New York (November 27, 2006)–Greek culture has given many things to the world, from great architecture, philosophy and poetry, to the Marathon, to Jimmy The Greek. Yet another important contribution has been song festivals, as typified by the recent 38th Thessaloniki Song Festival, which took place in the POAK Sports Arena in Thessaloniki in northern Greece. The creative team behind the recent Eurovision Song Contest held in Athens last May, was responsible for the design and running of the show, which included calling on Greek audio production specialists and InnovaSon distributor, Enttech SA to handle all of the audio requirements.
The audio crew for the 38th Thessaloniki Song Festival, with an InnovaSon Sy80 console at FOH.Enttech specified and purchased three InnovaSon Sy80 digital mixing consoles especially for the event, all of which were run on an EtherSound network.
A total of 16 entrants were selected after nationwide trials to compete in the festival on the first day. The criteria demanded original material performed by newcomer artists. An on-site jury–in addition to millions of televoters–narrowed the selection down to 10, who proceeded to the finals held on November 4th. The entire show was broadcast live via ERT SAT and ERT Web, the live internet TV and web channels belonging to ERT, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation.
The configuration required an Sy80 console at FOH, one on monitors and a third to handle all the broadcast requirements. There was also a 56-mic input Stage-Box which acted as a microphone splitter for all three consoles, and a 48-mic input, 8-output DioCore (an EtherSound-enabled Stage-Box) also distributing microphone signals to all three consoles, but over EtherSound via CAT5 rather than the fibre optic or coax links used for the Stage-Box. All talkback channels were also handled over EtherSound. The monitor console acted as the primary EtherSound master and as the Stage-Box master. Just as it did for Eurovision, Enttech also supplied a full backup system comprising an Sy80 FoH primary master console and Sy48 broadcast console plus a Stage Box and a DioCore all on a separate independent network.
Monitor engineer Elias Trintis, who was also responsible for setting up the consoles in conjunction with InnovaSon’sMatthieu Le Failler, remarked, “I’ve been using InnovaSon consoles for five years now and always enjoyed working on them. However, Eurovision was the first time that I’d used the new Sy80 control surface with Sensoft v10.1, and I have to say I was amazed. Based on the success of Eurovision, we used a similar configuration for Thessaloniki, but this time, we decided to run the whole thing on an EtherSound network. We also had a full redundancy system, which is imperative on a production as big as this. The problem was that we had a very limited time in which to achieve it. However, with Matthieu’s help, we got the whole thing up and running perfectly in just three hours without a single hitch.”