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Delec intercom system aids backstage comms at theatre complex

Audio and lighting technicians in the grand auditorium and the studio hall of Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg are able to communicate with each other thanks to a new Delec Oratis Compact intercom system with Dante interfaces.

Théâtres de la Ville du Luxembourg, which has two halls in the main Grand Théâtre venue as well as the Théâtre des Capucins within walking distance, has used Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup technology since 2003. In 2014, when it became apparent that the analogue intercom system previously installed by Mediagroup had reached its limits, Claude Dengler, who has recently become head of the theatres’ audio and video department, visited Delec (part of Mediagroup) at the Prolight + Sound show, along with his predecessor. Impressed by the feature set of Delec’s Oratis Compact matrix and the system’s Dante capability, the duo asked Bettina Guter of Delec to design a system that would fit neatly into the venue’s existing set-up.

As the pair had expressed their desire to use the venue’s existing cabling, Delec’s first job was to devise a network that would connect the CS0800 Dante matrix frame, seven control panels (three with Dante interfaces), two Unito DIOs, two Unito NIOs 0204 and a GPIO32 interface in such a way as to provide a flexible intercom system.

In addition to the new control panels with digital Ethernet connectivity, the venue decided to retain its French-built analogue wireless radio system for behind-the-scenes applications. These are connected to two Delec Unito DIO units, providing up to four independent communication channels. The reason for requesting a Dante system was the need for flexible connectivity of two Desk16 panels, which may be used in different places, such as the auditorium and backstage area. They can now be plugged in at almost any location.

Dengler is well aware that the venue is currently only scratching the surface of what the new Delec system is capable of: “We know that the system can be connected to our Nexus network for applications such as emergency paging and the like, and I’m sure we will take advantage of that as soon as the need arises.”

Based on Bettina Guter’s design, the theatre crew installed the required Delec components as well as a CAS 100 stage management system and a CAS Interface 64 under the supervision of Mediagroup Systems Integrator’s Matthias Panzer-Schmidt, after which Uwe Binder of Delec programmed the requested functionalities and provided on-site training.

The Grand Théâtre’s main hall now boasts pristine audio quality for all communication needs among the technical crew and the stage manager. The same also applies to the studio auditorium, where the need for flexibility is even more important, requiring the stage manager to rely on wireless communication.

Most of Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg’s opera, ballet and theatre productions are international guest performances that simply cannot be rescheduled – so Dengler appreciates the “excellent service, with superfast response times” provided by Mediagroup. And thanks to the new Delec intercom system, all the people involved can communicate in any language, secure in the knowledge that they will be heard loud and clear.