Russia’s VE Day

June saw a spectacular concert hosted at Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day. One of the only concerts allowed during Russia’s Covid-19 lockdown, it featured artists from Russia’s theatre, opera and cinema worlds, accompanied by the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Bashmet.

The concert was broadcast live on the state-owned, Russia-1 TV channel. Rental company Stage Audio was chosen as a technical support contractor for the show.

The audience was seated on the steps along the rectangular reflecting pool in Volgograd’s Heroes Square, with the artists performing in different locations during the concert, tens of meters away from each other. This necessitated special requirements for mixing and routing. Signals were received from four locations across the site, providing flexible exchanging of channels from any source (stagebox/desk/broadcast) to any destination within a minute between devices, as well as sending 128 channels for the televised broadcast and recording of the concert.

Russia’s VE DayThe Stage Audio team chose an Optocore-based DiGiCo system for mixing, routing and distributing audio at the event. In preparation for the project, the set-up was initially assembled and tested by Stage Audio, and only then sent to Volgograd.

‘The system comprised a DiGiCo SD12 as the production console, used primarily for playback and routing purposes, an SD10 as the FOH console and a further SD10 on stage for the monitor mix,’ says head of Stage Audio, Andrey Akhromeev.

‘The monitor SD10 handled 48 mixes on-stage and for the choir stage at the Pantheon, while four IEM mixes and four wedge mixes were handled by the SD12 for the four small stages, which were used for individual actors. Three SD-Racks were deployed (one with 32-bit preamp cards for orchestra purposes), plus a D2-Rack, with a network module Optocore DDR4MR-FX with RME Madi Bridge transmitting signals to the mobile television stations (MTS) and for multitrack recording. All devices were connected via an Optocore loop to provide full redundancy.’

With 216 inputs and 288 outputs in the Optocore loop for this complex project, the network was working to its maximum capacity of 504 channels. Inputs comprised 168 channels (56 channels from each of the three SD-Racks), 16 channels for exchange lines between each console and 16 channels from the terrestrial MTS. Outputs included 128 channels through the Optocore DDR4MR-FX network module for MTS and multitrack recording, 112 lines for the three SD-Rack outputs and 16 channels for exchange lines between the consoles.

‘Despite the scale and complexity of the project, the whole system performed flawlessly,’ Akhromeev concludes. ‘It delivered excellent sound quality, both on-site and on-air.’

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