Heavenly Sounds with EV at Papal Mass in Austria
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Heavenly Sounds with EV at Papal Mass in Austria

October 26th, 2007

Pope Benedikt XVI’s three-day visit to Austria from the September 7th-9th 2007 attracted a great deal of media attention throughout Europe, with the procession and mass in Mariazell on September 8th being just one of the events covered live by broadcasters, such as Austrian television company ORF. Sound reinforcement systems from Electro-Voice made it possible for the 20,000-plus pilgrims viewing the event on giant LED screens to follow every word of the Pope’s Sermon on the Mount.

The entire technical development was the responsibility of BMS Production Group of Vienna. To ensure optimum intelligibility for the audience, BMS managing director Ing. Fritz Staudinger and Thomas Millmann of rental company MTR Productions looked to the Electro-Voice XLC system. Their expectations were fully satisfied, as Millmann relates: “Despite cloudbursts all week long while we were setting up, the equipment performed flawlessly. In fact, many of the faithful came up and thanked us, adding that they were able to hear every word of the sermon from even the most distant congregation areas.“

The mass from the basilica in Mariazell was transmitted live to a nearby sports ground where two LED screens had been erected, with the sound supplied by an Electro-Voice XLC127+ line array (3 hangs of 8) as well as eight Xi-1152 enclosures. The PA system was driven by EV P3000 and P2000 amps and controlled via six EV Dx38 units.

Even with state-of-the-art sound reinforcement equipment, however, the bar was set pretty high as System Technician Ing. Thomas Hasenhauer explains: “The biggest challenge came when the organizers requested lip synchronicity between the sound heard by the congregation and the LED screens. By distributing the eight Xi-1152 loudspeakers at regular intervals in front of the smaller LED screen, we were able, of course, to cover the entire congregation without recourse to delays, thereby solving the problem. Applying the same principle, we then moved the XLC line arrays in front of the larger of the two LED screens forward slightly-again, obviating the need for delays-to bring us a few meters closer to lip-synchronicity.“

As well as the mass itself, there was a procession through the streets of Mariazell-this year celebrating its 850th anniversary as a shrine-with singing, instrumental interludes and prayers. To provide coverage along the route, MTR Productions erected four sound reinforcement towers-each hung with two QRx112/75 loudspeakers and an Xi1082 system.

Equipment list:

24x XLC127+

8x Xi-1152

8x QRx112/75

5x Xi1082

4x P1200

3x P2000

15x P3000

6x Dx38

4x Klark Teknik DN1248+ (splitters between TV & sound reinforcement)


Guy Low

Sr. Copywriter | MarCom

Bosch Communications Systems

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3935

Fax: 952-736-4582


James Edlund

Public Relations Manager

Bosch Communications Systems

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. South

Burnsville, MN 55337

Phone: 952-736-3901

Fax: 952-736-4582


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