In late June, a spectacular live concert hosted at Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd (Russia) in honor of the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day that was also broadcast live on state-owned TV channel Russia-1 saw rental company Stage Audio deploy an Optocore-based DiGiCo system backbone for mixing, routing and audio distribution.
One of the only concerts allowed during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown, it featured performances by artists from Russia’s theatre, opera and cinema worlds accompanied by the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Yuri Bashmet.
The audience was seated on the steps along the rectangular reflecting pool in Volgograd’s Heroes Square, with the artists performing in different locations, tens of meters away from each other. This necessitated special requirements for the mixing and routing system. Signals were received from four locations across the site, providing flexible exchanging of channels from any source (stage box/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.
In preparation for the project, the setup was initially assembled and tested by Stage Audio before being sent to Volgograd. “The system consisted of a DiGiCo SD12 as the production console, used primarily for playback and routing purposes, an SD10 as the front-of-house orchestra console and another SD10 on stage for the monitor mix,” says Andrey Akhromeev, head of Stage Audio. “The monitor SD10 handled 48 mixes on stage and for the choir stage at the Pantheon, whilst 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 pre-amp cards for orchestra purposes),” Akhromeev continues, “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 complete redundancy.”
With 216 inputs and 288 outputs in the Optocore loop for the 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 multi-track 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.”