Concert Hall «Great Amber»

Installation of Audio and Show Control Systems at the Great Amber 


August 2015

For almost a century Liepaja had a dream about their own concert hall. At the end of the 19th century, in 1896, Liepaja City Council made a decision to start saving money for its construction.

In 2015, this dream finally came true and it was named the Great Amber – regional cultural and events centre as well as home to the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, Emilis Melngailis Liepaja’s Secondary School of Music, and the manager and producer Lielais Dzintars SIA.

The concert hall frequently hosts high level academic and pop music concerts, conferences, and seminars as well as creative workshops and show programmes.

The building was designed by Austrian architect Volker Giencke and its architectonic concept is based on the symbol of Liepaja – amber as well as its function of being a centre for culture and arts. The architectural idea is of music frozen in amber and time.

The building includes eight floors with a total area of 14 126 m2. There are three concert halls: The Large Hall with 1010 seats, the Chamber Hall with 200 seats, and the Experimental Stage with 150 seats, as well as Civita Nova premises for social events, a cafe and a restaurant.

The great and ambitious project of a concert hall in Liepaja was started in 2003 as a sketch competition. Construction was started in 2013.

Right after that, the project manager of the Great Amber concert hall Ints Dālderis, together with the contractor Merks SIA, started negotiations with companies that would be able to carry out the installation of the audio system provided in the design. Negotiations, offer presentations, and the review lasted for several months. Many possible variations of audio systems were considered, which would meet the demands of the design and the concert hall itself. Particular attention was paid to ensure sonic quality, system functionality, and possible technical support in the future.

As a result of the negotiations and presentations, SGS Sistēmas entered into an agreement with the contractor for the installation of the audio and show director systems in June 2014.

The first two months were spent developing a detailed design. The design was developed by the technical support of Pro audio and certified specialist of Midas digital networks Guntars Blušs. It was a big challenge for the SGS Sistēmas team, as regardless of their large experience with similar projects, this was the most difficult and complex job of this type that had ever been completed in Latvia. The multifunctional digital audio control system was the most complicated and challenging part of the whole project.

The project had to be completed within a year. Pēteris Brilts led the installation works by spending most of the time in Liepaja and coordinating the construction process. The project involved the whole SGS Sistēmas team, but still, the biggest efforts were made by Guntaras Blušs and Pēteris Brilts.

Installation of the audio system and technical staff training was completed in August 2015, after which the concert hall was ready to operate.

Midas PRO series audio control consoles and network boxes (Midas PRO X, Midas PRO 2C, Midas PRO 1), were selected to create a digital audio control network. Audio systems were installed in four halls:

  • The Large Hall
  • The Rehearsal Hall
  • The Experimental Hall
  • The Chamber Hall

Show control and announcement systems provide both audio and video signals at the concert halls, where it is necessary for the successful performance of events.

Supplied Equipment:

  • 1 x Midas PRO X – digital mixer;
  • 1 x Midas Neutron – central processor;
  • 1 x Midas PRO 2C – digital mixer;
  • 1 x Midas PRO 1 – digital mixer;
  • 1 x Midas Venice F16R – audio mixer;
  • 1 x Midas DL 251 – I/O interface;
  • 1 x Midas DL 152 – I/O interface;
  • 2 x Midas DL 153 – I/O interface;
  • 1 x Midas DL 151 – I/O interface;
  • 3 x Midas DL 231 – I/O interface, signal splitter;
  • 5 x Klark Teknik DN 9620 – extender;
  • 2 x Klark Teknik DN 9650 MADI – network bridge format converter;
  • 1 x RPM Dynamics RPM-TB48 I/O – recording interface;
  • 4 x Litec EXE Rise D8+ - electric chain hoists;
  • 4 x König & Meyer – microphone stands;
  • 1 x d&b audiotechnik – loudspeakers and stage monitors;
  • 1 x Beyerdynamic TG 1000 – digital wireless 16-channel microphone system;
  • 1 x Beyerdynamic, DPA, Audio-Technica, Shoeps, Sennheiser, Shure – microphones;
  • 1 x Radial Engineering – DI-Box;
  • 4 x Ecler – amplifiers and installation speakers.