Country music’s most renowned institution, the Grand Ole Opry, has opened a second home in the heart of New York City’s Times Square. The Malvicino Design Group handled all the audio system integration for the bold new venture and utilized a variety of high-end products from Germany’s Sommer Cable.
“I was in charge of integration for all the audio,” says Horacio Malvicino. “We installed two PA systems, one downstairs and another on the fourth floor. All the wiring is with Sommer Cable for consoles, monitors, and the backline with guitar amps. Both stages are connected to a central machine room where we keep all the amplifiers for the two systems, the computers, and the broadcast facility. Both stages have huge screens and they connect to Nashville. So they are able to either broadcast the show from New York into Nashville or if the Gran Ole Opry has a live show in Nashville, it can be broadcast live on the big screen in NYC.”
The new Opry City Stage is a four-level, 28,000 square-foot entertainment complex that offers NYC visitors a chance to watch top acts and local bands as well as the Nashville Opry performances remotely. On the second and third floor is a two-story restaurant, bar and performance stage. The fourth floor is The Studio at Opry City Stage.
“We ran Sommer multi-pair cables from the stage to the consoles and to all the interface panels, with tielines between all the rooms on the third floor, the fourth floor, and the broadcast center.” Malvicino continues. “It’s passive, so every single box from every stage had to be routed to a central machine room where the amps are. We have one room that handles all the amps, from both locations. We also used 16-pair cables for fall back. It’s a very complicated installation because we had very long runs from several points to one central location.”
“My approach was a little different from a regular PA installation because I wanted to bring a little bit of recording studio flexibility. Each I/O rack on the stage has tieline panels, which are also made by Sommer with Sommer connectors so you can cross match XLR’s between rooms and you can cross match monitor systems from one room to another room.”
The Malvicino Design Group specializes in recording studio architecture, custom acoustics, and manufacturing of audio products. They have wired, integrated and commissioned over 500 studios over the years. Horacio Malvicino, who holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, decided to use the unique Sommer MC-Mistral analog/digital combo cable for the Opry project.
Because of the cable’s accurate capacitance, high transmission quality is assured over long distances. The wire pairs of Sommer’s Mistral cable have a pre-twisted drain wire and another shielding made from AL/PT compound foil. For added protection against corrosion and oxidation, both the conductors and the drain wire are tinned. The returns on the cable splices are easily recognizable by the color-coding on the conductor pairs.
Malvicino emphasizes the importance of cable reliability, “In my regular environment, which is the recording studio, there is always time for a new take and there’s always a new session. But here at the Opry Stage everything has to be up and running at any time. And we’re putting the systems through very long hours because downstairs the main system is some days operating between 8 a.m. for breakfast until 2 o’clock the next morning. You must make sure that everything works, that everything’s flawless and reliable.”
Malvicino used Sommer’s Mistral cable through much of the installation. “Mistral cable is very good to run through conduits, and we have conduits between the console, the mix position, and the stage. There is a hundred and twenty feet of conduit buried under the ground and you have to have pull lines for that distance. Sommer cable is very flexible and we pull four or five cables through the same conduit, and we pull hard using lubricant. Before we start making all the connections, we test continuity throughout. With other brands we used before Sommer, when we pulled really hard there was usually some damage. With Sommer, we tested all of the continuity before connecting and every single cable was operating perfectly, which is amazing. We have tons of lines, so the Sommer cable is really tough and reliable.”
Sommer Cable used at the Opry City Stage:
Mistral Multi-pair cable: http://usashop.sommercable.com/en/Cables/Bulk-Cables-Audio/Multipair-SC-Mistral-MCF-100-0101.html
Malvicino emphasizes the service aspect of Sommer Cable. “Their dedication to the client is thorough and everything’s easy to order online. I can pick up the phone and things will come next day by FedEx. We’re sourcing everything from them, including connectors. We also started using Sommer to produce all our microphone, tieline, and interface panels. The quality craftsmanship is brilliant and in the 30 plus years that I’ve been doing this I’ve never had better tech support. So it’s a gift.”
Learn more about the Malvicino Design Group: http://www.malvicinodg.com
Free one-foot cable samples are available upon request.
ABOUT MALVACINO DESIGN GROUP (MDG)
Malvicino Design Group is a design and consulting firm specializing in innovative architectural, acoustical, and technical systems design. With nearly two decades of experience in the corporate, broadcast, multimedia, entertainment, and consumer industries and markets, MDG has established industry trust with a solid reputation for creative yet practical designs, integrated with sound engineering and close interaction with clients. MDG’s foundation in architectural, acoustical, electrical, and mechanical engineering, as well as music, recording engineering, and studio business guarantees a uniquely custom approach to each project.
ABOUT SOMMER CABLE
Sommer Cable Germany is an enterprising development and manufacturing company of innovative and unique cable, connector and electronic products for the Studio, A/V Installation, Live Sound, Broadcast, Video, Music, IT and HiFi markets, with business partners in over 50 countries. In 2015, Sommer Cable America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sommer Cable Germany, was established in Santa Rosa, CA by new CEO Martin Ucik. The new company supplies the North American markets with Sommer’s wide range of innovative and high quality products. 707.200.4020