Optocore network for new Tokyu Theatre Orb

Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Optocore network for new Tokyu Theatre OrbTokyu Theatre Orb's first production was of West Side Story, with signal distribution via an Optocore fibre backbone (photo: Tokyu Corporation)
Japan - A new purpose-built musical theatre has opened in Japan - situated between the eleventh and sixteenth floors of the new 1.27 billion dollar 34-storey Shibuya Hikarie glass tower in Tokyo.

Connected to the Shibuya Station, Tokyu Theatre Orb's first production was of West Side Story, with signal distribution via an Optocore fibre backbone provided by the German company's Japanese representatives, Acoustic Technical Laboratory Inc (ATL).

This ambitious project was floated by owners, the Tokyu Corporation back in 2008, and ATL became involved after Yamaha Sound Systems Inc (Yamaha SS), the biggest sound system construction company for theatres and auditoria in Japan, had specified an Optocore solution in their proposal.

According to Tetsushi Hirai of Yamaha SS, the client had specifically requested the optical fibre backbone in view of the long distance transmission of dialogue and music between the 1972-seat auditorium, stage and mixing control room as well as the data transmission between floors - including the Hikarie Hall A & B on the ninth floor.

Yamaha SS constructed the digital architecture around nine Optocore DD32R-FX primary interfaces, connected to nine X6R-TP-16LO and nine X6R-TP-16MI converters - initially linked via AES D-Sub 25, although this will transfer in due course to Optocore's SANE (Synchronous Audio Network plus Ethernet) protocol. The Optocore system derives its clock signal from a Rosendahl Nanoclocks master clock generator.

Outputting to a Meyer Sound M'elodie line array system (with 600-HP subs), the Optocore system can be divided into three smaller systems: the first is mounted in device racks in the control room; the second is mounted in a rack on the stage; and the third is mounted in a mobile rack that can be freely moved within the hall, allowing it to be connected to various optical connector panels, while the hall itself contains a network of optical fibres that are patched for use over the 256-channel matrix.

The signal I/O for the control room and the stage systems are connected to an XLR patch panel, and connections are made depending on the requirements of the event being staged. Within the control room, some of the signals are generally patched to a Yamaha PM5D or DM2000 console via AES, while the mobile rack is used in combination with the DD32R-FX and the converter unit, wherever it is needed.

While Shibuya is the heart of Tokyo's busy shopping district, Hikarie itself is seen as a new cultural hub. The word itself means 'Towards the light' - and the light in this instance shines from Tokyu Theatre Orb's highest stage in Japan ... located on the thirteenth floor of Hikarie.

(Jim Evans)

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