ALAMEDA, USA – August 04, 2021 – Germany’s cultural venues, live performance spaces, and rental companies were largely impacted by the restrictions of COVID-19, but many found alternate ways of surviving the tumultuous year. After the cancellation of several live events, beginning in February 2020, Aventem, K-9 and TSE recognized the need to shift their focus from in-person events to dynamic virtual event streaming, in order to remain operational during the pandemic. All companies turned to Clear-Com®’s German Partner, Audio-Technica, for immediate assistance in transitioning their existing rental gear into cost-effective and easy-to-deploy event streaming solutions.
“Countless rental companies in Germany have invested in Clear-Com equipment since March 2020 to solve their communication requirements in the best possible ways,” said Jan Saueressig, Brand Manager for Clear-Com at Audio-Technica. COVID created new challenges, such as production teams needing to work in separate locations, and actors being unable to travel due to travel restrictions,” he continued. “Clear-Com’s extensive product portfolio allowed us to provide solutions to these problems for our customers.”
Before the pandemic, Hilden-based company Aventem planned, designed, and equipped approximately 600 live events each year all over Europe. With distancing restrictions in place, Aventem began hosting virtual events, where only one person was in their studio and the rest of the attendees were remote. As the scale of these events increased, so did their need for additional intercom capabilities, prompting them to add a comprehensive FreeSpeak II® Digital Wireless system to their inventory, in addition to their existing Clear- Com Encore® Analog Partyline system.
The FreeSpeak II system is used for camera opps, various control room communications, and it integrates with QSC’s Q-Sys system via 4-wire connection for call management. The easy-to-use, “plug and play” nature of the Clear-Com made for an easy decision for Aventem, whose virtual events have grown from under 200 attendees to an impressive 7,000 attendees in some cases.
Munich’s K-9 has been a longtime user of Clear-Com in their business of Film & TV production, streaming services, professional camera equipment rentals, lighting and audio. After initially renting Clear-Com systems from other companies to support their comms needs, K-9 decided to purchase their own FreeSpeak II system.Over the last few years, K-9 has been using their system to support various streaming formats, including press conferences, corporate events, concerts and more. With an increasing demand for these types of events during the pandemic, however, K-9 expanded their Clear-Com inventory even more, just in time for the virtual CES 2021 Exhibition (January 11– 14).
K-9 played a significant role in the streamed launch of the Audi e-Tron compact, electric SUV at CES. Eighteen camera positions, including drone angles, required a robust comms system that included 50 FreeSpeak II beltpacks and two base stations. The success of their streaming business also prompted K-9 to add several LQ® Series of IP Interfaces and Agent-IC® Mobile App licenses to their inventory.
Berlin-based TSE consults, conceptualizes and executes events of all types and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. They have a large range of rental equipment for audio, lighting, video and rigging, as well as for stage and set construction. In January of 2021, they were able to leverage their inventory to produce International Green Week, the world’s leading trade fair for agriculture, that went entirely remote for the first time in its 95-year history.
Together with Messe Berlin, TSE set up a streaming studio for various presentations, roundtable discussions, keynotes, awards ceremonies and more. Their comms system infrastructure consisted of a Clear-Com Encore® Analog Partyline system and 15 FreeSpeak II beltpacks that facilitated communication between sound, lighting, video, camera opps and event management teams. Over 20,000 users tuned into the livestreams over the course of the event.
“TSE appreciates Clear-Com’s fast and efficient set-up and high audio quality. It can react flexibly to spontaneous changes. The possibility of dividing the communication into individual groups also means that there is more peace and quiet in the entire intercom situation,” commented Rico Stegemann of TSE. “We actually ended up purchasing additional FreeSpeak II systems.”
For these live sound companies, their long-standing relationship with trusted partner, Audio-Technica, and their continued success with Clear-Com products helped their businesses navigate new opportunities during the pandemic.