In 2016, Luxembourg City’s Philharmonie Luxembourg became the first European classical concert venue to permanently install a Yamaha RIVAGE PM10 digital mixing system. It proved such a success that, in 2020, it added a RIVAGE PM7.
With raked stalls and four seating ‘towers’ on each side, the 1328-capacity Grand Auditorium at Philharmonie Luxembourg combines the acoustics of classic shoe-box concert halls with the atmosphere of a Shakespearean theatre. The smaller Salle de Musique de Chambre features curved walls and can host audiences of 313 people, while the venue’s four foyers can also be used for performances.
The venue has featured Yamaha digital mixing systems since it opened in 2005; initially a PM5D and M7CL-32, then a CL5 and the RIVAGE PM10. The superior sound quality of the RIVAGE PM10 was so impressive that, in 2020, the decision was taken to replace the CL5 with a RIVAGE PM7 system.
“The audio quality of the RIVAGE PM10 system is excellent. We have been working with it since the first firmware version and the performance has improved with each update. Even complex setups are now easy to create,” says Thomas Leisen, a freelance mixing engineer who regularly works with the in house Philharmonie Luxembourg team.
“The ability to separate the individual bays and thus work with two operators at the console is a good feature and, with the offline editor, new operators can get a good overview of the system’s functions and easily prepare setups. The system fully met my expectations and is a pleasure to work with. It’s also been well accepted by guest engineers, who quickly find their way around it.”
“The system is very popular with the guest engineers,” confirms Marko Schneider, another engineer who regularly mixes shows at Philharmonie Luxembourg. “Many have worked on a RIVAGE PM system for the first time here. Their first action is always to take selfies with it!”
The success of the PM10 system meant that the venue’s audio team started to look for a complementary system, which would be equally suitable for mixing monitors in the Grand Auditorium and as a flexible solution for sophisticated applications in the Salle de Musique de Chambre and foyer performance spaces.
“When we invested in RIVAGE PM7, we also exchange our Rio3224-D I/O racks for the new D2 versions. This would give us two high end, 64 input systems – the PM10 with the RPio622 I/O rack and the PM7 with the D2 R-series racks. When combined, the two systems can handle FoH and monitors for our bigger productions in the Grand Auditorium,” says Hagen Tschek, Philharmonie Luxembourg’s Senior Manager Stage Operations.
The new system was supplied by Amptec, Belgium and, despite the Covid-19 pandemic meaning that its use has so far been limited, the technical team immediately noticed a difference.
“The combination of RIVAGE PM7 and the D2 I/O racks delivered a massive improvement in sound, thanks to the improved head amps,” says Marko Schneider. “Everything sounds clearer and, when using it for monitoring, gain sharing with the PM10 system works perfectly. Now all of Philharmonie Luxembourg’s mixing systems have the sonic quality to match its status as a truly world class venue.”
With many thanks also to Laurent Watgen, Head of Technical Division, Philharmonie Luxembourg and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.