Tattoo events around the world follow a long-established template provided by the Edinburgh original. In this respect, the inaugural Russian event was no exception as marching bands from the Moscow Garrison and German Army Corps were joined by the perennial Scottish bagpipers and drummers. The event’s musical highlights included excerpts from Tchaikovsky and Beethoven along with a special arrangement of Amazing Grace performed by the band of the British Coldstream Guards.

The sheer dimensions of the Moscow arena, however, added a further challenge for the sound design team, headed by Edinburgh Tattoo veteran John Del’Nero, who has relied upon Out Board’s TiMax for the last eight years in Scotland for its ability to keep pinpoint acoustic focus in what could otherwise be sound chaos. Del’Nero was one of the first adopters of TiMax for such large-scale events, seeing it as a natural progression from the channel insert delay-imaging techniques he had been employing routinely in his theatre sound designs.

Likewise for the Kremlin Zoria, the TiMax delay matrixing process was intrinsic to his final acoustic sound map, providing not only the central audio imaging, but also to eliminate musical timing differences between nearfield reinforcement speakers and distant acoustic sources, many of which were moving around the arena.

The system was focused onto the multiple sound sources by first defining them as a number of localisation zones across the arena. These image definition origins were then delay-mapped independently to each of the loudspeakers and the seating areas they covered. The TiMax matrix and software would then statically or dynamically pan sound sources to these multiple locations around the arena as directed, continuously varying delay times so that the Haas precedence effect provided accurate imaging for the whole audience. Proprietary new smooth-panning algorithms in the TiMax dsp matrix firmware helped maintain absolute transparency in the delay-panning process by eliminating any glitching or phasing artifacts.

Del‘Nero, assisted onsite by associate sound designer, Sebastian Frost of Orbital Sound—who handled the TiMax programming—specified the multi-channel distributed sound system provided by Moscow-based Spin Music. The system comprised L-Acoustics’ Kudo line array systems positioned in the arena’s four corners as additional distant image anchors, with eight pairs of small dV-dosc arrays in nearfield reinforcement locations close to the two-sided audience seating. 16-channels of compact MTD108P cabinets provided extra audience in-fill.

Spin Music rented the 16x16 TiMax Rack System ShowControl PC from theatre and event sound automation specialists Out Board, who had it express-shipped direct from the Edinburgh Tattoo by Rock-It Cargo with the assistance of the Tattoo’s sound contractors Wigwam Acoustics.