World Cup skiing in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with Electro-Voice

April 3, 2012

  • New sound reinforcement concept featuring multiple Electro-Voice line arrays
  • TC Showtechnik of Weilheim was responsible for the sound production at both the races and the show stage
  • The equipment used included XLC and XLE systems, TG7 amplifiers, and N8000-1500 matrix controllers from Electro-Voice
For two weekends running recently, Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) was home the elite of the alpine skiing world: on January 28 & 29 for the men's downhill and super G, and February 4 & 5 for the women's speed disciplines. Once again, the small resort in Upper Bavaria found itself cast in the role of capital of the skiing world, and as in previous years, TV and radio stations the world over were providing coverage of the competitions unfolding on the dreaded Kandahar run.

Another constant was the participation of Weilheim-based production company TC Showtechnik. This was the eighth time the company led by CEOs Martin Schulze and Stefan Rehthaler had been charged with responsibility for the sound reinforcement, both piste-side and in front of the show stage in the Kurpark. That much experience has its advantages, one being knowledge of the venue and its demands and another being an awareness of the risks posed by the extreme weather conditions that prevail in the Bavarian mountains in midwinter. Of course, knowing about them and being able to cope with them are two different things...

“Our new sound reinforcement concept and the new systems integrated this year were totally validated.”

"This year, the caprices of the weather were almost beyond belief," reports Schulze. "When we were setting up, the temperature was above zero and it was actually raining. By the second weekend, we were looking at temperatures of -26 degrees Celsius on the piste! Sound systems capable of enduring fluctuations of that order are not ten a penny, which at least one of the reasons why this year TC Showtechnik once again opted for loudspeakers and amplifiers bearing the EV logo, which, as he puts it: "would appear to be impervious to extreme weather conditions."

Whilst the EV logo may not have changed, the specialists did come up with a slightly different sound reinforcement concept this year, based on multiple line arrays of different sizes all united by a powerful Electro-Voice N8000-1500 controller matrix. "The aim was to provide separate coverage for multiple zones, each of which could be controlled independently," says Schulze. "The various zones were designed to complement, yet never interfere with, one another. And the plan worked!" To provide homogeneous coverage for all the spectators following the competition live, the team from TC Showtechnik assigned two line arrays to the grandstands, with further enclosures hanging from six strategically positioned towers.

For the closing straight alone, 28 XLE181 two-way loudspeaker elements and 8 XCS312 cardioid subs from Electro-Voice were used, as well as 12 D8 loudspeakers from DYNACORD. To provide powerful coverage of the entertainment programme on the show stage in Garmisch's Kurpark, the TC Showtechnik team deployed an Electro-Voice XLC line array with 12 XLC127DVX forming the centerpiece and 6 Electro-Voice XLE181 and 10 Electro-Voice Xsubs the ancillary elements of the set-up.

The nerve center of the production was the N8000-1500 matrix controller from Electro-Voice – a tool with which Martin Schulze is particularly taken. "It's my pet device," he confessed. "Its capabilities are astounding. The main L/F mix was routed initially from the front-of-house position to an N8000-1500 and from there, via Dante network, to a second, with sixteen analogue and eight digital audio signals eventually finding their way to the amp racks. Via IRIS-Net, we were in a position then to control at will the levels, delays and filtering of all the zones from a single screen. Perfect!"

Another innovation for the 2012 World Cup production was the use of XCS312 cardioid subs from Electro-Voice. The baptism of fire – or in this case, ice – for the 3 x 12" cabinets turned out to be a triumph. "With the XCS312, we were able to ply spectators in the grandstand with full sub-bass," reports Schulze. "In the sensitive TV area, however, nothing of that was audible. Our clients were aware of what had been achieved and were highly appreciative."

So, too, were the various performers gracing the show stage in the Kurpark in the course of the two weekends, who showered the TC Showtechnik team with thanks and praise for their efforts. "Naturally, we were delighted by the favorable comments and the e-mails we received afterwards," reports Schulze. "Our new sound reinforcement concept and the new systems integrated this year were totally validated. And we experienced absolutely no equipment failures or problems whatsoever, which, in view of the atrocious weather, was pretty remarkable!"

snapshot, gm, February 2012

Equipment List

Triple‑12" cardioid bass element

120º Horizontal, 3‑Way Compact Line Array Element

120° Horizontal, 2‑Way Compact Line Array Element

Dual‑18“ Subwoofer Element

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