The concert hall at Berlin’s University of Arts (‘Universität der Künste’ or ‘UdK’), is one of the finest examples of 1950s architecture, and as such is regarded as a gem in Berlin’s cultural scene. Just in time for the highlight of the 2009 concert season – the ‘Konzert der Nationen’ (Concert of the Nations) – the festival hall presented itself with renewed splendour. Built in 1954, and designed by the architect Paul Gotthilf Reinhold, it has undergone extensive renovation. In the first phase, the roof, floor and walls of the concert hall were replaced, and new seating was installed; the hall now has the blue colour scheme that was originally specified by the architect. The second phase concerned the stage: During 2010, the hall was equipped with up-to-date media technology, a new stage, and refurbished in-house equipment. As well as new peripheral devices, a Lawo mc266 was installed as the core component of the control room.
‘Bring everything up to the state-of-the-art’ was the maxim of the main contractor, HFE Elektroakustik GmbH, responsible for the renovation and technical modernization of the concert hall and its control room. In the hall, this required focusing on the stage and seating, as well as making improvements to the acoustics and technical equipment, including electronic microphone winches and microphone suspension systems. Another major step in terms of the technological infrastructure was the installation of a Lawo Nova73 HD and a Nova17 router.
Renovation of the hall started in April 2010; work on the control room took place in July. Regular teaching was able to resume in time for the winter semester 2010/2011. The whole project was completed by October 2010, and the official opening ceremony took place on 12th November.
Training for Tonmeister
The mc266 at the UdK features 40 faders (16+8+16), 92 full DSP channels, and the mc2-HD Core has a routing capacity of 8,000 x 8,000 crosspoints. The system provides a stand-alone solution for teaching purposes as well as being used for the postproduction of recorded concerts, and offers realistic requirements for the training of students enrolled in the Tonmeister course.
The Lawo mc266 is a comprehensive tool, perfectly suited for the demands of an educational institution such as the UdK. “It possesses excellent ergonomics for fast and easy understanding of the control surface. Additionally, the mc266 has a very clear centre section display of all channel parameters, and can be comprehensively configured either online or offline. With snapshots, we can prepare console settings for common user scenarios, which will be used in teaching,” explains Prof. Wolfgang Loos, program coordinator at the UdK.
Picture: Prof. Wolfgang Loos and the mc²66 in the SCR of the Berlin University of the Arts