Tuesday, October 7, 2008

AKG Sets Acoustic Scene At World-Famous Vienna State Opera

New Wireless And Microphone Technology Crowns Decades Of Committed Work By The Viennese Sound Professionals

One of the most famous opera houses in the world, the Vienna State Opera, now boasts one of the most modern multi-channel wireless systems that combine all the AKG microphones used in the opera house into a unique sound experience. The institution’s various ensembles, including the Vienna State Opera Orchestra from which the Vienna Philharmonic recruits, use popular binaural microphones, lavalier microphones, and AKG products, some of which are historic and have been in use in the opera house for decades.

At the heart of the unique sound experience is AKG's WMS 4000 multi-channel wireless system, which enables the simultaneous operation of up to 56 channels using multiple frequency bands and thus serves the entire area of the opera house. The integrated pilot tone monitor for precise battery status checking of all connected microphones with remaining battery life display protects against unpleasant surprises during live performances by warning of an impending dead battery via individually adjustable warning modes. Auto setup, environment scan, and the integrated rehearsal function permit quick and easy setup and all connected components can also be monitored and controlled by computer via an integrated data point.

In addition to the vocal qualities of the artists, opera recitals also need first-class performances from the equipment used. As well as full freedom of movement for the actors, maximum transmission quality, and insensitivity to cable noise, stage microphones also need to offer complete protection against perspiration and moisture in general. The HC 577 headset microphone used by the artists comprehensively meets these requirements, yet has a sleek design with a weight of only 28 grams and offers optimum comfort for the wearer thanks to an individually adjustable neckband and microphone arm. Also used on stage is the extremely small CK 77 lavalier microphone with spherical directivity. Like the HC 577, it features the worldwide unique and patented dual-diaphragm technology, which in addition to being absolutely insensitive to moisture, also very effectively suppresses structure-borne noise.

In addition to the protagonists in the individual recitals, there is another star of the stage that faithfully transmits the performance to the auditorium: the C 414 large-diaphragm condenser microphone, specially developed for use in concert halls and in particular for the transmission of voices, grand pianos, strings, and percussion instruments. As well as five selectable directional characteristics for optimum flexibility in terms of arrangement and special applications, the C 414 also offers distortion-free transmission and guarantees optimum acoustic performance and minimum tolerances through the use of selected components. The transformer-less output stage guarantees minimal distortion even at high sound pressure levels. The innovative jog keys enable rapid and uncomplicated operation, while the two-color LED display provides a reliable warning in the event of overloading.

The Vienna State Opera also uses AKG's C 547 boundary microphone that picks up and reproduces all sound signals produced live on the stage thanks to its high directivity and neutral sound behavior. AKG classics such as the C 426, D 20, D 224, and C 422 are also used.

With the installation of its technology at the Vienna State Opera, AKG has a unique reference in its hometown. More than 20 operas and ballets are held each season along with various ensembles and many as 250 employees deliver first-class performances in the service of art. The institution has also established itself as a talent pool for young artists such as Natalie Dessay, Barbara Frittoli, Angela Gheorghiu, and Bryn Terfel. The level of artistic performance finds its ideal technical counterpart in the AKG transmission modules to maintain the high standards of the Vienna State Opera into the future.

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