The Warner Theatre
USA - The Warner Theatre, close to the White House in the American capital city, has since 2013 offered its visiting engineers, performers and artists the sonic advantages of an Outline Butterfly system tuned and maintained by house sound engineer Ishai Ratz.
Originally opened in 1924 and having hosted everyone and everything from Frank Sinatra to ZZ Top and from Vaudeville to cinema, since a full restoration in the early ‘90s it is an established showcase venue for the DC area.
Jason Farah of Outline’s US office describes the genesis of the new installation: “Following on the success of Butterfly and wanting to maintain the high performance-to-small footprint ratio, it made perfect sense to upgrade to Butterfly’s successor, Superfly. Superfly provides extended low-end response and improved rigging, while maintaining the same voicing that Butterfly excelled at.
“The Warner Theatre has a prominent and deep under balcony section, so we specified L/R hangs of 14 Superfly per side to achieve the necessary coverage. The hangs are zoned to accommodate the varying distances between the loudspeakers and the seats, so the top six Superfly are focused on the balcony and the lower eight cover the entire floor, including all the way back to the rear of the under-balcony area.
“The FOH mix position is at the very back of the under balcony seating and normally such a location would necessitate reference monitors to compensate for the less-than-ideal listening experience back there. However, by using Outline’s OpenArray2 simulation software and through some careful deployment of the flown Superfly cabinets we were able to achieve smooth and even coverage throughout, even at the worst seat in the house - the FOH mix position.”
The system overall comprises 28 Superfly enclosures, four compact Vegas 24 cabinets deployed as stage lip-fills, two Ki12 Plus cabinets per side as near-fills and five DBS 18-2 subwoofers. Power is provided by seven Outline GTA Otto eight-channel DSP-equipped amplifiers, while a Newton FPGA-based processor is located at FOH to handle signal distribution and to easily interface guest consoles into the Outline system.
Farah continues, “The coverage and performance that Superfly provides is impressive, though the Warner Theatre posed design challenges which Outline’s product portfolio was key to solving.
“Full coverage under the balcony was achieved by proper deployment and aiming of the flown Superfly arrays, but because the hangs are well into the house side of the downstage edge, the Golden Circle seats were largely out of their direct field - locating the four Ki12 Plus speakers on the downstage corners was key to providing full-range, encompassing sound to those most valuable seats. Altogether, Outline provided the perfect mains, mid-fill, near-fill, LF, processing and prediction solutions to give every seat in the house a world-class experience.”
Ishai Ratz concludes, “We also added a Midas HD96 as our FOH console and to me the combination of Midas, Newton and Superfly is an amazing sound system for the venue.”

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