Kraftwerk

Tokyo’s Orchard Hall was the scene for four sold-out shows by Kraftwerk in early April. As at their eight sold-out shows at London’s Tate Modern in 2012, the pioneering Germans called on d&b audiotechnik for immersive audio.

d&b audiotechnik Japan provided KSL loudspeakers with D80 amps and d&b Soundscape to creative a unique sound immersion. The combined use of KSL and Soundscape was a world premiere, and a complement to the visual 3D experience offered by the Kraftwerk performances.

Part of the Bunkamura concert hall, theater and museum complex in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, the Orchard Hall used main hangs of five KSL arrays, each comprising six KSL8 (top) and two KSL12 (bottom). Behind each of the five main hangs were two flying SL-Subs. They supplemented the KSL arrays in the low frequency range and delivered a powerful bass which was extremely evenly distributed throughout the entire hall.

The KSL Systems were driven using d&b ArrayProcessing. ArrayProcessing played a decisive role in offering concert-goers a similar high-quality sound experience at every seat in Orchard Hall, even in the balconies.

Orchard HallThe surround reproduction came from 20 point-source loudspeakers from the d&b Y-Series consisting of six Y10P (110° x 40°) and fourteen Y7P loudspeakers (75° x 40°). Each side of the hall had seven positions supplemented by six rear positions.

The d&b loudspeakers were driven by 32 four-channel D80 amplifiers. Their integrated DSP modules were used for system equalisation. The amps received their signals over four DS10 audio network bridges.

The audio and visual concept was to present concertgoers with a stereoscopic 3D projection flanked by an immersive audio experience. This was achieved by using a d&b DS100 signal engine coupled to the mixing console system by Madi.Kraftwerk  FOH engineer Serge Gräfe controlled the individual signals by using the En-Scene user interface provided in the R1 Remote control software.

In addition to En-Scene, Gräfe also used En-Space room emulation for the concerts in Tokyo. ‘I just love that thing.’ he said with a smile. ‘Take an example: On the Spacelab track, I love pushing the synthetic pads in En-Space – it sounds seriously cool. En-Space generates room acoustics that I just can’t get in conventional stereo reverb.’

MSI Japan was in charge of the technical equipment for Kraftwerk’s stage shows in Japan, while the KSL loudspeakers and SL-Subs were supplied by Arxiduc Audio Co and d&b Japan

‘Using Soundscape always puts a smile on my face, and this was no different,’ says d&b’s Craig Lovell, who supported the Tokyo concerts. ‘Soundscape opens up an expanse of creative freedom that you just don’t get in traditional LR configurations. Think of it as an audio canvas to play with. There is ample room to place the sources anywhere on stage without the need to make significant EQ adjustments to make them fit in the mix. The surround content then enhanced the performance further. It was subtle and perfectly combined with the 3D visuals.’

‘At the concerts in Tokyo, it was the first time I used d&b KSL loudspeakers,’ says Gräfe. ‘I really appreciate the balanced sound pattern and I’m a great fan of the distinct rear attenuation. On top of that, what I found great with the KSL was its fine resolution; treble reproduction is just simply out of this world. At present, my top favorite combination is KSL Systems with Soundscape.’

More: www.dbaudio.com

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