A K-array Firenze Series loudspeaker system was used to cover the mountain with sound during the recent Hahnenkamm Downhill and Slalom Races in Austria. Austria (February 4, 2015)—Held annually on the slopes of the Kitzbuehel Ski Area in Austria, the Hahnenkamm Downhill and Slalom Races make for one of the most challenging and dangerous ski competitions in the world. More than 22,000 fans come out each year to watch top skiers fly by at more than 85 MPH on the 1,665-meter Ganslernhang slope.
Ensuring everyone can hear the event is local rental company Murdock Event & Media, which assembled a large production team for this year’s races. Key to the effort was a new K-array Firenze Series loudspeaker system; previous K-array systems had been used for notable ski events like the Val Viemme in Italy, but the Firenze Series was only launched this past October, making this the first time the new line would face six days of extreme weather—including sub-zero temperatures and snow—at a major event.
Ultimately, Murdock Event & Media fielded a system based around the Firenze Series KH8 Line array touring speaker and KS8 subwoofers, flying a line of 6 KH8 units and three KS8 units with four KH15s used for side fill.
The Firenze series’ software allowed Klaus Hausherr of K-array’s technical concert team to make digital calculations and configure the speaker using FIRmaker software, which then calibrated the onboard FIRfilters to direct the sound around the difficult terrain. Making use of the system’s digital acoustic steering capabilities, the audio team hung the array at the base of the slope, shooting audio up the mountain to cover the required area.
Load-in for the system started at 7:30 a.m., and the system was hung and running by 11:00 a.m. During the set-up, Hausherr used laser measurement tools to determine the exact measurements of the site. Starting out with pre-sets within the system ‘s Armoni?a software, he used the measurements he’d made to fine-tune the system. “600 Kg [1,323 lbs.] and six boxes only for a system able to push a clear sound over 200 meters is really a whole new frontier,” he remarked.
Stefan from Murdock also commented, “The system was ultra reliable even during the blizzards we encountered at the event. With the steering of the new Firenze series, we can keep the audio system out of sight, making more room for the fans. We loved the KH15s used for side fill; they supported the Firenze system to give it more than we have ever heard before at this event.”
L&M Light & Sound (U.S. K-array distributor)