The recipient of a recent venue award, Milla is a new music venue located in Munich.

Martin Schulze, managing director of TC Showtechnik discusses the venue’s Dynacord sound system.

What were your initial thoughts on the venue’s unique audio requirements?

Martin: “When I visited the club for the first time, I knew that a standard sound system wouldn’t do. One had to put a lot of thought into it, because the stage is quite narrow, the room is compact and the floor rises a little bit – almost like in a cinema. The aim was to develop a venue that would be ideal for concerts. With its many reflections and standing waves, this was quite a challenge.

To simply position a 12-inch box on the left and right side of the stage would not have been enough here. This kind of concept would have killed everything. Right from the beginning, when the offer came, I said: ‘This isn’t going to be cheap.’ When you want to create a sound system for a club like the Milla, the concept had to be a good one – with a digital sound mixer and a big controller.”

What is the concept for the sound system?

Martin: “The decision for Dynacord’s TS 400 already fell during the planning phase. Of course, there were other offers too – but mainly including double 12-inch speakers. This however was a little difficult, as the stage is very small. To consider the TS 400 therefore came very naturally. I had done several shows with the system in the weeks before and was taken by its performance. In the Milla, we have installed a system that can do even more.

The FOH technician now has control over the front system including the front fills – these are Dynacord TS 400s with two VariLine VL62. Additionally, via AUX, he also has the subs. For him, this is great! If you only have a comedian on stage, you don’t have to filter away everything. Instead, you start where you want to end up – with intelligibility. If you do have musicians on stage, a bass is easily added. In this case, the FOH technician also has access to the two delay lines. He therefore has many possibilities, which a DJ would not need.

How did FIR-Drive improve the audio set up?

Martin: “The FIR filter for the Dynacord TS 400 sounds great. Many colleagues look closer into that subject and claim that they are going to build a ‘decent preset’. I think they overestimate their own capabilities – as if the developers wouldn’t know what they are doing and build speakers with bad presets just to allow the sound technician to realise his own ideas – rubbish!

We always use the original factory presets provided by Straubing. The developers put a lot of effort into the TS 400. This is a passive box with two 6.5-inch, which is responsible for the bass foundation only, two different ones that reach further up – a concept quite similar to that of the Electro-Voice XLD – and finally a high tweeter. It’s basically a three-way-system. I don’t need to tinker a lot. There is even a FIR filter for the little VL62, which sounds great.

Which amps, subs and controllers are installed?

Martin: “We opted for the DSA 8410 multi-channel amplifiers featuring four 1,000W. The Milla club is a small location and it was clear that we would have to build a small rack in a corner. The four-channel amp works great! With the RCM module, I can additionally optimise the impedance so that the overall power is truly optimal for the system.
As subs, we installed four Dynacord PSE 215 subwoofers located under the stage. We decided not to have an active system, because in a club, there is always a new situation that requires a different controller setting. In addition to that, there was the claim for more inputs.

We have a CD-player at the bar, the signal from the sound mixer for live performances and a separate input with a multi-band compressor for the DJ. For that we need a bigger controller. Now we have a Dynacord P64 Digital Audio Matrix Manager with eight inputs and 16 outputs. Moreover, there is the possibility to expand it through a digital input-chip, and then one can include the sound mixer digitally. It’s the same story with including the presets, to have the bass from the FOH at the AUX.

Did design play a crucial part in the installation?

Martin: “Definitely! Of course, I am an audio-guy first, but the overall visual impression is important too. I can’t start an installation with the thought: ‘I’m just here for the audio, I’ll do my thing – after that I don’t care anymore.’ It simply doesn’t look good if there is someone on stage with a violin and a cello and there boxes both sides of the stage that take away one sixth of the stage’s whole space. With Dynacord, we installed a system that not only sounds good but also fits perfectly from an aesthetic viewpoint.”