Red Bull Hangar-7

Red Bull Hangar-7

Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport is a unique combination of aircraft hangar, art gallery, gastronomy and museum. At its opening in August 2003, a series of extraordinary in-house and external events began, whereby the demands on technology, execution and quality were very high.

The Hangar

Seen from the outside, Hangar-7 resembles the shape of a wing. Inside the building itself, a large space can be found. A shell construction consisting of glass and steel, with dimensions of approx. 95m x 66m, spans an area of 3700m², and encloses a total volume of 49,100 m³.

This results in impressive physical as well as optical dimensions, which in practice are accompanied by a reverberation time of more than 6 seconds, which is a real challenge in terms of sound engineering considerations. For years, no completely satisfying approach was found. For each event, a complex installation was required. This included a large amount of cable routing, as well as the presence of many different loudspeakers. These circumstances were in stark contrast to Redbull’s vision of simple elegance inside and outside of the building. In addition, the achievable results in terms of speech intelligibility, homogeneity of sound level distribution, and reproduction quality needed improvement.

All Beginnings are Difficult

Based on the experience we had already gained with Alcons Audio and the proven class of Pro-Ribbon technology, we originally designed the concept of a fixed installation in the hangar for announcements and background sound. However, due to the demand profile that emerged in various test series, our concept was expanded accordingly until we came to the point where we offered a complete audio package. The solution consisted of 4 portable sound towers that could be moved at will around the Hangar as and when needed.

Effective in Theory…

The system comprises four loudspeaker units, designed as 5.80 m high loudspeaker towers,  optically integrated into the ambiance of the Hangar-7. Sebastian Kissler & Sebastian Eidenböck, Vienna were responsible for the design on behalf of Red Bull. Each tower consists of 4 Alcons Audio QR36 Pro-Ribbon cylinder wave modules arranged one above the other and 1 Alcons Audio QB363 3×12″ bass module supplementing the line. On the top of each tower 1 Alcon’s Audio ALC4 and 1 ALC2 controller amplifier, as well as a breakout box CAB4n from Peavey was including. The operation is simple: the cylinder wave modules from Alcons Audio operate as cylindrical wave emitters with wide horizontal radiation from 90° to 20kHz. This sound energy is then directed with an enormous throw directly into the audience.

… As well as in Practice!

If you play music through the hangar  – speech intelligibility is as natural as if this topic did not exist at all. Moreover, the quality of the audio reproduction is at the very highest level thanks to the use of Alcon’s patented Pro-Ribbon technology. And this at almost any volume. It should also be mentioned that the sound level distribution over the distance is so good due to the perfect mode of operation of the cylinder wave characteristic. The audio network consists of a Peavey NION n3 in the center, Cobranet-fibre optic converters, a bidirectional fibre optic distribution network and twelve connection panels distributed throughout the hangar, each with two fibre optic connections. Depending on the specific requirements of each event, the individual systems are connected to the audio network in the desired positions via fiber optic cables. 

A New Era

The fact that the entire audio system can be controlled and controlled via WLAN via a notebook is typical for “good” sound. The complexity of the programming behind the system does not affect the user. It works exclusively with a structured and user-friendly user interface, which enables the control all relevant system parameters. The result of the installation is a flexible solution that has the potential to meet virtually all sound technology challenges at the highest level. .