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Live Sound

Photo Gallery: Rock n’ Roll Sound 500 Meters Underground

Queen tribute act rocks concert hall inside former salt mine.

Thuringa, Germany (February 22, 2019)—Merkers Adventure Mine in Thuringia, Germany recently presented Queen tribute act MerQury in its unique concert hall—a former bunker for potash salt, located 500 meters underground. The space—22 meters wide, 17 meters high and 250 meters long with walls of solid rock—was a challenge for the team from event services provider PVS Jena, which was brought in to provide audio for the sold-out show.

Jens Peterlein, managing director at PVS Jena, noted that not only the location but the logistics of the show made choosing and setting up the audio system a task unto itself. “The installation times in Merkers are short, the delivery through the pit is very complex and it requires precise planning [because everything has travel] 500 meters with the elevator and then 15 minutes by transporter underground to the event hall, so every move must be considered,” he said.

Acquisitions Bolster RCF Group

Ultimately, PVS Jena opted for an RCF HDL 30-A system, backed up by RCF SUB 9007s, SUB 9004s, TT22-A Front Fills, TT052-A Lip Fills and TT22-A in 2 delay lines.

Using RCF’s software tool RDNet and its prediction tool, PVS Jena simulated the system and venue in advance so that they could configure and install it quickly. A primary goal was to minimize reflections by keeping the area behind the stage as quiet as possible and limiting the sound to 100 meters within the hall.

Two hangs of 8 HDL 30-A modules and four Sub 9007-As a side, plus four Sub 9004-As in the center comprised the main PA. The subs were each placed in Cardioid mode and acoustics were optimized using a preset. RCF TT22-A modules served as front fills and a pair of TT052-A as near fills. At the 30 and 60-meter marks from the stage, pairs of TT22-A multifunctional speakers were used as delays.

Helping to keep the sound clean, the band performed with IEMs, though singer and frontman Johnny Zatylny preferred using two TT25CXA wedges on stage.