The International Film Festival (Berlinale) is one of
the most important events for the international film industry and is at the
same time the largest public cinematic festival in the world. The 65th
Berlinale enthused this year hundreds of thousands of spectators with some 400
films in 52 venues. Dutch loudspeaker manufacturer Alcons Audio convinced the
operators with its pro-ribbon sound system and powers the heart of the film
festival - the Berlinale Palast (“Berlinale Palace”).
Since the Berlinale of 2000, the Stage Theater am
Potsdamer Platz, which is actually a musical theater, is transformed into the
main venue of the Berlinale: the 1,600 seated Berlinale Palast. Here the
glamorous gala opening with an international star cast takes place, as well as
the premieres of the competition films. In addition, the Berlinale Palast is
the setting for the award ceremony of the Golden and Silver Bears.
For the Berlinale 2015, the "International Film
Festival Berlin", a division of the Federal Cultural events in Berlin
GmbH, planned a new sound system for the prestigious hall.
Alcons Audio was invited in September 2014 by the
operator of the Theater am Potsdamer Platz, Stage Entertainment, to have one of
its Cinema Series speaker systems compared with systems from four other
The two-day tests included various measurements and
listening tests with different parts of music and film sound material.
Successively, the results were presented to a jury – separated into the
individual screen and surround speakers sections.
The results from these tests were the reason for Stage
Entertainment to propose Alcons Audio as sound system supplier.
Dr.-Ing. Reiner Chemnitius, who has been advising the
Berlinale in all aspects of media technology since 1987, tells about the
experience with the new cinema system in the Berlinale Palast: "We are all
very pleased and - although we were aware of the exceptional sound quality of
Alcons' systems – the actual listening impression still surprised us. With the
Berlinale Palast we’re not talking about a normal and not even about a very
We are talking about a 1,600-seat theater with two
tiers, that is normally not used as a cinema. In view of the special
requirements to the sound system imposed by this hall, the Alcons system even
exceeded our expectations significantly."
"We are very pleased our products are part of one
of the most important film festivals in the world. The sound of the Berlinale
Palast is a reference project for the worldwide success of our pro-ribbon
solutions in the cinema and theater market”, says Tom Back, founder and CEO of
10x Alcons CR4 as screen system and 88 surrounds in use
Immediately after the award of the contract, the
installation phase began under the responsibility of ASC (Amptown System
Company) Berlin, working closely with Christian Lerch of Dolby Germany and
Chris Quested of Dolby UK.
In the Berlinale Palast an Alcons pro-ribbon screen
sound system consisting of 10x Alcons CR4 is installed. The eight-meter-high
screen required an arrangement of the ten screen systems divided into two rows
of five units.
The system is completed by a Dolby Atmos® specified 88
units pro-ribbon surround system, featuring different types of Alcons
surrounds: CRS8 (8" + 4" pro-ribbon), CRS12 (12" + 4"
pro-ribbon), CRS12GT/60 (12" + 6" pro-ribbon), CRSGT/90 (12" +
6" pro-ribbon), CCS8 (8" coaxial) and CCS12 (12" coaxial). For
the bass fundament Alcons CB362 (2x 18") and BF181 (1x 18")
subwoofers are used.
All systems are driven by Alcons Sentinel3 and
Sentinel10 4-channel amplified DSP controllers. A total of 32 Sentinels with
128 channels are fed with AES / EBU digital audio signal and are controlled by
Alcons’ ALControl remote monitoring and control software.
After the Berlinale, all 88 surrounds and subwoofers
remain at their positions to work as surround system in the theater. Only the
screen construction is removed for the musical and theater function until the
Tom Back explains the success of Alcons' cinema
systems: "The current developments in digital cinema sound show the
drawbacks of conventional compression driver based systems. Alcons' innovative
solutions with our multi-patented pro-ribbon transducer technology and the
96kHz DSP Class-D amplifiers allow new cinema technologies, such as Dolby
Atmos®, to realize their true full potential and to create the perfect
experience for the audience. "
Equal enthusiasm is expressed by Berlinale Festival
Manager Johannes Wachs: "The new sound system in the Berlinale Palast with
Alcons speakers and Dolby Atmos® processing has not only impressed us, but also
our discerning audience instantly; The many positive reactions to the
sensational brilliance and the new surround experience have confirmed
More information on www.berlinale.de