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‘Silent is the New Loud’: Hearsafe Technologies and Other Partners Bring Silent Stage Solutions to Musikmesse

Christian Wissmuller • MMR Global • February 27, 2020

Clean sound on the stage, less stress on the ear – and, at the end of the day, a better performance by the band. In a new special section at Musikmesse (1 to 4 April), visitors will be able to find out how they can benefit from using the concept of a ‘silent stage’ for themselves. With their ‘Silent Stage Solutions’ project, Hearsafe Technologies and other partners will be demonstrating some practical approaches to solutions, which enable musicians to access some of the requisite technical possibilities. With specialist guidance, bands will be able to gain experience and check out all the components on stage in a live situation. 

“The ‘Silent Stage Solutions’ area is aimed specifically at ambitiously-minded musicians, whom we are keen to provide with the necessary skills to implement this innovative stage set up. We are delighted to have, in Hearsafe Technologies, a partner that has decades of experience both of in-ear monitoring and of all things related to effective ear protection, and, moreover, has outstanding connections in the music world,” says Wolfgang Weyand, Director Musikmesse + Festival.

“Big acts have the resources to afford the latest and best equipment, to enlist the services of expert sound technicians and even to pay for consultants. Smaller bands often find themselves facing significant challenges when questions crop up in practice. So, we make a point of showing all the requisite stages at Musikmesse – from the theoretical background and choice of an appropriate solution to the practical implementation,” says Eckhard Beste, Managing Director of Hearsafe Technologies.

Further brands involved in the ‘Silent Stage Solutions’ section include d&b audiotechnik, Eich Amplification, Kawai, Kemper, Monacor, Toller Ton, Trius, Voxasound and Yamaha. Other participants will be announced shortly.

 What exactly is a ‘silent stage’?

The phrase ‘silent stage’ describes an approach which seeks to radically minimise the sound levels on stage. For example, powerful guitar and bass amplifiers are replaced by amp modelers: small pieces of equipment that can imitate practically any sound from well-known amplifiers and transmit it directly to the mixing desk. There is no longer any need for miking. The use of an electronic drum kit, which relies on classic shell sizes, three-layer mesh heads and bronze shells instead of traditional e-drums, reduces noise levels on stage many times over. Moreover, the concept does without speaker monitoring on stage – the musicians hear themselves, as well as the other band members, via an individually adapted headphone mix. As a result, a ‘silent stage’ can also contribute to a better feel for the performance.

A further advantage is that the sound from the PA system competes far less with the direct sound emanating from the stage. That is of particular benefit in smaller venues. In addition, there is less crosstalk between the individual signals, which are thus capable of being more cleanly separated in the mix – in an ideal scenario, the sound that the audience hears equates to the sound quality of the studio recording. The overall sound level can be much better regulated. This means that live music is possible in situations where a given specific noise level cannot be exceeded, as, for instance, at corporate and networking events, or on restaurant terraces.

The dedicated ‘Silent Stage Solutions’ zone at Musikmesse

For the ‘Silent Stage Solutions’ project, leading manufacturers of technical equipment and instruments have come together to present the concept to musicians in an approachable form, to let them experience it for themselves and compare it with traditional monitoring. In the dedicated 130-square-metre demonstration area in Hall 3.Via, Room Facette, visitors can expect a fully equipped stage with both instruments and all the necessary monitoring, stage and FOH technology.

Interested bands, who would like to get involved in the ‘Silent Stage Solutions’ area at Musikmesse, can apply up until 15 March 2020. Professional sound engineers will be available, in two-hourly trial sessions, to demonstrate best practice and point out implementational pitfalls. All visitors to Musikmesse can follow the process and hence experience a practical, real-life example of the design and realisation of a ‘silent stage’. Four trial sessions, involving a variety of different bands, will be held on each of the days of the trade fair.

Further information and applications at: www.silentstage.de. All the details of Musikmesse are available at: www.musikmesse.com.

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