Aalsmeer Flower Auction
Rane gear meets the most critical demands of the Netherlands' largest wholesale flower auction, helping to optimize audio quality throughout a vast network of audio servers and users.
At a market just outside of Amsterdam, every flower grown in the Netherlands is traded in wholesale flower auctions known locally as Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer.
The market has multiple auction halls, and each of them is equipped with a Rane RPM 88 Programmable Multiprocessor selected and configured by Helios Recording & Broadcast.
During the auctions there is continuous, multi-directional communication between the auctioneers, the buyers (on the trading floor), and export agents. The exporters connect to the auction as a “client” -- via the Internet -- to the Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer server.
To facilitate these critical communications, a complex audio system is utilized. The previous system used outdated technology that made it impossible to solve loudness differences and other sound quality issues. Helios was contracted to upgrade and modernize the system. The total system was delivered in phases, with the first phase going online in April 2005.
Helios decided to build the multi-zone system around the Rane RPM 88 Programmable Multiprocessor, a network driven digital audio DSP unit. It offers many versatile features for controlling processing functions remotely. At the Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer, the SR 3 Smart Remote functions as a remote control for the auctioneers, programmed with volume control and an intercom function.
One of the most difficult challenges at the Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer is the limited bandwidth of the audio servers. The system maximizes audio quality within this limitation, by using programmed RPM 88s as a compressor and limiter, applying an equalizer to each independent channel. This significantly improved the audio quality for all users, including those participating via the Internet.
In total, 13 identical systems were purchased by Bloemenveiling Aalsmeer. A central control area can access all units, and settings can be modified as needed over an Ethernet network. Helios also designed and delivered customized user interfaces for each subsystem.
Peter van Leeuwen, project leader: “In planning the new system, we sat down with all of the parties involved to come up with the best possible design for the operation. After an elaborate meeting, it became clear that the Rane RPM 88 was the perfect solution. It became the heart of the audio installation at each position in the marketplace."