Pope Addresses World Youth Day With Help From Optocore

Photo: Łukasz Kornafel

Optocore recently set up a fully redundant optical fibre network for the 2016 World Youth Day (WYD) in Kraków and Brzegi, with help from its OEM associate BroaMan.

The event saw Pope Francis address large gatherings of pilgrims, with principal sound rental companies GigantSound-Letus and GMB Pro Sound sourcing the inventory to implement the large public address system.

They relied heavily on large multi-node redundant Optocore ring networks for the two main sites, Błonia Park in Kraków, capacity 600,000, and the nearby village of Brzegi, where the site could accommodate 2.5-3 million people. The latter location saw the biggest deployment of technical gear ever put out for a single event, according to Gigant’s Jurek Taborowski.

The person responsible for specifying the BroaMan/Optocore solution was Marek Kotomski, coordinator from the WYD Organising Committee and co-designer of the fibre infrastructure in Kraków.

In total, some 160 devices from the German company were deployed, with a large number of interfaces provided respectively by French partners, Lumière & Son and GB4D.

Meanwhile, another Polish company, 4Vision, was contracted to install and maintain these systems, with onsite support throughout from the Optocore technicians. 4Vision also had to manage the timetable in what proved to be a fast fit project, with challenging deadlines.

Brought in by the WYD Organising Committee, the 4Vision team received training from Optocore before taking delivery of the pre-configured rack systems at the two French bases.

The Brzegi Campus Misericordiae site comprised 67 audio towers (13 intercom equipped), 28 video walls and four rings; in total 84 cases of equipment were shipped to site.

Lumière & Son had designed and configured the set-up for delivery to Gigant Sound, constructing an Optocore plug and play system at their headquarters in Paris before inviting five 4Vision technicians to receive system induction and training. This enabled the Polish company to create three Optocore rings, along with 18 BroaMan Mux22’s and two Route66’s, all supplied by Lumière & Son.

Each of the audio and video towers contained a single Optocore device providing analog out, AES out and LAN Ethernet to Powersoft amplifiers, which in turn drove Outline loudspeakers. At FOH the system received direct inputs from the Yamaha mixing desk via Optocore’s Y3R-TP interface card.

In total 108 Optocore devices were deployed. The three rings were purpose-configured by Lumiere to meet the specific requirements; some racks containing X6R-FX devices only, some with BroaMan Mux22’s, Route66’s and X6R-TPs, while some were plugged with DD32R-FX interfaces and the older X6P.

In addition three dedicated BroaMan systems were assembled – one ring with 10 Mux22 interfaces and two in a star topology, with a Route66 and four Mux22’s in each. All devices provided program feed in HD-SDI format to the 27 LED screens supplied by Supervision Poland, and both BroaMan and Optocore systems used singlemode fibre infrastructure built especially for the event.

Lumière & Son also sourced equipment from fellow French-based Optocore houses, GB4D and De Préférence. President of Lumière & Son Pierre Heyligen said: “This project used more devices than for COP 21 [Climate Change Conference] and [opening event of the new] Suez Canal – although required fewer channels.”

In addition to the Optocore/BroaMan deployment, GigantSound also delivered loudspeakers, amplifiers, mixing desks and intercom to this destination.

The parallel event on the main Blonia Park site comprised 29 towers and nine video walls, and three delay zones. The additional small site was equipped with five audio towers and two video walls. Video star connections with 11 Telebeam video walls were connected through BroaMan’s Route66, receivers and a control system. There were 34 audio towers, some of them with intercom beltpacks, with two rings for audio and a control system, in all requiring 54 equipment cases.

The site PA was supplied by GMB Pro Sound, who confirmed that all audio and video distribution was via two Optocore rings, the Route66 and nine Repeat48’s – all sourced from GB4D. Gilles Bouvard’s company also supplied intercom, while loudspeakers, amplifiers and mixing desks were supplied by GMB.

Responsible for Optocore design and coordination from GMB was Kamil Zajdel, who was also working as a system engineer, with Paweł Adamowicz, while Optocore’s Maciek Janiszewski assisted on site. Once again, BroaMan and Optocore routing was via purpose-built singlemode fibre infrastructure and once again Optocore and BroaMan systems were commissioned by 4Vision.

In addition to the main distribution system GMB purchased a further six X6R devices to complement their existing stock.

In total there were 29 Optocore delay towers constructed at this site on two each with a single Optocore device providing AES out and LAN to control the d&b audiotechnik D80 amps, which in turn drove d&b loudspeakers.

A total of 58 Optocore devices were connected, with AES inputs fed to the Optocore environment.

The BroaMan network was again designed as a star system around a central Route66 equipped with 10 3G-SDI inputs providing distribution over fibre to 10 LED screens via Repeat48 converters.

The next World Youth Day will take place in Panama in 2019.