Sennheiser catches Coldplay
27 September 2012
Europe - Touring a mixture of arenas and stadiums in Europe and North America since the later part of 2011, Coldplay's desire to get close to their fans in such large venues could have caused a number of problems for their wireless monitor systems.
The shows are performed on a main stage with a centre runway projecting out and ending in a second, smaller 'B' stage. In addition there is also a C stage at the back of the arena, right amongst the audience. The entire band wears Sennheiser 2000 series in-ear monitors (IEMs) and in arenas all three stages are usually coverable from the main stage RF equipment. But when comes to stadiums, this hasn't always been possible.
"In stadiums, the 'C' stage is usually at the opposite end of the pitch to the main stage. This, along with location specific radio pollution, meant we needed to come up with a solution for local RF transmission for the band and crew's IEMs on the C stage." says the band's RF engineer Ali Viles. "It was imperative that the radio coverage to all the stages was seamless, without any signal loss or dropout. We looked at several options, but all involved complex additional infrastructure and considerable expense."
However, Sennheiser came up trumps with an inspired solution, based on the company's Media Control Protocol. Introduced in January via firmware upgrades to the 2000, evolution wireless ew 500 G3 and evolution wireless ew 300 G3 series, the Media Control Protocol enables rackmount devices of Sennheiser products to communicate directly with control units within an Ethernet network (UDP/IP), allowing them to be integrated into larger audio/video control systems. The units can then be remote-controlled and monitored directly from a central control panel, via an iPad/iPhone or mixing console.
"When Ali came up with this challenge, it was a great opportunity to use the Media Control Protocol to solve a particular problem," says Sennheiser UK engineering and technical services manager Tim Sherratt. "It was the ideal kind of application for the protocol and there was no sense in employing an expensive hardware solution when we could achieve the same result in software."
Working closely with Ali, Sennheiser designed and wrote a standalone application using the Media Control Protocol, which allows simultaneous remote control of the RF Mute facilities on multiple IEM transmitters.
"The software means that it's possible to have a set of identical 2000 series IEM transmitters, on the same frequencies, located local to the stages at either end of the stadium and to swap which ones are transmitting at the touch of a button from a laptop," says Ali. "As the band run through the audience between the two stages, it's possible to switch the RF transmission between the two locations. This means that the band hears virtually seamless coverage as they move between the stages."
Sennheiser Coldplay Europe arenas stadiums wireless systems main stage C audience band series IEM stages usually RF end radio solution local transmission coverage seamless came evolution ew Media Control Protocol directly control units application software Ali transmitters means
Related Stories from LSi Online
8 May 2013
USA - Last month, Cirque du Soleil presented One Night for ONE DROP at the O Theatre, located in the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip. The one-night-only production, which combined talent and production ... More >>
3 May 2013
UK - Now in its third year, Sennheiser UK's series of roadshows is aimed at the systems integration and professional audio markets. It is steadily increasing in popularity with pre-registration at an unprecedented ... More >>
Sweden - Wireless Solution Sweden AB's W-DMX is currently on tour with Beyoncé for the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. Pyro, confetti, fire, CO2 and laser effects company Strictly FX is charged with all ... More >>
1 May 2013
UAE - Sennheiser Group reports the use of its newly launched Digital 9000 wireless system at the recent Bruno Mars and Paloma Faith concert held at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on 12 April 2013. The Digital 9000 ... More >>
UK - Innovation Productions Ltd is preparing itself for a busy summer with some new additions to its already extensive rental stock. Innovation Productions provide hire and sales of lighting, sound, video and staging ... More >>