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Anya and Otto’s big night out: EAW rocks the 10th PRG Live Entertainment Awards

The Adaptive Performance system received a showcase at the major German awards event

Germany’s Live Entertainment Awards (PRG LEA) celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Festhalle in Frankfurt am Main. This is the sixth year the event has been held at the Festhalle on the eve of the Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound trade fairs.

Belgium-based PRG/EML provided production and infrastructure services for the event. What EAW has designated its ‘Adaptive Performance system’ – that’s Anya and Otto elements in combination – was in place to handle all sound reinforcement requirements for the event.

The Live Entertainment Award (LEA) is given in 14 categories and goes to promoters, concert agencies, artists’ managers and venue operators, in some cases with the artists involved, for successful tours, shows, festivals and everything in between.

The show is a big deal for EAW: while the Adaptive Performance system (flying Anya hangs boxes and Otto subs) has been making inroads in the USA, it is now making a move into Europe.

With its doors opening in 1909, Festhalle Frankfurt is the oldest building on the trade fair grounds. The multipurpose venue features a self-supporting dome structure made of steel and glass. The room provides the main level and two
tiers of seating that can accommodate more than 9,800 people.

EAW’s Applications Support Group (ASG) worked closely with PRG/EML to design a system that would exceed production expectations. Using EAW Resolution software, the ASG team constructed a complete acoustical model of the venue and sound system. Once complete, the software determines the optimum system design to achieve the much-desired paradigm of “the same sound in every seat”.

The Adaptive Performance system consisted of left–right arrays, each made up of twelve Anya modules. Low end was provided by a total of 16 Otto subs, ground stacked 2 x 4 under the Anya columns. Two arrays of two Anya modules provided stage fill. Outfill and frontfill was covered by EAW KF364 and JF8 loudspeakers, respectively.

Each Anya module includes 22 highly customised transducers, each powered and processed independently to provide high resolution and control. Otto subwoofers use two Offset Aperture-loaded woofers paired with independent on-board amplification, processing and networking to extend Adaptive Performance to the lowest octaves.

“As an added bonus, the Anya arrays just looked great hanging there – not obtrusive at all,” says Klaus Rahe, director of creative services for PRG. “It’s a very small footprint which makes keeping sight lines open easy.”

The coverage pattern of both Anya and Otto can adapt in real-time to changing conditions – a feature which is becoming increasingly common in PA system design. “The Festhalle is the type of space that the Adaptive Performance system thrives in,” adds Jeff Rocha, EAW president. “The sound was placed exactly where they needed it – right on the audience on the main floor and kept off of walls and ceiling.”

The live acts performing during the awards show included ’80s superstars Spandau Ballet, Johannes Oerding, Austrian pop band Wanda and Jan-Josef Liefers with his Radio Doria project. Among the top speakers were cabaret artists Florian Schröder and Timo Wopp, Lars Redlich, John Giddings, Sonya Kraus and Elaiza.

FOH engineer Robbie McGrath manned a Yamaha CL5 digital console during the event. Another CL5 was also available as well as an Avid VENUE Profile digital console for Spandau Ballet.

After the award show, both PRG/EML and EAW used Festhalle as a demonstration site for their products and services during the Prolight + Sound show. In order to better showcase the Adaptive system, EAW invited FOH engineers Paul David Hager (Miley Cyrus, Devo) and Sean “Sully” Sullivan (Beck, Norah Jones) to mix live tracks the first night of the show, allowing listeners to experience the system first-hand.

“I thought the system handled Festhalle really well,” adds Paul David Hager. “I have mixed in that room
with various acts and different systems, and the ability of Anya to send sound to only where listeners were and not reflective areas really helped. I almost forgot I was mixing in such an acoustically challenged space.”

In addition to the Adaptive system, EAW debuted their new Redline series of powered loudspeakers designed to deliver sonic quality and touring reliability with a feature set tailored to rental/staging and installation customers.
The Redline family consists of two powered, two-way loudspeakers – the 12-inch RL12 and 15-inch RL15 – along with the 18-inch RL18S powered subwoofer. It will ship in June.