Constellation plays star role in Jakarta theatre
Friday, 11 September 2020
meyer-soundThe recently opened JIExpo Theatre in Jakarta International Expo centre
Indonesia - Opened late last year, the JIExpo Theatre is the new crown jewel of the Indonesian capital city’s Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) centre for meetings, events and arts performances. Among first events was a concert by illustrious cellist Yo-Yo Ma, whose dynamic performance proved an appropriate showcase for the venue’s Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system.
Constellation and the complementary direct reinforcement system - based on Leopard line array loudspeakers - were provided through Meyer Sound national distributor Mega Swara and installed by Jakarta-based integrator Kairos Multi Jaya. With a capacity of 2,500, the JIExpo Theatre now ranks as the largest venue in the Asia Pacific region to offer the programming flexibility and superlative acoustic qualities afforded by Constellation.
Jakarta International Expo is a private enterprise, owned by the Murdaya family, and from the outset the theatre’s managing director, Prajna Murdaya, was committed to achieving the highest level of excellence in all technical aspects of the project, including audio and acoustics.
“The venue was originally specified to be just a theatre, but I saw the potential to make it also serve as Indonesia’s largest concert hall,” says Murdaya. “When I heard about Constellation and its worldwide base of existing high-profile installations, that became a key factor in deciding to go ahead and offer it here as well.”
Prior to his final decision, Murdaya had auditioned a Constellation system at the Singapore International School. “I was floored by the drastic difference it made, both onstage and in the audience,” he recalls. “A music teacher was singing an art song, starting with Constellation on. They turned it off in the middle, and her face showed bewilderment. The effect was dramatic - and hilarious!”
For Yo-Yo Ma’s concert - his first in Indonesia - the Constellation system remained on throughout, adding reverberant depth and richness by extending the theatre’s RT60 baseline physical acoustic from 1.2 seconds to 2.2 seconds. The flexibility of Constellation allowed the theatre’s technical manager, Bayu Wicaksana, to customise the response, adding warmth and sensitivity specifically optimized for the renowned cellist’s instrument. Ma’s emotional rendition of six suites for cello by Johann Sebastian Bach drew extended standing ovations from the audience.
A total of 285 small, self-powered loudspeakers (MM-4XP miniature and UP‑4XP full range plus UMS-1XP subwoofers) are deployed throughout the auditorium to create natural acoustical environments uniformly throughout the large space. The processing is handled by Meyer Sound’s multi-module D-Mitri Digital Audio Platform, with 51 microphones distributed overhead for sensing the ambient acoustics.
For events requiring amplification, the JIExpo Theatre provides a direct reinforcement system anchored by Leopard line array loudspeakers, with arrays of 12 per side to cover the first two levels and an additional set of four per side for the uppermost level. Bass is supplied by a cardioid configuration of five 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements flown over centre stage. Centre channel loudspeakers are UPQ-1P, with UPJ-1P loudspeakers as side-fills and UPM-1P loudspeakers for front-fills as well as under- and over-balcony-fills.
The system can be used with Constellation off, or with subtle acoustical enhancements added for a variety of pop, rock, jazz and musical theatre performances.
“Using Constellation lets us ‘wrap’ the PA sound into the room for the best effect,” notes Technical Manager Wicaksana. “Working together, these two systems are setting a new and higher standard for theatres and performing arts centres in Indonesia.”
Other key contributors in the design phase were theatre consultants Philip Soden and WSDG acoustic consultants. The Meyer Sound contingent was led by Constellation project director John Pellowe with design and tuning of the direct reinforcement system supervised by director of system optimisation Bob McCarthy.
(Jim Evans)

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