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VUE AUDIOTECHNIK DELIVERS WINNING SOUND FOR THE VOICE NORWAY 2015

Held at the H3 Arena in Fornebu, The Voice Norway 2015 employed a state-of-the-art sound system from VUE Audiotechnik, designed and installed by avonlyd as. OB Team was in charge of the complete broadcast production including sound production with avonlyd as and Tor Erik Johansen orchestrating the live studio sound production as the sub-contractor. The vocal competition, produced by Nordisk Film TV and Kurder King Production AS, spanned a period of several months, starting earlier this year with blind audition rounds, then narrowing the field to 40 contestants, and ultimately down to a single vocalist. On June 5 — the final night of the vocal competition — it was announced that Yvonne Nordvik Siversten was the winner.

Led by Åsmund Knutson, the core of The Voice Norway 2015 backup band featured drums, bass, keyboards, two guitar players and three backing vocalists. These musicians were augmented with strings, horns and additional background vocals for songs that required increased instrumentation. It was paramount that all seats in the venue, capable of holding 1,200 people, were equally and effectively covered by the PA system.

All inputs from the stage went to the FOH and monitor consoles, with some of the lines subject to a four-way split. All of the band and vocal inputs were fed to the mixing suite, while the speech and audience microphones were sent to the OB truck. During the blind auditions, the singers used VUE Audiotechnik hm-112 high definition stage monitors, and then for the next rounds (Duels, Knock Out and Live) they were on in-ear monitors. Monitor mixes were generated using a Soundcraft Vi3000. IEMs were Shure, as were all of the microphones.

At-rehearsals

At Voice Norway Rehearsals

“TV shows are very different from concerts,” says Edgar Andraa Lien, founder and systems engineer, avon. “It’s important that the audience responds favorably to the singers, the music and the mentors. At the same time, we must be sure not to interfere with the broadcast sound, and of course the producer does not want the PA to be visible on-camera. So, instead of a typical L/R speaker hang, we had an increased number of smaller hangs pointing toward the audience (who were seated around the stage) and the mentors. Javed Kurd, The Voice Norway 2015’s music producer, and I were very pleased with the results.”

Kurd also notes that the placement of the speakers and the choice of VUE components improved the mixing process. “The PA itself sounded very clear and seemed to play with a phase coherency across the entire frequency range,” he says. “This helped intelligibility and separation of individual sound sources in the mix.”

Wide

al-4SB with 6 al-4 elements flown below, per side.

Lien chose, in cooperation with FOH engineer Tor Erik Johansen, a varied complement of VUE Audiotechnik loudspeakers in his system design: “We used six hs-28 dual 18-inch ACM subwoofers, four hangs each with four al-8 high definition line array elements, and two hangs each with one al-4SB flying subwoofer system and six al-4 subcompact line array elements. The systems were flown in a U-shaped configuration with al-4s placed at the end of the stage behind the mentors’ chairs.”

In spite of the complexity of the sound system, avon’s rigging process was efficient. “It was just two of us hanging the speaker arrays,” explains Lien. “From the start of the rigging period it took us around four or five hours to get them all into place. This was done before any of the staging was rigged, in a big empty venue with riggers hanging lamps on trusses. So I had to imagine where the audience would be seated. We had to trust our planning, so that when all of the staging, seating and set were rigged, the PA system would cover the proper areas. That went very well, and I was happy with the results.”

Handling FOH mixing duties for all of the artists performing on The Voice Norway 2015 was Johansen, engineer and co-owner of avon. “The FOH mixing position was situated between two al-8 hangs to provide a solid stereo image, and we placed a pair of VUE i-6a compact full range foreground systems on the FOH Yamaha PM1D console for nearfield use,” he explains. For some of the songs, band members moved from their normal positions out to the stage, in which case Johansen dealt with a total of 20 IEM systems and as many as 30 wireless microphones.

If audience reaction to The Voice Norway 2015 is any indication, then VUE Audiotechnik and avon performed a masterful job at providing audio for the production. Norway’s population is 5 million, and in addition to the enthusiastic live audience at H3 Arena, the level of TV viewer participation was higher than ever this season, with an estimated peak of 900,000 viewers during the June 5 finale, and an average of 683,000 per broadcast.

The-Voice-Norway_Array

4 x al-8s flown behind the judges desk.