The Eurovision Song Contest is traditionally one of the biggest media jamborees on the European music calendar, and 2006 was no exception. Held in the Olympic Indoor Hall at the heart of the 2004 Olympic Games complex in Athens, this year's show attained new heights in terms of technical production. Looking after front-of-house sound for the event was Greek audio production specialists and InnovaSon distributor Enttech S.A
Enttech specified a total of four InnovaSon digital audio mixing consoles for the show: two Sy48s on FOH duty handling both the main act and all the other microphones such as commentators, presenters and guests, and two Sy80s on monitors. Enttech's sound designer, Nikko Xpovomoulos, says that for such an important show that was broadcast live to more than 10 million viewers, not to mention the 13,000-strong audience in the arena, full redundancy was imperative. He setup A and B systems, each comprising an Sy48, a stagebox and an Sy80. "We had a full-time engineer on each console for the duration of the show, and actually flip-flopped between the two systems so the guys on the B configuration wouldn't get bored!" says Xpovomoulos with a grin, "but we did it because we could, not because we had to. From an audio point of view, the show went like a dream and the consoles did their usual great job."
Chief FOH engineer Nikos Espialidis was in complete agreement. Espialidis can normally be found at Athens' internationally renowned new concert hall, Megaron Mousikis, where he is head of recording and where a digital FOH console was installed just three years ago. When it came to comparing his experience on the two desks, he says, "I have to say that I'd never worked on an InnovaSon before Eurovision. The very first time I came across the Sy48 was in production rehearsals, but it's a superb machine. It outclasses our current solution in the Megaron in just about every way: sonically, ergonomically, functionally, and in terms of reliability, I was genuinely impressed. If I could have taken it home with me, I would have!"
For more information, visit InnovaSon at www.innovason.com.