RIBA upgrades HQ with Shure wireless
Wednesday, 4 September 2019
riba-jarvis-stageRIBA hires out its auditorium for a number of different events
UK - The historic headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has completed a full AV system upgrade, with 10 channels of Shure’s ULX-D Digital Wireless installed and deployed, along with a selection of Shure’s high-end headset, lapel and gooseneck microphones.
This first phase is part of an ambitious four-year plan to improve the overall audio at RIBA, commenced with the expandable 284-400-seat auditorium and took three months to complete.
Established in 1834, RIBA is situated at 66 Portland Place, Marylebone, London, which is a Grade II listed building. The organisation is the professional body for UK architects, founded for the advancement of architecture, supporting its members and introducing new people to the world of creative architectural design.
Work on the project began with consultation between RIBA’s in-house AV team, AV specialists TSProfessional and Shure.
Steve Barrett-White, AV manager, RIBA, explains: “The auditorium was due for an overhaul - the furniture is the original seating that’s been in place since 1934 - so we took the opportunity to not only upgrade this, but upgrade the AV, too.
“RIBA hires out its rooms and spaces, including the auditorium, for a number of different events, including conferences, weddings, expos, meetings and other uses, so we wanted a system that was versatile, flexible and dependable, but also the absolute best for the environment which we work in.”
“In the case of the radio microphones, we evaluated and tried six different brands within the space, then made our decision based on the demonstrations and audio quality.”
Being a Grade II listed building presented its own challenges, with an application process needed for any changes to the interior and exterior initially through English Heritage. Luckily, with audio, the process took a simpler route as a physical change of the building wasn’t required. However, consideration had to be given to interference from other wireless systems operating locally - including more than 200 venues within a mile radius - plus a number of Embassies situated directly opposite the building.
“We used to have interference issues, especially at certain times of the day when the Embassies were at their most active, but since we moved suppliers and over to Shure, this isn’t a problem anymore,” commented Barrett-White.
All the microphones throughout RIBA are now Shure, with the auditorium benefitting from a system that can now deliver a full 7.1 immersive audio experience, which can be in operation up to two times a day during “peak” conference season - from 7am until late evening.
Along with the auditorium’s ULX-D system, smaller rooms are equipped with Shure SLX wireless systems, with a planned audio upgrade of RIBA’s second largest space, Florence Hall, to ULX-D, along with integrating the whole of the building to offer distributed audio in the near future.
(Jim Evans)

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