Leading the way in a new era of live entertainment the Italian city of Ravenna is again hosting its annual opera and classical music festival, calling on a a d&b Soundscape immersive sound system to bring it to life.

2020 Ravenna Festival The Ravenna Festival began on 21 June and will continue until the end of July but this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is a different event from previous years. For the organiser, cancelling was never an option, so new programmes were put in place instead to offer the best cultural and artistic experience to an audience that was for months deprived of both.

‘This is our most important festival yet, people in Italy and around the world have been waiting months to experience the joy of live music,’ says Giulia Artemisia Nicosia from BH Audio, who supplied the audio system for the festival.

This year, a large part of the programme is taking place in the open air of the Brancaleone Fortress in the centre of Ravenna where 300 people can enjoy the shows live. For those who miss out of these coveted seats, almost all of the concerts will be streamed online. For the audience, as well as the performers, temperature checks and masks are in full effect.

Ravenna

BH Audio looked to d&b’s Soundscape to add an immersive experience, both for the audience at the festival and those at home.

‘We knew we needed a system that would provide the audiences – no matter where they were – with truly immersive sound, and d&b Soundscape was the only way to do that,’ Nicosia says. ‘One of the main challenges for the orchestra was the distance between them – which has a huge impact on the sound. In order to combat this, we used the virtual acoustic shell with Soundscape to help the musicians hear to each other and simulate better acoustics on stage.’

Two DS100 processors with the d&b Soundscape software plus more than 60 d&b loudspeakers, are being used for the live concert: one for the audience and one to create the ‘virtual acoustic shell’ for the musicians.

A third DS100 is being used for the streaming service, to create an enhanced mix for the stereo stream. En-Scene is used to virtually position the objects in the stereo mix, while En-Space simulates the 360°loudspeakers at the venue to create the ‘concert hall acoustics’ through an Ambisonic plu-gin.

‘We are using a 360° En-Scene set-up in the venue which, combined with En-Space, helps us to recreate the acoustics of different rooms depending on the type of performance,’ Nicosia says. ‘For example, we used the newly acquired 9th room San Vitale, the cathedral, for sacred music, while for the orchestra on the opening concert we used the classical large room which in an open-air environment. The effect that we can achieve outdoors with En-Space really are a game-changer.’

More: www.dbaudio.com

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