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Soaring Sound for the Four Hills Ski Tournament

February 4th, 2008

Traditionally taking place at the turn of the year, the international Four Hills competition (or “Vierschanzentournee“) ranks alongside the World Championships and Olympic Games as one of the most prestigious events in the winter sports calendar. The 56th Vierschanzentournee ran in Garmisch-Partenkirchen from December 30th, 2007, to January 1st, 2008, and featured a brand new runway, further heightening media interest in the event.

For the tenth year running, the event organizers relied upon production company TC Showtechnik of Uffing am Staffelsee in Upper Bavaria to provide sound reinforcement. The team, led by Managing Director Martin Schulze and Stefan Rehthaler, opted once again to use systems from EV. This year the centerpiece of TC’s sound reinforcement concept was the XLD compact line array system the company acquired in May 2007. “We were full of enthusiasm for the performance of this system,“ recalls Schulze. “Ski jumping is the kind of event that pushes any rig to its limits, not simply because it has to project over distances as great as 140 meters, but also because it represents a severe endurance test for the materials. The temperature variations are extreme, with the mercury rising to 25° C or higher in the daytime as the sun beats down on the black tarpaulins of the Layer tower, before falling to -25° C or lower overnight. Then, of course, there’s the rain and snow. And yet we didn’t suffer a single system failure. Sensational!“

Martin Schulze and his team place such confidence in their EV systems that they don’t even carry a spare amp in the van in case there’s a breakdown. “Our partners and us (see below) handle around 1,500 productions per year, and EV equipment invariably features on the freight list. But since nothing ever does go wrong with these systems, having this kind of faith in them is perfectly rational.“

However, even when you can be absolutely certain that the equipment will function reliably, handling an event like the Garmisch leg of the Four Hills tournament, which is watched by skiing fans all over the world, is still no walk in the park. “When we started in the mid ’90s, four EV MT2 stacks sufficed. However, with the success of the German jumpers, interest from the general public and the media increased, and with that so have the demands placed on us.“ It wasn’t simply that there was suddenly a far larger crowd of spectators to cover; there was also the fact that the various TV companies covering the event made a number of stipulations that naturally had to be respected. With the recent purchase of an EV XLD system, TC has managed to keep pace with the increasing magnitude and complexity of their task.

The decision to switch to a line array was one to which Schulze, an experienced sound engineer who has worked FOH for bands like The Notwist and Console, gave careful consideration. “I was impressed, first off, by the 120-degree coverage. Then there was the fact that events like the Four Hills competition have reached such a scale that using an endless number of enclosures doesn’t save you; furthermore, anyone who’s ever had to lay four kilometers of cable at -28° Celsius and dig it up again afterwards will understand why we preferred to provide the sound reinforcement from a single vantage point. What we needed, then, was a multi-element compact line array.“ After a large number of tests and demos, Martin Schulze & Co opted for the compact XLD system from Electro-Voice, a decision that Schulze hasn’t regretted for an instant. “It’s even more flexible than I had expected, the performance is first class, the reliability we’ve already discussed, and there’s a further plus point of major importance in my view: the weight. The boxes are so light you can hoist an eight-element banana to a height of seven meters with a Genie Super Tower and have no problems whatsoever.“

And do all these plus points add up to a significant competitive advantage for TC Showtechnik at the end of the day? “Undoubtedly,“ says Martin Schulze, “because although the market in this area is very dynamic, there’s scarcely a single manufacturer that comes even close to EV. And in my time on tour, I’ve seen and heard a large number of sound reinforcement systems. The XLD leaves nothing to be desired. No compromises have been made, and the customer can hear that.“

www.tc-showtechnik.de

###

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

guy.low@us.telex.com

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

james.edlund@us.telex.com

press contact:
Guy Low
Manager, PR/Media

(952) 736-3935
guy.low@us.bosch.com
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