The Paradiso Film Festival made a welcome return to Paris this summer, after an enforced absence in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Staged in the magnificent setting of the Louvre Square courtyard, Paradiso offered its patrons four nights of free open-air screenings, preceded by DJ sets and live music. Opening with Kubrick’s classic ‘2001, A Space Odyssey’ and concluding, appropriately, with Tornatore’s ‘Cinema Paradiso’, the festival also included previews of new films, including Chris McKay’s ‘The Tomorrow War’.
To achieve an optimal audience experience it was essential that as well as the visuals, which were presented on a 24m long screen, the audio was of the highest quality. Technical supplier Aquila Events asked Mathias Sawicz of Hellroad Audio Engineering to design a CODA Audio system for the festival, taking into account the fact that the previous edition had experienced problems with reflections caused by the geometry of the Square. Mathias’ brief was to gain a precise control of directivity in order to place the sound into the area of the 1500 seats and not onto the walls enclosing the site.
Mathias, who also works for CODA Audio France, comments:
“The job would have been extremely difficult without CODA’s technology. It took me some time and a very careful approach to make my decisions, but with CODA’s System Optimiser, I was confident that my predictions would be accurate. As well as the main system, we used some delays to increase coverage without getting louder.”
The subwoofer array proved challenging:
“Some artworks inside the Louvre are very fragile, and as a precaution against damage the Louvre’s management asked us to avoid any low frequencies affecting the nearest buildings, so we used an end-fire configuration. The stage was in the corner of the square, so the end-fire configuration cancelled low frequency behind the stage, as well as at the sides. The Louvre’s management conducted some listening tests inside and approved the setup.”
The complete system comprised 16 x AiRAY, 20 x ViRAY, 16 x SCP sub, 6 x SC2-F bass extension, 3 x APS, all powered by 4 xLINUS T-Rack and 2 x LINUS M-RACK.
The system, according to Mathias, worked exceptionally well:
“The client was very happy indeed that we had overcome the previous problem with reflections, and also with the tonal balance and evenness of coverage. There were no ‘dead’ areas and every seat enjoyed consistent SPL. We achieved excellent intelligibility and had comfortably enough power to support low-frequency effects. The film audio specialist, whose job was to measure and check the PA in terms of the processor used to broadcast the films, congratulated me on the quality of the system and told me that he rarely makes so few corrections in such a challenging venue. From the response of the whole production team and the public, it’s fair to say that the system performed brilliantly.”
Coda Audio products used on this project
- AiRAY High Output 3-way Bi-Amplified Line Array System
- ViRAY Compact 3-way Line Array System
- SC2-F Dual 15″ Bass Extension with SC Technology for AiRAY and ViRAY
- SCP High Output Dual 18” Sensor Controlled Subwoofer
- LINUS T-RACK 12-Channel Touring Rack
- LINUS M-RACK Compact 4-Channel Rack
- APS Compact 3-way Arrayable Point Source