and we have the live digital recording to prove it!”
The fans, who were required to wear helmets throughout their underground experience, were equally appreciative, and will doubtless be looking forward to reliving the event (and seeing themselves in helmets) on the forthcoming DVD.


ROCK GIG: QOTSA play to 300 fans in a disused German mine
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