UK - HK Audio’s Linear series of loudspeakers have been specified as part of the sound system at Nightrain, a new live music venue in Bradford.
Founded by Bradford trio Chris Dove, Andy Kettle and Keith Tempest, the club transformed the former Yates and Arena sports bar on Queensgate into a 400 capacity venue that plugs the gap between smaller venues and larger ones, such as St George’s Hall. Nightrain, named after a Guns N’ Roses song, is set to host a diverse selection of live acts every week-end and select weekdays, welcoming local as well as touring acts. The venue is also open throughout the day as a bar and games room.
Mike Smith and Brian Glover of Sound Alliance were commissioned to design and install an in-house sound and lighting system capable of satisfying the most demanding acts.
Having themselves relied on a variety of solutions from German manufacturer HK Audio for many years, Mike and Brian arranged for all three directors of Nightrain to accompany them to the demo theatre of JHS, HK Audio’s Leeds based UK distributor to explore options.
The facility to directly compare various system configurations at JHS proved invaluable and ultimately sealed the deal. Consequently the decision was reached to opt for a ground stacked active system flanking either side of the stage, using enclosures from HK Audio’s Linear series.
Each front of house stack comprises two Linear L SUB 4000A subs augmented by an L SUB 1800A sub, with an L5 112 FA taking care of mid/high duties, using L5TU1 tilt units to angle the tops for optimum
Hungary - The open-air theatre in Nyíregyháza recently upgraded their stage lighting capabilities with Prolights.
Located in the heart of the city of Nyíregyháza, the 1,000-seat theatre has been a key attraction in the area since 1955. Previously fitted with halogen fixtures, the renovation focussed on re-invigorating the space throughout and upgrading the technology to reduce running costs, increase energy efficiency and increase light output.
The new stage lighting system contains 20 Prolights Eclipse HD2 TU fixtures that were chosen for their brightness, even beam and clean shutter cuts, along with 20 Prolights full colour LED fixtures which provide a dramatically higher lumen level than their halogen predecessors. Both ellipsoidal fixtures were chosen for their versatility, broad functionality options and outstanding output levels and completed the reinvigoration of the space.
To complete the package, four Prolights Sunrise fixtures were installed; the theatre opted for the LED blinders as they could equal the brightness of traditional fixtures.
UK - Audio Light Systems called upon the expertise of Doughty Engineering to help deliver a new media studio at Edinburgh University's Argyle House.
The University which has a fast-developing programme of Distance Learning at Scale, had an existing media studio but was struggling to fully support the programme of media production required. Audio Light Systems was brought on board to assist with the creation of a new TV studio and gallery on floor D of Argyle house as Neil McLucas, Audio Light Systems' senior technician explains:
"The TV studio already had a space prepared with new wiring and decoration. Our task was to develop the gallery, housed in an existing acoustic sound booth adjacent to the studio. The specification was for the supply and installation of sound, video, studio lighting curtain and tracks and so we got in touch with Doughty Engineering to supply us with the bits of kit that we needed."
Dan Phillips, project sales co-ordinator at Doughty comments: "It's always a pleasure working with Audio Light Systems - we've done many studio installations with them. For this project, we supplied track for the perimeter curtains and cyclorama, some facility panels, pantographs and a lighting rail system. Neil needed a selection of off-the-shelf kit from our range that would be functional and reliable. The majority was mounted on the ceiling, with the exception of the facility panels."
Thanks to a very detailed tender document, the installation was extremely efficient. However, timescales were tight and the lead time for the required f
Ireland - Croke Park Stadium in Dublin has completed its programme of design and installation of a permanent PA/VA sound system, supplied by French manufacturer Nexo.
This sporting venue is the national stadium of Ireland and home to the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The 82,300 capacity stadium has been at the heart of Irish sporting life for over 100 years and is the third largest in Europe behind Camp Nou in Barcelona and Wembley in London.
Less well-known is the fact that Croke Park is also the widest, its 88m-wide pitch (nearly twice the size of a football pitch) is designed to accommodate the Gaelic sports of Gaelic football, hurling and camogie.
Mongey Communications, full-service AV and communications provider from Kildare, has been involved with Croke Park for nearly 15 years. This year, the Mongey team finished its extensive upgrade of the audio facilities in the stadium, working closely with technology consultancy Vanguardia.
Intimately involved in the planning of the upgrade, Mongey Communications has been instrumental in guiding the GAA, the managing body for the stadium, to a world-class audio set-up, which not only benefits its regular audience of sports fans but also elevates its provision for concert sound. Like many other large-format venues all over the world, Croke Park has to balance the commercial imperative of hosting music and entertainment shows alongside its sports brief.
The GAA’s criteria for the audio upgrade focussed on qualitative improvements to the stadium facilities for voice alarm and evacuatio
UK - The MJR Group has partnered with venues in Leeds and Southampton to develop and deliver their live events programmes and operations.
The Warehouse in Leeds will benefit from investment in its production infrastructure, with new staging, audio and lighting systems. The venue, which is marking its 40th anniversary this year, has been a regular venue on the touring circuit in the past, hosting the likes of U2, Oasis, Soft Cell, The Stone Roses and Pulp.
Over in Southampton, Switch, a 1,500-capacity former cinema theatre, has previously welcomed an international string of club and party bands and artists, hosting the likes of Stormzy, DJ EZ, Paul Woolford and Andy C. The MJR Group is planning to introduce live music events at the venue, which is already being refurbished, including new staging, lighting and screens throughout. An internal re-design will turn the club through 180°, adding a new VIP area, booths and a balcony.
Richard Buck, owner and founder of the MJR Group, comments: “We are delighted to add these three fantastic venues as part of the strategic expansion of our live music portfolio. The Warehouse will be a 600-capacity live music venue and attempt to fill the massive void left by The Cockpit’s closure a few years back. We are equally as excited about plans to introduce a live music programme to Switch, which will give bands a natural progression to grow audiences when they outgrow our other Southampton venue, The Engine Rooms.”
The Group is also set to reveal plans for a venue in central Birmingham.
Egypt - The Al Masah Hotel and Spa in Cairo has installed 16 Claypaky Supersharpy moving heads provided by AV equipment retailer, Audio Technology. The fixtures were part of a new build phase at the luxury hotel, a favourite for hosting prestigious weddings and events in the capital.
The Supersharpys were installed in the lighting grid of the hotel’s Andalusite Hall, one of the largest ballrooms in Cairo. It seats up to 1,200 guests and features 15 balconies for private celebrity and VIP invitees.
“We know the outstanding performance of the Supersharpy with its powerful beam light and recommended it to the client,” says Emad Adly, Audio Technology’s president.
“The fixtures are used in many different set ups as required by the events staged in the ballroom,” adds Adly. “The Supersharpys offer diversity and flexibility for these events and have been performing just great. The client is very happy with them.”
Australia - Tokyo Sing Song is located in the basement of the Marlborough Hotel in Newtown, Sydney and although the 200-capacity venue is compact, since it opened in 2014 it’s earned a reputation for its loud late-night parties and electric atmosphere.
In late 2018, Harold Dumke, Tokyo Sing Song’s marketing and entertainment coordinator, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse. In partnership with DJW Projects, Pioneer Pro Audio gave him the opportunity to install the brand’s first sound system in Australasia, replacing the club’s old PA. “I was completely blown away,” remembers Dumke. “I thought we were very lucky to be able to have a top-tier product from Pioneer Pro Audio that no one had seen or heard before in Australia.”
The musical offering at Tokyo Sing Song is so diverse - with DJs and live acts playing everything from hip-hop, disco, and soul, to house, jazz, and techno on different nights of the week so the club needed a versatile system.
Ryan Gay, product manager at Pioneer Electronics Australia, worked with DJW Projects’ managing director, Dave Coxon, to specify a setup of four XY-3B three-way bi-amp loudspeakers and two XY-218HS dual 18-inch horn-loaded subwoofers. The natural audio produced by these units allows the accurate reproduction of the myriad genres of music played at the club and their high output fills the basement space with the huge sound pressure the crowd was used to but with increased clarity.
“DJW Projects did a great job working with the venue and us to make sure the sound was designed perfect
UK - A Zero 88 lighting control solution - including FLX S48 lighting console and Bypass dimmer / switchpacks - has been supplied to St Andrew’s School in Woking, Surrey, UK, by rental, sales and installations specialist Henley Theatre Services (HTS).
The school, founded in 1937, is a respected co-educational prep school for around 300 children aged 3 to 13. As part of a commitment to deliver a stimulating and vibrant educational and developmental environment for its pupils, last year St Andrew’s invested in a new, 230-capacity purpose-built theatre - the Little Field Theatre - and rehearsal space in its 11-acre grounds.
The venue’s technical specification - including the Zero 88 elements - was delivered by consultants Theatre tech who designed the production lighting, sound and comms systems. A tender issued for the equipment supply was won by HTS who liaised closely with both the consultants and the client. HTS completed the installation and commissioning of the equipment on site.
HTS’s Reg Berry explained that the FLX S48 provided an ideal lighting control option due to its “clever but simple” approach to controlling a combination of different lightsources including LED and tungsten units.
In this case, the client also had several tungsten ‘legacy’ fixtures from their previous drama studio (Jnr School Hall) that needed to be integrated into the new theatre system, together with some new LED PARs, Selecon Acclaim fresnels and profiles.
The two Zero 88 Bypass dimmer / switchpacks provide dimmed and hot power for the l
USA - Vari-Lite and Strand, part of Signify, are meeting the demand for state-of-the-art technology at the new $88m Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston, Texas. The flagship education and arts facility benefits from over 600 lighting fixtures as well as control and networking technology from the two lighting equipment brands.
Designed by Gensler Architects, the HSPVA features an 800-seat main theatre, plus a Black Box theatre, a mini theatre, recital hall, dance studios and recording studio. In addition to its educational programme, it will also play a lead role in the cultural life of Houston’s thriving downtown arts district.
“This is not your typical high school space,” says Chris Purpura, who led the project on behalf of theatre consultancy WJHW Inc. “This is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility with many different rooms and spaces. From the get-go, they wanted systems that were in the forefront of technology.”
He adds: “The client wanted to treat the spaces as a blank canvas. Maybe, in the main theatre they use the whole space, or half the space, or maybe a performance takes place across two or more spaces simultaneously. We designed the network so that the spaces can be connected, or divided, as required.”
Working in close collaboration with the architects, building contractor McCarthy Construction and entertainment systems integration specialists from Wenger Corporation, WJHW specified an integrated stage lighting and control solution from Vari-Lite and Strand.
At the system
USA - Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Centre, home to the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera, upgraded its wireless intercoms with four Radio Active Designs (RAD) UV-1G base stations and 24 belt packs provided by Lift AV, also of Seattle.
“When we heard about the frequency restack we immediately worked on getting ahead of it,” explains John Coulter, AV technician for Seattle Centre. “We compared three or four different intercom systems but, in the end, the RAD units provided the frequency agility and signal latency our residents needed.”
McCaw Hall opened in 2003 after a $127m renovation of the Seattle Opera House. The Hall is owned by the City of Seattle and operated by Seattle Center. McCaw Hall is home to the 2,900-seat Susan Brotman Auditorium, the 380-seat Nesholm Family Lecture Hall, multiple lobbies and a public plaza that serves as entry into McCaw Hall and the Seattle Centre campus.
“The RAD intercoms are in almost constant use,” adds Coulter. “In addition to roughly 150 performances by the ballet and opera, the hall hosts music concerts, lectures, corporate meetings, festival performance and a variety of community and non-profit events. We typically check out up to 18 belt packs for each and keep one system free for whatever is coming and going. There are events squeezed in between ballet and opera performances regularly.”
The UV-1G base stations operate in a very small slice of the UHF spectrum 25 kHz) while the body packs operate solely in the VHF realm. This frees up considerable RF bandwidth for other
Canada - Based in Ottawa, and designed in the brutalist architectural style, Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) has been serving the performing arts since 1969.
A bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for Canada’s most creative artists, the NAC strives to be artistically adventurous in each of its programming streams - the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre and NAC Presents. Offering a variety of free programming and events, The Centre collaborates with artists and arts organizations across the country, invests in ambitious new works and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada.
As part of a recent $110m overhaul, globally-renowned integrators, Engineering Harmonics, were hired to design a comprehensive audio/visual system that would service their needs for the next 15 years and beyond.
The project required upgrades to three of the performance spaces, replacing outdated equipment and infrastructure including some items from the original fit-out. These included Southam Hall, the Babs Asper Theatre and the Azrieli Studio and the upgrade included mixing consoles, speakers, amplifiers, DSP, intercom and a state-of-the-art digital fibre optic network provided by Optocore.
The NAC purchased a total of 54 Optocore units deployed across the three networks. Each venue was designed to have its own dedicated network, with a mix of permanently installed Optocore devices and mobile racks that could be moved freely between connection points in a venue or from one venue to another to
USA - Hollywood venue The Hotel Café has become a go-to place for intimate sets by singer-songwriters, both in its main room, opened in 2000, and the second room, opened in 2016.
The venue, whose two intimate spaces accommodate between 50 and 180 people, respectively, has hosted performances by such artists as John Mayer, Katy Perry, Adele, Sara Bareilles, Hozier, Ed Sheeran and Lucinda Williams. These rooms are capable of some very big sound, with sonic quality provided by systems from Bose Professional.
Hotel Café’s main room is equipped with a Bose Professional RoomMatch DeltaQ Array Loudspeaker system - one RoomMatch module on each side of the stage buttressed with a RoomMatch RMS218 dual-18 subwoofer (powered by one PowerMatch PM8500N networked amplifier for the RoomMatch speakers and an additional PM8500N for the subwoofer).
The club’s second room has been Bose-equipped since its opening in 2016, with a pair of self-powered F1 Model 812 Flexible Array loudspeakers attached to the wall on either side of the stage, with two 1,000-watt F1 Subwoofers on the floor underneath the F1 arrays. The main room, an already-established venue with a reputation for great sound, was kicked up a notch with the upgrade to RoomMatch - thereby making it an even stronger draw for artists and the industry pros they work with.
“We’ve had the RoomMatch sound system in here for the last six years, and when the second room was opened three years ago, the F1 system was the choice to install. Both of them have substantially elevated the sound here,” says
China - With over 100 years of history behind it, Nantong Middle School in China’s Jiangsu Province is looking to the future thanks to a new auditorium equipped with Martin Audio loudspeaker systems.
Founded in 1909 by Qing era industrialist and educator Zhang Jian, Jiangsu Nantong Middle School is well known across the province and the country. It is one of the first middle schools in the province set up in the modern fashion and its alumni include politicians, nationally renowned artists, award winning scientists and five Olympic gold medallists.
The new multi-purpose hall in the Chongya Building on the main campus was dedicated to celebrate the school’s 110th anniversary, and the school required a high-quality sound system to suit the building. Their choice was the Martin Audio MLA Mini, for its consistent sound field coverage and high resolution, as well as the level of control offered by the Display optimisation software.
The system itself comprises two sets of MLA Mini, supported by two CDD Live15s, two CSX218 subs, and three CDD5s. For fill, a pair of portable Blackline F12+ was specified - which can be relocated subject to requirement - along with two installed XD12s. The system is entirely driven by Martin Audio amplification, in the form of an MA5.2K, and a pair each of MA2.8Q, and MA3.0, optimised by four of Martin Audio’s DX0.5 dedicated processors.
All Martin Audio components were supplied by Beijing Pacific Budee, whose sales manager JT Liu states: “We are very proud to have provided this unique Martin Audio sound syst
The Netherlands - The Wilminktheater & Muziekcentrum concert hall in Enschede have recently benefited from an investment in Robe’s T1 Profile LED moving lights.
Lighting specialist Paul de Vries has been involved since the facility opened 11 years ago and so has most of the lighting kit, including some legacy Robe fixtures from the ColorSpot and Wash 575 series. Whilst still fully functional, the time came to freshen up and reinvest in new lighting to ensure the venues kept up with the latest technologies.
This has come with the 12 Robe T1 Profiles which are replacing the older moving lights for use in both the theatre and the concert hall.
To pick the most suitable fixtures, De Vries organised a ‘shootout’ between six major brands, with Jeroen van Aalst from Robe’s Benelux distributor Controllux demo’ing the T1. This demo impressed De Vries and his colleagues enough for them to choose Robe.
Since the purchase, all 12 have been in action on several shows ranging from rock, orchestral to acoustic, and there has been virtually no ambient noise.
The T1s are also used extensively as front lighting and can effectively replace the previous static 2K front profiles, where they are a smaller, lighter and hugely more flexible option. In a typical setup, they will rig four T1s as front light and use the rest over-stage for a variety of different tasks and effects.
Around 400 shows are produced or hosted across the two venues over the 10-month season, from classical music to pop gigs in the 1800 standing / 900 seated capacity Mu
Denmark - The Rytmisk Sal of Musikhuset Aarhus - the largest music house in the Nordic region - has upgraded its stage machinery system with ETC’s Prodigy P2 hoist and QuickTouch+ 12 controller.
The popular culture and events house draws over a million visitors each year for concerts, musicals, theatre shows, opera and much more. The building’s lighting and technical teams had been looking to renovate the rigging system in the Rytmisk Sal (or rhythmic hall), also known as the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll hall’ in the music house.
Head of lighting at Musikhuset Aarhus, Ole Nielsen, came across ETC’s range of upper stage machinery products during a visit to the renowned ETC factory in Middleton, USA and was keen to find out more. He recommended the equipment to head of production Jonas Knive, which lead to Atendi, the Danish distributor of ETC, being contacted to supply the equipment.
Eight Prodigy P2 hoist systems were selected to upgrade the current system. “With the quantity of shows and productions held at the Musikhuset Aarhus, the challenge was fitting the installation into the busy schedule of the event house,” comments Knive.
There was just one time slot available, and the project was installed just three weeks after the quote request. The short turnaround was so fast it required delivering and converting the Prodigy P2 hoists held in European stock from their compression tube mounting arrangement into the variant that can be mounted vertically and suspended on the main beams.
“This is a perfect example of how Prodigy hoists
Belarus - Kraftwerk Trade LLC, the exclusive distributor for Adamson Systems Engineering in the Republic of Belarus, has installed the country’s first permanent S-Series solution in the Grodno Regional Philharmonic’s new concert hall.
In addition to being the professional home for the philharmonic, known locally as Kapella Grodno, the hall will serve as a creative and cultural hub for both the city and wider region of Grodno in Western Belarus, presenting various artistic disciplines for residents and visitors alike.
“As the new, state-of-the-art home for arts and culture in Grodno, this venue will showcase world-class artists and performers, so we were tasked with installing a world-class audio system that would properly cater to their needs,” shares Ulyana Barkova, deputy commercial director, sales & field services division, with Kraftwerk Trade. “Adamson’s S-Series offers top-tier audio performance with perfectly even coverage throughout the hall, is easy to wire, and offers a high degree of flexibility and customization with its rigging.”
The LCR system in the main auditorium boasts left and right arrays of 12 S10 two-way, full-range enclosures each and a centre cluster of six additional S10s. A complement of S119 subwoofers delivers the low end, with four flown on each end of the stage and an additional four loaded beneath it. Six Adamson PC5s from the Point Concentric Series handle front-fill duties.
Additionally, the venue sourced a portable S-Series system comprised of 16 S10s and eight S119s that can be deployed in v
South Africa - Saint Thomas Church in Linden sought to upgrade its sound, with a quality solution that would not detract from the church’s looks and not break the bank. They got their solution from DWR Distribution in the form of Quest Audio and Audix microphones.
“We didn’t want it to look out of place and we did need to get better sound,” says Gift Chanza the head of Sound Ministry at Saint Thomas, “The Quest loudspeakers were exactly what we needed”. Three HPI Quest speakers were installed in the main hall. The left and right being handled by two Quest HPI8i two-way passive loudspeakers hidden within the Churches woodwork and the centre speaker, a Quest HPI111 compact loudspeaker, hangs from the middle of the ceiling.
An additional White HPI5 high output loudspeaker sits in the room adjacent main hall. These speakers have the church fully covered for sound. The amp system is hidden behind the choir section with two QA2004 Amplifiers sitting inside a box, this neat system was a priority for Saint Thomas as they wished to keep the look of the church and not have the sound displaying as a distraction.
To get the best out of the speakers the church had also decided to invest in some Audix Microphones. Four ADX12 podium gooseneck condenser microphones were chosen to mic certain sections of church for speech, one per podium and two at certain sections where prayer is given.
Two ADX40 hanging overhead microphones were hung left and right of the choir given the singers ample volume and clarity and an additional install of two OM2 dynam
UAE - Martin Professional Middle East (MPME) recently outfitted the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi with a Martin by Harman exterior lighting solution.
Located in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an imposing structure with a 262ft main dome and four minaret towers rising to a height of 351ft. As the largest mosque in the UAE and the third largest in the world, Grand Mosque accommodates up to 40,000 visitors.
The mosque recently opened a new three-story visitor’s centre bookended by two glass dome entrances. Abu Dhabi officials hired MPME to install an exterior lighting solution that would visually emphasize the new visitor’s centre and glass domes. In order to overcome the challenge of outfitting the dome’s curved surfaces, MPME installed 2,556 Martin Professional Exterior PixLine 10 fixtures.
“Installing a high number of fixtures on a curved surface is a complex process,” says Bilal Assidi, sales manager, MPME. “We selected the Exterior PixLine fixtures because Martin could supply them in customized lengths, which reduced installation time and cost, and also allowed us to perfectly integrate the fixtures into the structure of the domes.”
The Exterior PixLine 10 is a linear LED video fixture for media facades and creative installations, which can be fully customised in terms of length and colour to match any specification while the power source is hidden. In addition to illuminating the translucent domes at night, MPME also utilises the creative LED media façade to display video
Russia - When Moscow’s Zaryadye concert hall opened it became one of the most technologically advanced venues in Russia. It features a large complement of Claypaky lighting fixtures in its 1,600-seat philharmonic auditorium and the smaller, 400-seat theatre.
Zaryadye is part of a new park adjacent to Red Square and next to the Kremlin walls. Its Philharmonic auditorium is equipped with stage machinery, precisely chosen lighting gear and integrated engineering technologies that allow it to host different types of productions from classical music concerts and theatrical performances to international conferences and shows.
Claypaky fixtures selected for the hall include 54 A.leda K-EYE K20s, 12 Scenius spots, 12 Scenius profiles and 30 Show Batten LED linear lights.
The K-EYEs were chosen for their quiet operation, notes Vasily Litvin, Lighting Director of the DOKA Center, a Claypaky distributor in Moscow, which has been involved with the project since Zaryadye’s conception in 2015. “As the stage is intended for acoustic concerts a minimal level of technological noise was one of the main priorities when choosing the equipment,” he says. “Nothing should disturb visitors while they enjoy the tailor-made acoustic characteristics of the auditorium.”
He finds the K-EYEs to be “ideal for the orchestra pit and auditoriums: Their new 6-color system of color synthesis provides a white which does not differ from a classic halogen lamp while at the same time enables the user to change colour temperature or work with tones”. The same fixtures
UK - A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET) has supplied the Acorn Theatre in Penzance with a Prolights LED lighting upgrade.
For over 40 years, the Acorn has hosted a wide range of arts practitioners and art forms, including live music, theatre, poetry readings, story-telling, dance, film, lectures and the visual arts. These acts can scale all the way from international tours down to school plays.
Looking to upgrade their house lighting rig to LED, theatre manager at the Acorn, Richie Cawley, researched all his options and found that the extensive Prolights range best met both their needs and their budget. Andy Mahaffey, external sales at AC-ET, visited the Acorn to discuss their requirements and show the Prolights fixtures that would be best suited to their venue.
Impressed by the quality of the LED fixtures, and their ease of use, Acorn invested in a number of Prolights Eclipse Fresnel Juniors, Eclipse Junior Zooms and StudiocoBs.
When asked about the fixtures Richie comments: “They have been totally brilliant. We are receiving loads of positive comments from visiting Artists and Theatre companies alike about the vast improvement.”
UK - The White Rock Theatre on the Hastings seafront is a historically significant cultural landmark in East Sussex, with origins dating back to 1927. As one of the region’s largest receiving houses, the theatre accommodates 1,066 seated and nearly 1,700 standing.
Marquee AV recently installed an EM Acoustics EMS Series point source system to bring the audio up to the standards demanded by modern audiences.
Adam Harkin, the venue’s technical and building manager says: “Sound is everything - without sound, there’s no show. Our new EM Acoustics system stands head and shoulders over what we had before which was old and no longer fit for purpose by modern standards. What we have now is simply amazing - it’s a proper theatre system and has made a huge difference - everyone can hear everything regardless of where they are sat in the venue.”
When the decision was made to change the existing sound system, the job was put out to tender. Two bids from high profile manufacturers were retained along with the bid from Marquee AV with EM Acoustics. “Marquee AV turned up with two speakers on sticks for the demo, and it filled the auditorium. We thought, ‘Wow! If that’s what they can do with two speakers, what will a full system be like!’ And so that’s why we went with EM Acoustics - it was just better than anything else we heard.”
The final system comprises a cluster of three EMS-122s flown per side and two for the centre, two EMS-215 subs per side and a circle delay system of five EMS-121s. “The venue is extremely wide and shallow
USA - The Brooklyn Tabernacle, designed in 1918 by Thomas Lamb, the architect of the original Madison Square Garden across the East River in Manhattan, flourished for years as the Lowe’s Metropolitan, one of the leading vaudeville theatres of its day.
Today, after being rescued from disrepair by the church, the building resonates with the uplifting energy of Pastor Jim Cymbala’s Sunday services, special events throughout the week, and performances by the six-time Grammy winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, which is directed by the pastor’s wife, Carol. Supporting these activities are immersive lighting and video displays that would have been impossible to imagine back in the building’s vaudeville theatre days.
Running the lighting and video system is a ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium, installed in early 2019 by lighting designer Abner Torres of Out of Darkness Designs. Torres, who has done extensive work with gospel groups and clubs throughout the New York area, became involved with Brooklyn Tabernacle through his work lighting the Christian Hip-Hop Kingdom Choice Awards.
“I met Raynard James, the very talented audio engineer from Brooklyn Tabernacle, when I was working on the awards show,” says Torres. “This led to me being invited by the church to light a large-scale musical production, The Story of Love, for Easter. Talking to the tech team, we developed a plan for upgrading the church’s lighting system, beginning with their aging desk. It would have been virtually impossible to run the kind of Easter production they envisione
UK - The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) has recently benefited from the implementation of a K-array Anakonda and Kobra loudspeaker system supplied by UK distributor 2B Heard.
Following a K-array demonstration and training day conducted by 2B Heard directors Dave Wooster and Sam Nankivell, the audio staff at LIPA were impressed with the range of solutions that the Italian loudspeaker brand offers, and decided to take the opportunity for third year live sound students to use K-array systems on a production of <IRomeo and Juliet in the 400-seat Paul McCartney Auditorium. Students were given a strict brief to minimise the visual impact of the sound system, while at the same time delivering clarity and consistency throughout the audience area at an SPL appropriate for the dance-based nature of the show.
“The sound system had to be as discreet as possible given the highly detailed nature of the set,” explains third-year sound technology student and production sound engineer for the show, John Doolan, “but still be able to produce excellent sound reinforcement for the audience. Only K-array could deliver on such a brief.”
Providing left and right stereo feeds for the stalls of the Paul McCartney Auditorium were a pair of Kobra KK102 passive line arrays, with a further two units running in mono. The one-metre high columns blended unobtrusively with the pillars of the building structure.
Complementing these and making up the mono front-fill speaker system were four Anakonda flexible array speakers, totally unnoticeable within
Australia - As a long-term user of DPA microphones, the Sydney Theatre Company (STC) has been quick to adopt the Danish manufacturer’s Core by DPA amplifier technology, which has now been successfully incorporated into DPA d:screet Miniature, d:fine headset and d:vote instrument microphones.
Already the owner of a substantial amount of DPA stock, STC recently added 75 d:screet CORE 4061 Miniature Omnidirectional Microphones to its inventory and is putting them to good use on a number of productions, including a new version of Tennessee Williams’ classic Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
Ben Lightowlers, STC’s head of sound and audio visual, says: “Once the new Core technology arrived, I was keen to put it through the rigours of a regular season at STC. The goal for us in theatre is to not distract the audience with an obviously mic’d tonality but rather aim for a more naturalistic augmentation of the voice. The new Core mics boast a more open frequency response, which is appealing when balancing vocal performances of varying dynamics in circumstances where some cast members are potentially quieter than others on stage.”
STC’s new d:screet microphones were supplied by DPA dealer Soundcorp, in conjunction with the company’s Australian distributor Amber Technology. STC’s DPA inventory also includes d:dicate 4017 Shotgun Microphones, d:fine Headset Microphones, d:vote 4099 Instrument Microphones, d:facto Vocal Microphones and more legacy d:screet 4061 Miniature Microphones than Lightowlers can count.
“In the 13 years I have been w