An alternative approach to holding open-air events in residential areas, silent concerts allow bands and DJs to play throughout the night without the support of a loud PA – as was the case with a recent performance from German band Adulescens.

Tobias RaunigkOne of the biggest silent concerts so far staged in Germany, the gig took place at Marienplatzfest in Stuttgart, where an enthusiastic crowd donned more than 1,000 headphones to listen and dance. Responsible for the 3D listening experience was tour manager and FOH engineer Tobias Raunigk, who adapted the concept of silent concerts for the band.

‘With the 3D listening experience we want to deliver something special for the audience and the organiser alike,’ he explains. ‘Sometimes the audience is a bit hesitant at first but when they put on the headphones you can see them dive into the ocean of sound.’

At FOH, Raunigk mixed the gig on an Allen & Heath GLD-80 console with Klang:technologies’ Klang:fabrik responsible for the 3D processing. ‘We wanted to deliver something special as the next step up from silent discos in stereo,’ says Raunigk. ‘With Klang:fabrik you create a 3D mix for the audience that sounds like you’re on stage between the musicians rather than in front of the stage. You’re surrounded by music, and that’s impressive.’

‘The signals on stage are fed into the Dante network and send over to my Allen & Heath GLD-80 at FOH and then as direct outs via Dante to the Klang:fabrik,’ explains Raunigk. ‘I use two Midi layers on the GLD-80 to do the headphone mix in the Klang:fabrik since I prefer mixing with physical faders. I like easy tools for creating and mixing sounds and Klang:fabrik is so fast and intuitive to work with. The 3D headphone mix uses Klang:fabrik, which is connected via Dante to the GLD-80. The integration of the GLD-80 into the Dante network is fast and easy and the elegant layer structure allows me to combine audio input layers with Midi layers to control the musicians’ inputs and 3D headphone mix at the same time.

Adulescens

‘I’ve been using the GLD-80 for five years now,’ he continues. ‘At the time I was looking for a compact but flexible console which I could set up fast and easily myself at festivals. Our fastest change over just took four minutes. Working with a GLD-80 was extremely smooth from the beginning since I was used to mixing on analogue desks from Allen & Heath. To me, the GLD-80 is simply one of the most intuitive and musical digital desks out there.

‘I’m using the full range of effects processors in the GLD-80 and got rid of all the outboard racks,’ he continues. ‘I think the choice of EQ and compressors is excellent and I love fattening kicks and bass with the Hypabass subharmonic synthesizer. I’m a big fan of the ping-pong delays, especially with Adulescens, for giving the vocals that spacey sound the band wants.

‘This really was the next step of the silent concert concept for all of us,’  Raunigk closes. ‘You could see some people where a bit sceptical at first listening to a festival gig with headphones, but as soon as they put the headphones on they start to dive into the ocean of sound, smile and dance. I’m pretty sure we will see these kinds of concerts more often in the future.’

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