Coda Audio distributor for Switzerland, Schallwerk Audiotechnik supplied sound reinforcement for a gig 2,000 metres above sea level, at the summit of Mount Pilatus above the Swiss city of Lucerne.
Taking place on Saturday 28 August, the gig featured local artists Dada Ante Portas and Henrik Belden as well as Swedish stars Mando Diao, all of whom played to an audience of 1,000.
The summit is accessible by the world’s steepest rack railway, by cable car, or on foot. The logistics of a mountain-top gig obviously presented various challenges, which the Schallwerk team had to become accustomed to overcome.
Commenting on the project, Stefan Zumstein-Uiting of Schallwerk explained: "Pilatus on the rocks would be a challenge from the very outset. Providing adequate stage equipment for a festival on an alpine mountain top at 2123 metres has to start with transport. This was about as far as you could get from just parking some trucks directly behind a stage, so it was either helicopters, which we dismissed because of unpredictable mountain weather, or a cogwheel railway built in 1899!"
"We settled on a combination of AiRAY and ViRAY. Under normal circumstances at an event of this size, 8 x ViRAY per side would easily do the job but at over 2000metres, the air is thinner and more energy is required to compensate for the loss of sound pressure this causes. That accounted for the choice of the 12" AiRAY driver over the 8" ViRAY – the more air you move, the more pressure you sustain.
"The compact and lightweight nature of the Coda speakers significantly reduced the stresses involved in carrying gear to the top of a mountain but it really showed its class during the performances. The systems headroom was never a problem. We had at least 12 to16dB headroom all over the system at any time during the shows, which is really very impressive in comparison to other systems. (We run 100dB(A)Leq per hour – the maximum permitted by Swiss law).
"Our customer, Pilatus-Bahnen AG and the bands were delighted with the results and many people in the crowd also took the time to remark on how great the sound was. The system’s performance was truly sensational. What was really impressive was the stability of the sound even in an occasionally gusting wind. Again, the size of the cabinets versus the power they deliver was also a huge advantage in relation to the unique nature of the site."
For Pilatus on the Rocks, Schallwerk used:
AiRAY x 12 (6 per side)
ViRAY x 4 (2 per side asdownhang)
APS x 4 (2 per side asfrontfills)
SC2 x 6 (3 per side below the main hang)
SCP x 6 (sub array in front of the stage)
LINUS RACK40 x 2
LINUS RACK20 x 4