Riedel Communications announced that Production House, Ireland’s leading supplier of professional audio systems, used an extensive RockNet real-time audio network to support the finale of “The Return of Colmcille” — a landmark production of the 2013 City of Culture celebrations in Derry-Londonderry. Produced by outdoor arts experts Walk the Plank, “The Return of Colmcille” culminated in a battle between the city’s founder, Saint Colmcille and the legendary Loch Ness Monster on the River Foyle. The Riedel fiber network facilitated audio distribution during the impressive finale.
“We chose Riedel RockNet for this historic event because it offers reliability, flexibility, and ease-of-setup, as well as a redundant ring topology,” said Niall Lewis, director, Production House. “The system worked perfectly, sounded great, gave us all the flexibility we needed, and enabled us to adapt quickly to last-minute production changes.”
Scripted by Frank Cottrell Boyce, writer of the 2012 London Games opening ceremony, the show was the centerpiece of Derry-Londonderry’s time as the UK City of Culture, and the arrival of the monster on the river marked the end of an ambitious 30 hours of performance across the city.
Riedel’s RockNet audio distribution consisted of RockNet output modules at each of the 20 PA stacks along the river and on the city’s Peace Bridge, as well as four analog input boxes and an output box at the control position. With this configuration, the production team was able to deliver an individual signal — time-aligned via GPS to the monster boat as it progressed down the river — to the appropriate PA stack to create a continuous sound experience. For the pre-show event, which drew 20,000 people, Production House was able to reassign PA stack outputs to ensure optimal coverage, simply by redistributing the audio signal to the various RockNet output modules. The intuitive RockWorks software enabled this critical redistribution capability by providing flexible routing options within the RockNet network.
The RockNet system supported communications between the audio engineer, sound designer, and RF technician. Production House also used the RockNet system to distribute four different timecode feeds for the show caller and the pyrotechnicians at various locations, including the main firing site 1.2 km from the beginning of the monster boat’s voyage. Signals were sent to the RF transmission location, and audio and timecode were sent to the monster boat via a 1- watt wireless link.