When Hydro celebrated its 100th birthday this year, the company generously opened the festivities to everybody (with more than 120,000 local residents attending) in the capital city of Oslo. The main attraction was a free concert featuring a-ha, the Oslo Symphony and guest soloist Sissel performing soundtrack music from The Lord of the Rings. A massive reinforcement system based on Meyer Sound M Series self-powered arrays with onhand for the festivities.
Oslo’s AVAB-CAC provided the event’s audio systems, and the first challenge they faced was dealing with the peculiar layout of the concert site. The city’s verdant Frognerparken offered ample room for such an event, but was devoid of suitable wide-open spaces. Geometric landscaping, with rows of high trees forming elongated strips of lawn, left organizers with an audience area in front of the stage that spanned less than 60 meters in width, but stretched more than 250 meters deep.
Using Meyer Sound’s MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program, the AVAB-CAC design team, headed by Geir Ostensjo, plotted a solution that created an extended, seamless boulevard of premium sound. The system was anchored by main front hangs totaling 28 M3D line array loudspeakers, with bass supplemented by 32 M3D-Sub directional subwoofers. Sidefill arrays comprised 10 M3D cabinets and six M3D-Subs each. Two arrays of eight MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers each were suspended on delay towers positioned to carry music uniformly to the far end of the long, green alleyway. Six 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers were groundstacked at each tower for low-frequency support of the tower’s MILO arrays.
“The power and clarity of the sound was absolutely amazing everywhere,” says AVAB-CAC managing director Asle Nilsen, who mixed the symphony portion of the program with the company’s Per Ola Holden. “The newspaper reviews the next day were absolutely fantastic, and Sven Persson, a-ha’s FOH mixer, was raving to me about the quality of the sound.”