History, fireworks, and sound

Year after year, International Fireworks Competition marries light, sound, and competition, captivating an international audience.

For KLING & FREITAG

Since 1991, the International Fireworks Competition in Hanover, Germany, has been one of the most distinctive festivals in the region. For five nights each summer, teams of world-class pyrotechnicians arrive from around the globe to mount displays against a rich musical background, hosted on the grounds of an important cultural and historical site. One of the most distinguished Baroque gardens of Europe, the history of Herrenhausen spans centuries, having first been established with a commission by Sophia of Hanover in 1683.

The challenge

“The recorded music is of primary importance,” says Randell Greenlee, jury spokesman for the festival, particularly to the competitors themselves. “The evaluation includes the quality of the synchronization of the pyrotechnic effects with the selected pieces of music.” Competitors need it to support their work, reliably and efficiently. They’ve travelled far, invested much, and in the world of fireworks, it’s one and done. There are no second chances. 

Sound, of course, is also of primary importance to the audience experience. It needs to remain crisp and clear, and at a volume that will augment a pyrotechnic display—with all its pops, and fizzes, and bangs—rather than getting lost within it.

The site presents its own challenges. The setting is outdoors, relative to weather, wind conditions, and dampened acoustics. The audience space is both wide and deep, spread over a much larger performance area than you’d find at a more typical a concert or theatre event. And, as an important historical and cultural site, development needs to be sympathetic to the grounds.

The result

The previous system had served the festival well for more nearly three decades, but it was aging. It was time for something new. It would reflect the advances in technology since the festival was begun, and better reflect the needs of an audience that has grown in size year over year.

The concept was developed in collaboration between K&F engineers and venue staff and consultants. Martin Karnatz (Sing Showtechnik), Marc König (project manager sound engineering) and Christian Tepfer (freelance technician) worked in cooperation with Christoph Wöhler, senior consultant with Kling & Freitag. The result is a 4-point sound system on one line, with towers placed at intervals throughout the performance space:

Per tower:

3 x K&F SEQUENZA 10 N

3 x K&F SEQUENZA 10 W

2 x K&F NOMOS XLT

In the middle of the bell fountain, per tower:

1 x K&F NOMOS XLT

3 x K&F SEQUENZA 5

1 x K&F SEQUENZA 5 B

For announcements and background sound on the sundial:

4 x K&F CA 1001

Supporting the program:

K&F CA1215 – SP

K&F GRAVIS 12

K&F NOMOS LS II

Testimonials

“This year, the use of the KLING & FREITAG system showed a significant improvement in the sound and this improvement was heard over the entire 100 m width of the visitor area. It’s a considerable sound reinforcement task. Creating a system to be used outdoors, in a large baroque garden, to broadcast the musical accompaniment of large fireworks displays—it’s extremely demanding. The KLING & FREITAG system far exceeded my expectations.”

Randell Greenlee, Jury Spokesman, 29th Hanover International Fireworks Competition

Event manager and lecturer at the German Event Academy

Head of Department, Business and International Affairs at VPLT

“The entire team of Sing Showtechnik likes the balanced Sound from KLING & FREITAG, the good workmanship and above all that good ‘family’ service. With KLING & FREITAG you feel like a partner, not a number.”

Martin Karnatz, Event Technician (IHK)

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