Bloomsbury Theatre re-opens with EM Acoustics
Tuesday, 24 August 2021
bloomsburyThe final part of the renovation was the installation of a significant EM Acoustics HALO-C PA system
UK - Part of University College London (UCL), The Bloomsbury Theatre works with students and researchers to ‘bring ground-breaking discoveries to the stage’. In 2018, 50 years after its first performance, the landmark Brutalist building reopened its doors following a major renovation project to update its main auditorium which now boasts more than 500 luxurious seats.
The final part of the renovation was the installation and commissioning of a significant EM Acoustics HALO-C PA system by theatre specialists, Autograph Sound.
Autograph’s Adam Broom explains: “There’s a bit of a back story here given that we in fact supplied the system before the renovation. As it made no sense to replace a system that had only just been replaced, it went into storage. Julian Brooks was appointed technical manager of The Bloomsbury in 2019 and he soon realised that the system needed some expertise to realise its full potential.”
“The HALO-C system was specified originally for live music and stand-up but the diversity of our programme means we really needed a bit more flexibility,” says Brooks. “Also, post-refurb the room was acoustically different and so I called upon Adam for assistance, to improve the capabilities and tuning of our system to handle musical theatre, commercial productions, student shows (as part of the theatre’s connection with UCL) and pretty much anything else we might be asked to do.”
“It was the perfect opportunity to look at the system design again with fresh eyes based on the programme of events the venue caters for in a season, which had definitely evolved since the original system design,” says Broom. “We predicted the space in EASE, re-hung and re-tuned the PA, added a pair of EMS-126s, and upgraded the system processing to Q-SYS as it offers a more flexible and unified control platform that suits the venue’s mixed programme and changing technical staff.”
Brooks adds: “The HALO-C is a good, crisp system and adding a couple of EMS-126s as a L/R circle system has made the coverage really smooth throughout the house. Autograph also assisted us in updating the system processing to Q-SYS which among much else gives us proper time-alignment and pre-sets for different routing options via a custom interface.”
The L/C/R system comprises three HALO-C per side for the stalls and a centre cluster of seven HALO-C supplemented by one EMS-118 sub per side. Four EMS-61s serve as front-fills. Two EMS-126s serve as the circle L/R system with a further two EMS-81X as circle-fills.
“The combination of Autograph’s experience and EM’s loudspeakers has allowed us to achieve what we set out to do,” concludes Brooks. “It’s simple and easy to use whilst retaining the flexibility to change things if we need to.”

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