When PS.SPEICHER decided to augment their signature collection with a signature venue, they needed a sound system that reflected the growing reputation of their brand. They found it in Kling and Freitag’s VIDA speaker system.
PS.SPEICHER, a museum in Einbeck, Germany, is home to the world’s largest collection of German motorcycles—from a Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, the world’s first production motorcycle, to examples from the present day—as well as vintage cars and displays that bring the history of transportation to life. In all, the museum includes more than 400 vehicles in 6,000m2 of exhibition space. The building, too, is a draw: the collections are housed in a granary that was built in 1898 and listed as a heritage site in 1978.
It’s a unique space, with a unique purpose. When PS.SPEICHER was first conceived, the intention was to provide public access to an important collection of historic vehicles. That idea grew to include interactive displays and special exhibitions—including a Porche driving simulator and an outdoor theme park—to increase the natural audience for the museum.
Since it opened in 2014, PS.SPEICHER has quickly become a signature destination within the region, and rightly so. Described playfully as the “chrome jewels,” the displays and spaces appeal to a broad range of interest. In keeping with that profile, the facility was expanded in 2016 to include a multi-purpose event venue, the PS.HALLE. Able to accommodate up to 1000 people, the hall was designed to host exhibits, conferences, corporate banquets, and concerts. From day one, the sound has been delivered via Kling & Freitag VIDA speakers, ensuring quality sound for events ranging from intimate meetings to full-hall productions.
That wide range of events intended for the PS.HALLE posed some demanding requirements of the sound system. It needed to be diversified enough to support everything from ambient sound, to speech, to music, to live sound reinforcement. It needed to be flexible enough to address a wide range of space configurations, from banquet settings to productions mounted on the 152 m2 stage. It also needed to be accessible to a wide range of users, providing a full range of cutting-edge tools for use by professional engineers, while also allowing operation by less experienced technicians.
The solution began with K&F beam steering speakers: an array of two K&F VIDA L speakers were flown on both the left- and right-hand sides of the gallery. They were suspended by motorized hoists that can be positioned at two predetermined heights. The beams were adjusted and calibrated for each position, and the parameters saved as presets.
The cardioid sub module VIDA C mounted to the back of each VIDA L speaker reduces the build-up of low frequency. In the case of PS.HALLE, for speech and medium-volume music playback, the VIDA L/C’s deliver full-range sound without the addition of subwoofers. To further sub-bass extension when supporting live music and performance, two K&F SW118E SP subwoofers were used, with their parameters also added to the presets.
Developing the sound system was a process of collaboration between K&F engineers and venue staff. It began with a presentation outlining the solutions being proposed, and to demonstrate the intended result. “A diverse group of people attended, sound engineers and lay people,” says Alexander Kloss, head of public relations for the museum. The principle donor, Karl-Heinz Rehkopf, was there, too, the man responsible for the initial collection. “He was thrilled,” says Ross.
Michael Kraasz, head of exhibition and event technology, was also a key player. “K&F VIDA is good for both speech and music. They sound natural, you can hear who is speaking. There is no need to reposition anything or change angles to optimize the sound for each use.” He adds, “I can also operate events that utilize only a few microphones myself, controlling sound via touch panel or a Yamaha TF-1 mixer … We only need to hire external technicians for events with special requirements, and there are only a few of those” in the course of a typical year.
Ultimately, a system was designed in consort with the venue staff, to reflect a unique constellation of uses, while reflecting and reinforcing the quality that the public has grown to expect of the museum. Says Ross, “K&F VIDA’s sonic performance convinced everyone.”