Thanks to the success of Måneskin in 2021, the 2022 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was held in Italy, at Turin’s splendid venue – the Pala Alpitour. Widely hailed a success by both the public and critics, the contest reflected a level of technical prowess never seen before in the history of the show – that is lasting no less than 66 years. Eurovision is a monumental production, where facilities of excellence are involved and state-of-the-art technological solutions are employed at every turn.
The Italian edition was produced by RAI in collaboration with the EBU (European Broadcast Union) and with the support of facilities selected through public tenders, including Agorà dell’Aquila, who provided many of the audio resources used in the venue. The broadcasting and signal management system, designed to achieve the highest level of redundancy, was able to guarantee live TV, free from any technical imperfection and, at the same time, accommodate the requirements for all performers from 40 competing delegations, which are then reduced to 20 during the final phase of the competition.
K-array products played an important role during the contest, serving key areas of the venue. First and foremost, K-array systems were utilised within the FoH control room, where a pair of identical systems consisting of two Python-KP52 loudspeakers on each side combined with an 18′ Thunder-KS2sub were used as near-field monitors by the hall sound engineers. The systems recreated an accurate stereophonic effect and returned “freshness” and presence to the sound, due to the substantial distance to the only cluster of the main system aimed directly at the control room.
This same setup, enclosed in a purpose-built rack, has now become an integral part of the Agora service equipment and has already been used successfully for recent events. Lorenzo Tommasini, one of the FoH sound engineers for ESC2022, is quite familiar with this monitor system.
“My control room is placed higher than the stage and the only direct, monophonic cluster, is placed at some distance from my location; certainly not an ideal condition,” says Lorenzo. “We decided to use a K-array system that we have been successfully experimenting with for some time now in similar situations. This consists of 2xPython-KP52 and a Thunder-KS2 sub, in an identical configuration for the two sound engineers, so as to have a correct stereo image and a more accurate and defined close-up listening setup. I must say that, apart from some small interventions in the mid-bass frequencies, the system performed very well and helped me a lot in the mix work throughout the rehearsals and the live TV broadcasts,” Lorenzo concludes.
One of the busiest and most important backstage rooms was the viewing room, a reserved and appropriately isolated room where only singers and delegations could enter in order to re-listen and reflect on their performances immediately after leaving the stage. In this room, a Pinnacle-KR402 I system was employed – an amplified, lightweight and powerful pack, in stereo configuration. This provided the right pressure along with a “vibrant” sound so as to recreate an atmosphere very similar to the live experience. Pinnacle-KR402 I was provided for each side, consisting of a Thunder-KMT21 I subwoofer with 2 channels of 2400W combined and a Python-KP102 I line array for the mid-high frequencies, consisting of twelve 3.15″ neodymium transducers.
Daniele Tramontani, the event’s System Engineer, responsible for the venue and service rooms, spoke further about the use of K-array speakers in the two rooms.
“One of the most important rooms backstage is undoubtedly the viewing room, a room dedicated to post-performance listening so that delegations can listen back and possibly change or re-adjust parts of the performance,” Daniele explained. “In this room we needed a powerful, defined sound, with speakers that had an aesthetically pleasing impact. For these reasons, the most logical choice was K-array’s Pinnacle-KR402.”
Another room dedicated to guests was the private room. Daniele continues: “The private room is dedicated to the accompanists, all those who do not take part directly in the performance but who are part of the delegation. During the performance, they wait in the backstage area, and to accommodate this smaller, quiet room – a compact and elegant Pinnacle KR202 I proved perfect.”
Pinnacle KR202 I, in stereo configuration, consisted of one Thunder-KMT18 I subwoofer with 2 1000W channels combined with a Kobra-KK102 I mid-high line array module with 16 x 2’ neodymium magnetic transducers.
The 2022 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was a success on all fronts, and as an additional boast we cannot fail to point out the presence of a great deal of Italian excellence among companies and suppliers that, together with a technical team made up of people with proven experience in international events, further raised the bar of overall quality. Replicating the same in the future will be no easy task…
Congratulations to the winners Ukraine, and we hope so wholeheartedly to see you in Kiev for 2023.
For those who would like to hear the efficiency and quality of the systems used in such a prestigious event as ESC 2022, please contact Exhibo at Vadano al Lambro (Monza), the official distributor of K-array products for Italy.