Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup: 50 Years of Globe-Spanning Theatre Expertise

The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow

The Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup has come to be considered one of the leading system integrators for turnkey solutions all over the world, with over 50 years experience gathered in both small and large venues. Its services include consulting and planning activities, system installation and delivery and, as a matter of course, providing support. The company’s track record almost reads like a who’s who: Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow), Zurich Opera House, Dutch National Opera, Baku Drama Theatre (Azerbaijan), Vienna’s State Opera, Volkstheater and State Theatre, Munich’s Kammerspiele and State Opera, the State Theatres in Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Kassel, Bonn Opera, Münster Theatre, Hamburg’s State Opera and Semperoper in Dresden.

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“Some people think that successfully equipping a venue with audio, video or stage management gear simply means installing a product, but that is not even the tip of the iceberg,” says audio expert Joachim Lindemann, who has been planning and implementing projects for Salzbrenner Stagetec Audio Video Mediensysteme GmbH for over 20 years. He specializes in refurbishing theatre venues.Detlef Werner, one of the Mediagroup’s project managers in charge of theatre projects, adds: “Excellent results require a combination of expertise, experience and selecting the perfect tools for the job.”

Consultancy and Planning are at the Heart of the Mediagroup
As each venue, and indeed every stage, presents its own set of challenges and specificities, pinpointing the client’s requirements and coordinating with planners is the key to providing solutions that work. The engineers leave no stone unturned. For every project, analyzing the client’s needs, devising effective strategies and detailed implementation scenarios are given the attention they require, no matter how narrow the time frame.

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The project engineers not only keep abreast of the latest trends in audio, video and media technology, but also develop tailor-made audio and video solutions and provide support to the client. The team’s international experience is highly sought after and often cited as the decisive factor for awarding a project.A team of acoustics experts is available to advise upon, plan and implement transformations in venues with challenging room architecture. Mediagroup’s advanced acoustics systems such as 3D immersive sound use leading-edge technology to meet all requirements within a system architecture.

Linz Theatre

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No Two Venues Are Alike
With each project being a one-of-a-kind venture, custom-made solutions are the norm. This may include designing new gear or adapting existing solutions to the tasks at hand by customising them accordingly. The company’s internal precision engineering department allows for the timely delivery of cutting-edge devices developed for a specific application. A spacious workshop provides ample room to prepare racks and control panels and to test a system before installing it on-site. A major timesaver. Additionally, entire systems, or their main sections, can be set up for rehearsals and in-house approval. After hundreds of prestigious projects all over the world, the team’s creativity regarding planning and implementing theatre and opera projects is second to none. Unlike off-the-shelf products with a one-size-fits-all feature set, the Mediagroup’s system integration department develops specialist solutions for theatre applications. The Mediagroup’s engineers go out of their way to provide their clients with exactly what they need.

Service And Customer Satisfaction
Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup’s system integration division also excels at providing expert support for its projects: initial commissioning is usually followed by hands-on training sessions and on-site support during the first few productions. And there is more: service packages, such as remote maintenance or a 24/7 on-call service, ensure that unexpected hitches can be solved in a matter of hours—sometimes even during a show. Bruno Kolvenbach, sound engineer for the Münster Theatre, subscribed to this service years ago and is delighted: “The Mediagroup’s service is one of the big reasons why we have been working with them for such a long time.”

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Karl-Walter Heyer, sound engineer at the Kassel State Theatre, concurs: “In the last few years, all transformations had to be carried out during summer breaks, which required timely delivery. The Mediagroup has provided me with reliable broadcast quality and perfect redundancy scenarios.” About the Mediagroup team: “All team members proved to be experts who found solutions for even our most unusual requests. Thanks to their experience and informed advice, most of our projects turned out even better than we could have hoped for.”

Cutting-Edge Technology, Reliable Products
The professional audio, video and media systems installed by the systems integration division may comprise Mediagroup products, products from partners with equally high standards, as well as custom-built elements, which are individually developed, manufactured and installed.

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From a compact intercom matrix, to wireless, two-wire/party line technology and stage management systems, to networked, flexible audio routing and mixing systems—opera houses and theatres can choose from a host of solutions for their communication systems, irrespective of the requested size.

Bayerische Staatsoper

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With theatre and live applications in mind, Salzbrenner developed the Polaris Evolution mixing system. It provides comprehensive automation for demanding show applications, an unlimited number of automation groups, support for additional audio formats (Mid-Side/5.1) and the possibility of cascading systems to cater to today’s show production requirements.

Based on the Mediagroup’s MediaControl and Delec Oratis product lines, the new Inspiration stage management system provides comprehensive control over all aspects related to live performances. In combination with the NAM Dante network interface with a built-in power amplifier, intercom and public address messaging can be deployed anywhere on the premises via a standard Ethernet network.

The video solutions support recording, editing, projection, on-stage monitoring and TV signal distribution. The creation and processing of show content, as well as preparations for recordings or TV transmissions require in-depth knowledge of specific work processes and cutting-edge technologies. Today’s systems need to be able to cater to current and future formats to ensure an investment is an enduring one. For video applications, this means that HD-SDI formats need to be supported in the same way as 8K signals. The system integration division not only knows what is required, but also installs all necessary cameras, cables, editing tools, monitor screens and projectors.

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