The Palazzo dei Congressi convention centre in the southern Swiss city of Lugano is one of the region’s primary business assets. It also acts as a cultural focus, hosting classical concerts and dance performances. The venue has just had a brand new Yamaha and Nexo audio system installed, which will allow it to host a much wider range of events.
The venue has a 1150-capacity main auditorium (Hall A), with a second (Hall B) that can be divided into three separate rooms for different kinds of function. Camorino-based Electronic Studio SA won the contract to supply a new system, which was required to be state-of-the-art, high quality, extremely flexible and straightforward to use. It was also required to be expandable, for possible future needs and to allow for interconnection with other areas of the centre and for possible broadcast use, etc. To achieve this demanding brief, audio consultants ZAP Audio specified an EtherSound network with a comprehensive Yamaha and Nexo system in each hall.
Hall A features a Yamaha M7CL-48ES mixing console and two SB168-ES stage boxes. The main PA system is a Nexo GEO S12 line array, comprising left, centre and right hangs plus RS15 subs. Under balcony delays are PS8s, with PS10 onstage sidefills. System control is by NXAMP 4x4 and NXAMP 4x1s, with system processing by a Yamaha DME64N digital mixing engine, fitted with MY8-ADDA96 interface cards, and an Auvitran AVM500-ES EtherSound router.
Hall B features two Yamaha DME24Ns, two DME8i-ES satellites, Nexo PS10 loudspeakers and NXAMP 4x1s, plus another Auvitran AVM500-ES. Both halls also feature wall-mounted Yamaha CP4SF control panels.
“Although congresses, other corporate events and classical concerts are what it is currently most used for, the venue wants to put on a wider range of events. So the system was planned to be powerful enough to for live jazz and rock concerts to be held ,” says Antonio Silvestro, director of Electronic Studio SA
Thanks to the flexibility of the EtherSound network, for very large events audio and video signals can be transmitted in both directions between Hall A and Hall B.”
The Yamaha DMEs are used for room equalisation, dynamics, EQ, gating, normalising, automixing, signal routing and - most importantly - preset programming.
“An important part of the brief was that the system had to be usable by a range of staff,” says ZAP Audio’s Flavio Rüdy. “So we specified the CP4SF control panels and programmed several ‘simple’ presets that allow non-technical staff to instantly set the entire system up for certain types of event with the press of a button. We have also programmed the DMEs with a range of other presets, that give live sound engineers full access to the system.
He continues, “We chose a Yamaha / Nexo system because we know that integration with an EtherSound network would be seamless, the high quality of the audio and DSP plus, of course, the excellent reliability of the products.
“Last but not least, we knew that the service and support for the system would be second-to none. We have worked for many years with Yamaha and Nexo products and we know them very well.”
Despite the project involving the complete removal of the existing audio systems and replacement with the new, the fact that the Palazzo dei Congressi is in constant use meant that there was only a small ‘window of opportunity’ to do the installation.
“Obviously we had to ensure the Nexo hangs were in the right position for optimal coverage,” Flavio continues. “The fact that the hall was in heavy use meant that we had to do a lot of planning ahead, as we only had a short time to install, programme and test the system. But it all went very smoothly. “The installation was a complete success and the client is very happy.”