A new audio system from d&b audiotechnik has greatly improved intelligibility levels in the Turkish Parliament building in Ankara.
“With a requirement for a major improvement in intelligibility over the previous installation made in 1996 as a given, the desire was added for any member of the Parliament to be able to easily identify who was speaking and from where, even during the most heated of debates,” explained Tayfun Konuralp, who heads up the office of Atempo, a leading provider of professional audio in Turkey.
“We first became involved at the start of 2013; Dr Wolfgang Ahnert had already been engaged by the Parliamentary authorities to find a solution; Dr Wolfgang Ahnert is something of legend in acoustical consulting and design. As the inventor of EASE software, we anticipated our skill set would be taken to a new level by his proposals and we were not disappointed.”
Put to open tender, Atempo presented a system using a mix of d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker systems. “The debating chamber is a fan shaped auditorium seating five hundred parliamentarians with a central main platform from where the speaker of the house manages the sessions. In essence this is a two system solution: there is a front facing system of left/right d&b Ti10Ls so that the platform can address the whole house," said Konuralp.
"The second system is distributed, a set of ceiling clusters, using individually amplified d&b 10S loudspeakers arranged to face downward and in a cross formation to give 360º propagation. The key to this system is the Salzbrenner Stagetec Nexus matrix system management that, through programmed time settings, can localise sound to the region of any Parliament member who is talking, relative to the rest of the chamber. Naturally that’s quite a complex and variable timing structure for such a broad coverage area, so selection of the correct loudspeakers and their consistency of performance, particularly in terms of pattern definition, was crucial. As the d&b distributor in Turkey we have learned over the years that their product range conforms very precisely to what their published data states, so for me I would not attempt such a sensitive installation with any other product. You need to know the system can deliver exactly what it says it can on paper.”
Yakup Bayraktar is technical manager of the audio department at the Parliament. A former Tonmeister, he has been at the Grand Assembly 17 years: “The old system had been falling short of modern standards for some time; intelligibility was so poor it could become uncomfortable and tiresome for our members. The implementation by Atempo of Dr Wolfgang Ahnert’s recommendation was a very efficient job in terms of execution, especially considering the severe restrictions imposed on time.”
Parliament normally goes into recess for three months across the summer but the year of installation coincided with the presidential elections, “which cut install time in half to just six weeks,” said Konuralp. “We worked almost around the clock, assembling three teams working six to seven hour shifts. Fortunately we have strength and depth in our audio teams so all three were in-house staff. Even so that’s a big commitment of resources and we needed every minute of those six weeks.
“The Ti10L line array systems were commissioned immediately so the inauguration of the President could take place. The more complex testing and commissioning of the 10S based localisation system took place immediately afterwards, in the two-week gap before the official opening of Parliament. At the same time as the localisation system was in test, we initiated training sessions for the Parliament’s own technical team under Mr Yakup Bayraktar. He has a very good team with a deep understanding of the physics of sound reinforcement and they recognised the operational concept of localisation easily.
"This is the first and only such audio installation in a debating chamber with localisation in Turkey; in fact such systems are pretty unique as far as we understand, there is one in the Berlin Parliament we know, and maybe one or two others elsewhere. Mr Bayraktar’s team engaged with the process very quickly and soon took control. We have been impressed by their ability to operate what is a complex system, professionally and effectively.”
“All the problems of the old audio system have been solved,” concluded Bayraktar. “I would like to congratulate Atempo once more for the very professional job conducted in this project. Despite the busy schedule of the Parliament, they completed the installation of the whole system without interrupting the daily activities of the Parliament.”