Trinity arts centre turns digital

Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Trinity arts centre turns digitalThe latest upgrade sees the venerable space take on the modern mantle of digital cinema
UK - The Holy Trinity was Tunbridge Wells' first parish church. After its final religious service in 1972 its Grade 1 listed status ensured safety from demolition, and by 1975 a public petition had secured permission from the Church Commissioners to produce a plan for community or public use.

An appeal committee raised £50,000 and five years later it reopened as The Trinity Theatre arts centre complete with a raked-seating auditorium. Growing popularity soon saw an art gallery, licensed bar and computerised box office added.

Its latest upgrade sees the venerable space take on the very modern mantle of digital cinema, although a cursory gaze at the vaulted balconies, plush stage tabs and comfy seats reveals little. Only on closer inspection does it turn out to be the UK's first digital cinema to employ the K-Array system, its mid/high hangs barely visible against the tabs, complemented by minuscule surround sound satellite loudspeakers discretely located around the auditorium.

Supplied and installed by Stage Electrics, the system, powered by K-Array Class D amplifiers with integral DSP, is controlled direct from a DiGiCo SD9 console.

"This was my first project after I joined Stage Electrics," observes business development manager for audio James Gosney. "Stage Electrics is doing bigger and bigger sound installations including the installation and supply of equipment to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre last year. As a consequence of being asked to design and supply high end audio systems, they have been expanding their audio team with people experienced in sound system design and installation, which is precisely my background."

The system comprises KK200 main arrays coupled with single 18" subwoofer either side, along with four KT20 'Tornadoes' - small 2" single drivers in little bullet shaped loudspeakers - along each side wall coupled with KU36 compact surround sub bass speakers. A pair of KK100 metre-long line source arrays provides the rear surround component.

The final touch is a separate, portable K-Array system, half of which can be configured in a two-metre high column plus subwoofer as the centre speech speaker for digital cinema. It can also be used as a portable system for comedy evenings or jazz events in the foyer. The main system's K-Array Class D amp modules are located in the control room drive rack, the networkable units incorporating full DSP for remote monitoring.

The Stage Electrics commissioning team set up the DiGiCo's system alignment and output processing with presets for cinema, musical theatre, straight plays, jazz and other types of events. Gosney, "We had shown our demo SD9 to [Trinity Theatre head technician] Simon Diaper who loved it, partly because it's so easy to use and so logically set out, but particularly because of the sound quality, which is noiseless really, it's beautiful."

(Jim Evans)

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