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Yamaha and Nexo bring historic Swiss venue into the 21st century

May, 2009

March 2009 saw the completion of major refurbishment work at a multipurpose school auditorium in the Swiss town of Wetzikon. And with a complete technical refit included in the project, the opportunity was taken to install state-of-the-art Yamaha and Nexo equipment, providing the venue with one of the most flexible audio systems in the entire country.

In 2006, the 45 year old, listed Aula auditorium at the Kantonsshule high school was closed, due to its increasingly dilapidated state. But the school was not prepared for the 500-capacity venue to stay that way, especially as its 22 register, 1560 pipe organ makes it unique amongst similar Swiss performance spaces.

A 2.9 million Swiss Franc refurbishment project was completed in just over a year, restoring and improving every facet of Aula’s infrastructure. This has re-established the venue as one of Wetzikon’s primary spaces for academic and public uses, including theatre shows and musicals, live concerts, classical music recitals, speeches, presentations, political discussions and cinema films.

Installed by Swiss pro audio specialists Zap Audio, the heart of the system is a Yamaha DME24N digital mix engine with three DME8i-ES eight input satellite units and a DME8o-ES eight output satellite.

An LS9-32 digital mixing console with three AuviTran EtherSound cards is seamlessly integrated with the system for live events, with a CP4SF wall mounted control panel installed for controlling the DME system’s programmed presets.

The DME is used for mixing signals, including Blu-ray, CD, microphones and other audio sources, routing of signals, effects processing and output delays, plus functioning as a WAV player for an attention-getting chime.

The speaker system is a 4:1 surround system, comprising four Nexo Geo S1230 two-way speakers with an RS15 sub, plus two PS8 onstage monitors. They are controlled by two NXAmp4x1 surround sound controllers, complete with ES-104 EtherSound cards.

“One of the main challenges was providing a system that would be able to provide high quality sound reinforcement for a wide variety of situations, but be very flexible and easy-to-use,” says Flavio Rüdy of Zap Audio.

“We had to provide a human interface that everyone from a secretary with no technical knowledge could use for simple presentations, right through to an experienced live sound engineer for mixing a complex live show.”

He continues, “We realised we could achieve this with the combination of the DME and LS9. The CP4SF provides very simple control of the DME24N’s presets for smaller events, but the LS9 can be patched seamlessly into the system when needed. Using them together with the Nexo loudspeakers meant we could deliver great audio quality, great functionality and EtherSound’s limitless integration possibilities.”

Aula’s historic importance and listed status meant that the 21st century technical infrastructure also had to be as unobtrusive as possible. So, as well as flexibility and audio quality, using an EtherSound system offered the major advantage that the cabling infrastructure would be minimal.

“We had to affect Aula’s visual appearance as little as possible, which meant a small and efficient FOH position, ultra-efficient cabling and loudspeakers with minimal visual impact - but exact coverage and enough power for all applications,“ says Flavio.

“It was certainly a difficult brief and one which I believe only the Yamaha and Nexo combination could successfully fulfil. The client is very happy and extremely impressed by the sound quality, the system really does sound great!”


Products DME24N , LS9-32

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