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Sound Stories

Although the northern Hungarian town of Tokaj and the surrounding district are internationally famous for their wine production, the area has recently hit the headlines with a truly spectacular open-air performance venue featuring an Outline audio system.

The dramatically beautiful setting of a stone quarry which has as its backdrop a 1,300-foot high mountain was recently transformed into a 2,500 capacity open-air theatre hosting a wide variety of events by Istvàn Dévald, Director of the Tokaj Amphitheatre.

To equip the venue, Dévald called in Budapest-based ZAJ Show Lighting, whose CEO and founder Tamas Fazekas designed audio and lighting set-ups worthy of the unique location.

Fazekas’s brief for the audio system was to ensure it reached the 2,500 capacity audience comfortably, designing an audio system able to ensure optimum sound reinforcement, covering the entire audience area for a wide variety of events: prose, music and concerts.

Apart from the sonic challenge, the rig had to be easily moved for use at events staged in the nearby town and withstand local weather conditions, particularly the frequent strong winds.

To ensure even coverage across the whole auditorium, the main PA comprises sixteen Outline Butterfly C.D.H. 483 high-pack line arrays, which can be used along with four Outline Mantas line arrays, which can either be flown from the stage roof or on separate towers.

The front fills can be placed under the arrays or along the stagefront. Bottom-end power is ensured thanks to twelve Outline DBS 18-2 subwoofers, which can be installed on either side of the stage, under the arrays (in cardioid configuration if necessary), or along the front of the stage.

The main system’s all-Outline powerhouse comprises eight T7, six T11 and two T5 DSP amplifiers. These can be fed with AES signals, but Fazekas also configured the analogue inputs for backup purposes and to enable them to be used with smaller mixing consoles.

The sidefill setup, which features eight more Outline Mantas line arrays plus four Outline DBS 18-2s and is powered by four T5 DSP and two T11 amplifiers, can be used with the main PA for even more precise coverage or, alternatively, as a separate system.

Explaining that he chose Outline products for their sound quality and flexibility, Fazekas enthused regarding the results obtained, “We achieved our goal – spectators in the front rows share the same sound experience those furthest from the stage, whether they’re listening to opera, a philharmonic orchestra, a rock band or even techno sounds!”