Paris, France – March 31, 2015 – The newly opened Philharmonie de Paris, a state-of-the-art building complex designed to host international symphonic ensembles, including the Orchestre de Paris, features Amadeus speakers throughout each of the many musical venue spaces; from the Large Rehearsal Space with public seating, to Practice Rooms, to the Grande Auditorium and the Music Exhibition and Conference Rooms, plus the two on-site recording studios. Amadeus speakers used in the project include various sizes of its DIVA, PMX, ML, and MINITRI Series, with over 50 Amadeus speakers installed in the landmark building complex.
Amadeus, one of the premiere manufacturers of high-end sound reinforcement systems for live and installed sound, as well as a major producer of custom studio speakers for recording studios, worked closely during several years with Ateliers Jean Nouvel, the internationally based architecture company founded by French architecture star Jean Nouvel, along with theatre consultants at dUCKS Scéno to create, develop and optimize the most efficient speaker systems for the Philharmonie’s high-level of acoustical, architectural, and aesthetic requirements.
Gaetan BYK, Marketing Manager at Amadeus describes the challenges of the philharmonic project, “The Philharmonie de Paris was probably the longest and the most complex project that we have completed over the last 10 years at Amadeus. It is also among the most rewarding!”
“We take a great pride in having designed and provided systems on a par with this masterpiece of architectural design, technological challenges, and acoustic achievements,” Gaetan BYK adds. “It was a great pleasure for us, and an intense experience, to work for over four years on the design of the exclusive PA systems in close collaboration with people with such extensive professional profiles, skills, experiences, and backgrounds.”
“The custom-made products manufacturing, to solve acoustical or technical issues, are a glorious tradition at Amadeus, which serves our philosophy. Our clients trust us to answer these challenges by developing specific systems that sometimes join, complement or perfect our existing product lines,” concludes Gaetan BYK.
With previous works including the Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen and the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, Jean Nouvel, enlisted the services of two leading acoustic consultants, Sir Harold Marshall of New Zealand and Yasuhisa Toyota of Japan and the French theater consultant, dUCKS Scéno, for scenography design.
Amadeus’ Director of Research & Development, Michel DELUC, reveals the starting point of the prolific collaboration between dUCKS Scéno and Amadeus, “Our collaboration began with the development of 14 customized point source speakers for the acoustical canopy of the Symphonic Hall.”
Suspended over the auditorium is a mobile canopy, resembling flat cloud, that can be positioned at different heights above the stage and large areas of curtains that can be deployed differently for different repertories and genres.
Michel DELUC continues, “The requirements were practically unrealizable. The technical, thermal and acoustical constraints pushed us to develop two new series of self-powered and EtherSound-enabled point source loudspeakers, with custom associated accessories to optimize both the directivity control and the mobility of the speakers.”
The newly developed speaker series includes the PdP 10 ES and PdP 12 ES speakers (PdP for Philharmonie de Paris) that ensure perfectly uniform coverage and an excellent spectral quality throughout the Grande Auditorium’s seating for 2,400 listeners. The sound is evenly distributed between the floor seating area and on the ‘floating’ balconies around the central stage.
Michel DELUC goes in depth with the technical details about designing the customized Amadeus speakers for the symphony hall canopies, “The initial problem was that each system had to be able to work in ‘uncovered’ mode during operation, then retracting into the canopy to become unobtrusive, therefore not impacting the canopy aesthetics. The circular cutouts provided for the loudspeakers and the projectors all have the same diameter: 40cm (15,75″). It was necessary to design a series of 15 tailor-made systems, based on regular Amadeus PMX 10 ES and PMX 12 ES speakers, to solve dispersion, heat and signal transport problems, and above all, to sort out dimensional aspects induced by the canopy’s structure and position.”
He continues, “This led to reduce each system’s internal volume – offsetting the tuning frequency and modifying the frequency range. Additionally, we had to design several adjustable height mounting systems, to allow each system to work while fully recessed (what we call ‘Parking’ mode, completely folded pantograph) or when fully uncovered (unfolded pantograph). It was mandatory to design tailor-made cooling systems for the associated electronics, which are embedded in the canopy. It was not possible to use additional fans, as the noise floor for technical equipment in the large hall was fixed to ‘Noise Rating’ 10. The original heat dissipaters were therefore replaced with oversized extruded dissipaters (heat dissipation value: 0,27° per Watt). This solution ensures optimal working conditions for the electronics, with a maximum temperature of 70°C (158°F) calculated at the electronics chassis location.”
Jean François MATHAIS is an equipment scenographer, specializing in audio, video, stage and lighting. He worked for dUCKS Scéno from 2002 to 2014. He was involved in the design stage for many huge projects, including the Copenhagen Concert Hall, Elbe Philharmonic Hall, Central Chinese Television Tower (CCTV), and Jinan Grand Theater.
He describes the overall Philharmonie de Paris project and how the new custom Amadeus speakers for the main hall came about, “Amadeus got deeply involved in this very complex project, attentively taking in account sound design and users. Amadeus was the only manufacturer to accept to design ‘made to measure’ loudspeakers, to satisfy mechanical or electronic demands. The Philharmonie de Paris’ ‘Full-Digital’ concept raised no problem for them; they adapted seamlessly to the compatible final format.”
Jean François MATHAIS continues, revealing his feelings about Amadeus, “The manufacturer’s ear is an essential element in loudspeakers. Amadeus is a reference brand in studio monitors, a ‘standard’ as well for high-end tailor-made models. Their sound reinforcement systems offer an outstanding sound quality – the same applies about the product’s finish. To give a single example, Amadeus subwoofers are…there’s no word for it, they are so good!… I have tried lots of subwoofers, and listened to so many of them! But I should talk about the mid and treble quality too, and about the overlapping quality at frequency cutoff points. Just impressive! If your ears like distortion and colored sound, go away! And to cap it all off, the Amadeus team is made of perfectionists, while at the same time being modest people, with a deep respect of human values. Long life to them!”
The new large-capacity Philharmonie symphonic concert hall (2,400 seats) is based on the concept of envelopment. The room consists of two nested chambers – an inner floating seating area producing visual and acoustical intimacy between audience and performer, and an outer space with its own architectural and acoustical presence. This unique design required innovations in architecture, stage design and acoustical engineering. The architect, Jean Nouvel and lead acoustician, Sir Harold Marshall conceived the room with the theatre consultant dUCKS Scéno. The hall’s organic shapes with an audacious ensemble of cantilevered balconies and floating acoustical ‘clouds’ paired with the warmth of the wood create an ambiance conducive to listening and experiencing music.
“Evocative of immaterial, draped sheets of music and light, the hall suspends the listeners in space, on long balconies… This suspension creates the impression of being immersed in music and light”, expounds the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel, whose designs include the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Copenhagen Concert Hall.
The 3000-square-foot stage features motorized platforms that can accommodate even the most imposing orchestral formation. The hall is also equipped with a Rieger organ, 15-meters high and 20-meters wide, specially designed for the symphonic repertory. The ‘enveloping’ layout of the auditorium extends through a series of foyers, which serve as the passageway from pre-concert activities to the start of the concert event. With large windows looking out onto the Parc de la Villette and beyond, the foyers connect the building to city life.
In a bid to attract new audiences, the complex also houses a 2,000 square meter education center where an estimated 120,000 young people a year will be invited to try their hand at playing a huge assortment of musical instruments. The complex has 15 workshop spaces, as well as a recording studio. Each space is equipped with one Amadeus MINITRI (a self-powered 2.1 studio monitoring system, equipped with 3 high definition power amplifiers). The recording studio is equipped with a pair of the new flagship Amadeus speakers co-designed by Jean Nouvel to be announced later in 2015.
With the large rehearsal space being as much of a “performance space” as a practice area that can accommodate large ensembles, the Philharmonie de Paris employs its own FOH engineer, Bruno MORAIN. He explains, “Each time Amadeus engineers design a monitoring speaker or a live SR system, one gets the idea that research is always oriented to get a musical result. The choice of active and passive components is always extremely marked – for example, the fabulous MHF transducer (developed by ATC) used in Amadeus 155 monitoring systems, which were recently set up in our Cité de la Musique studio. Another example is the combination of Lab.gruppen PLM amplifiers (integrating Lake speaker processors) and Amadeus DIVA M line-array systems, installed in the Philharmonie de Paris. I praise the ‘transparent sound’ philosophy inherent to Amadeus systems, and the refusal to ‘standardize’ a sound signature or color. Moreover, I appreciate the research and the technicality dedicated to the speaker’s cabinetwork and product aesthetics.”
“I also enjoy the expertise of the Amadeus team; the Philharmonie de Paris install is typical of Amadeus’ core goal: to create the best possible adaptation of an audio system to its environment, and to fine-tune the system to get the best sounding results,” adds Bruno MORAIN. The large rehearsal space features Amadeus DIVA M arrays and DIVA M 18 LF extension speakers as well as Amadeus ML 18 X subwoofers and PMX 15 and PMX 15 S models to fill out the sound in the large space.
The Philharmonie is not just a concert hall, but features a ‘Museum of Music’ as well. This section of the complex features eight Amadeus DIVA XS speakers paired with dual Amadeus ML 15 subwoofers. The first exhibitions show major musical trends and key musical figures, while the permanent collection presents a panorama of musical life from the 17th century to today. In March 2015, a special exhibition about the rock artist David Bowie was shown.
In the 5.1 surround studio within the Philharmonie complex, a special setup of 10 of the new Amadeus speakers co-designed by Jean Nouvel, create a unique and extremely ‘High-Fidelity’ listening experience… This most intense and exhilarating of Amadeus’ speaker creations to date, named ‘Philharmonia,’ will be unveiled during the Prolight + Sound tradeshow April 15-18, 2015 in Frankfurt, in the Amadeus booth (Hall 8.0 Booth G19).
An overview of Amadeus speakers used in the new Philharmonie de Paris building:
Large Rehearsal Space (featuring public seating):
Amadeus DIVA M high-power array loudspeaker (1 x 8” LMF + 2 x 1” HF): 5-unit per side
Amadeus DIVA M 18 high-power LF extension loudspeaker for DIVA M (1 x 18” LF): 2-unit per side
Amadeus ML 18 X high-efficiency subwoofer (1 x 18” LF) : 1-unit per side
Amadeus PMX 15 high-efficiency 2-way passive loudspeaker (15” LF + 2” HF): 1-unit per side
Amadeus PMX 15 S high-efficiency loudspeaker with passive / active switch on rear panel (15” LF + 2” HF): 1-unit in center mode
Education and Musical Initiation Rooms
Amadeus MINITRI self-powered 2.1 studio monitoring system with satellites varnished beech finish : 14-unit
Music Exhibition Room
DIVA XS ultra-compact array loudspeaker (2 x 5” LMF + 1” HF): 4-unit per side
ML 15 high-power compact subwoofer (1 x 15” LF): 1-unit per side
Surround Sound Studios
New Amadeus ‘Philharmonia’ speakers, co-designed by renowned architect Jean Nouvel.
Grande Symphonic Hall
Amadeus PdP 10 ES self-powered active loudspeaker with built-in EtherSound digital input card (10” LF + 1” HF): 12-unit
Amadeus PdP 12 ES high-powered active loudspeaker with built-in EtherSound digital input card (12” LF + 2” HF): 2-unit
Note: Lab.gruppen amplifiers were used throughout the whole building in many of the spaces where non self-powered Amadeus speakers were installed
For more information about the ‘Philharmonie de Paris’ in France please visit: http://philharmoniedeparis.fr/en/
Amadeus develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of high-end sound reinforcement loudspeakers, studio monitors and various signal processing interfaces that combine its own custom innovative technology with stylish design, for the professional audio industry. Created in 1992 from the collaboration between the French designer Bernard BYK and the scientist and musician Michel DELUC, the Amadeus brand has grown to become a leading supplier of high-end audio solutions and services for theaters, opera houses, museums, recording studios, research centers and touring concert sound rental operations. All development and product manufacturing is centralized in Amadeus headquarters in France, with field offices and authorized distributors located in Europe, Asia and UAE.
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