Taking command at Nidaros Cathedral
NORWAY: At almost 1,000 years old, Nidaros Cathedral lays claim to the titles of the world’s northernmost medieval cathedral and the largest medieval building in Scandinavia. It serves as the national sanctuary of Norway and is home to several relics that belonged to Olaf II Haraldsson, who would later be known as St Olaf and was King of Norway from 1015 to 1028.
The cathedral’s historical and geographic significance draws in more than 400,000 tourists each year, while the building also serves as a venue for multiple concerts and live performances on a monthly basis, many of which are televised. These events are of course in addition to the regular daily church services.
With so much going on, the cathedral recently underwent an audio system upgrade, as the previous solution comprised separate units and analogue cabling. To simplify matters, it was decided that a remote-controllable system was to be installed along with a mixer that could easily manage large events across multiple locations.
This led to the installation of a Dante-enabled Allen & Heath dLive digital mixing system comprising an S5000 surface and DM48 MixRack along with an IP6 remote controller. A DX36 expander rack was also depoyed to facilitate additional inputs when needed. The solution was supplied by the British manufacturer’s Norwegian distributor, Benum, and manages a Shure wireless microphone system and 16 Renkus Heinz Iconyx speakers.
The S5000 has been installed on a mobile rack, which can be connected to one of two Cat-5 patchbays that connect to a pair of GigaAce ports on the DM48. The IP6 is used for recalling presets with matrix settings programmed for the lecture positions located throughout the sanctuary, while also providing level and mute control for each channel. The pre-existing analogue I/O boxes remain, now connected to the inputs and outputs of the DM48.
The DX32 has also been rack mounted on a mobile unit. It connects directly to the S5000 when needed. While control over the sound system is offered at two mixing positions and via the IP6 controller, the cathedral’s technicians can also control levels using the dLive iPad app and remote support is provided by the dLive Director control software installed on a computer in the technical room.
‘The dLive system is incredibly easy to use and totally stable,’ says Ragnar Aune, head of technical for lighting and sound at Nidaros Cathedral. ‘It provides me with all the processing tools I could possibly need while retaining a completely uncluttered, easy to navigate interface. The clerks and other daily personnel also find the IP6 controller extremely simple and clear for their purposes.’