Queen tribute band MerQury recently performed underground at the Merkers Adventure Mine in Merkers, Thuringia. The former large bunker for potash salt serves as the concert hall at a depth of 500 meters with a hose-like shape (22 meters wide and 15-17 meters high), and a length of 250 meters with walls made of bare rock.
MerQury builds on a strong fan base and the concert was sold out weeks before, and expectations were high. To master these challenges, PVS Jena, the event service provider in charge utilized RCF HDL 30-A active 2-way line arrays, which PVS Jena recently added to its rental park. Other RCF components used were SUB 9007, SUB 9004, TT22-A for front fills, TT052-A lip fills and 2×2 TT22-A in 2 delay lines.
Jens Peterlein, managing director at PVS Jena, on the decision to use the RCF HDL 30-A in this unique location: “The HDL 30-A system provided us with excellent service at this special concert. Because of its compact design and low weight and size unusual in this range, the system fit perfectly for the occasion and the location.
“The installation times in Merkers are short, and the delivery through the pit is very complex and requires the most precise preliminary planning – 500m with the elevator and then 15 minutes by transporter underground to the event hall – every move must be considered. With RCF’s software tool RDNet, including the prediction tool added to version 3.1, we could simulate the system very well in advance, configure it precisely and install it quickly, a further decisive advantage in live operation.
The aim in installing the sound enforcement system was to keep the area behind the podium and the stage as quiet as possible and to limit the sound to 100 meters for the location and the audience – naturally considering the unique reflection characteristics of the large bunker. 2x 8 HDL 30-A modules (hanging) and 4x Sub 9007-A (side) 4x Sub 9004-A (center) were working as the main PA. The subs were each placed in Cardioid mode and acoustics optimized using a pre-programmed preset. RCF TT22-A modules served as front fills, 2 TT052-A as near fills. While the band’s musicians played with an in-ear system, singer and frontman Johnny Zatylny preferred performing with two monitor boxes (TT25CXA) on stage. The PA’s setup was also perfect, and singer and band were thrilled by the audio on stage.
At a distance of 30 and 60 m from the stage, 2×2 TT22-A multifunctional loudspeakers working as delays provided a homogeneous sound even in the back rows. Reflections through the rear wall of the tunnel dug into the mountain, had to be reduced to the minimum.
According to Peterlein, the tuning of the line arrays and subs with the delay modules was perfect. Even the last rows got the impression of the stage as the only sound source.
“In fact, the audience in the back rows of this sold-out concert was right at the core of the action and caught fire immediately. That was very impressive,” Peterlein adds. With RDNet software’s latest version, room temperature and humidity parameters can be adjusted individually. Therefore PVS Jena could adjust the system to the acoustic parameters and the venue’s changing room acoustics – throughout the event and in real time.
PVS Jena has been active in the market for almost 30 years and offers a comprehensive portfolio of lighting, sound and stage technology. The team around owner Jens Peterlein decided on the HDL 30-A recently and plans to expand the line array system.