Theater Münster hosts every kind of stage production, with around 550 performances and 25 premieres each season
Germany - Although its current building was only completed in 1971, Theater Münster has a history going back over 300 years to the town's first theatre, known as the Comedy House which was located in the Roggenmarkt. Acting as a focal point for the city's artistic talent, today the venue comprises several buildings, all with their own auditoriums. Recently the biggest of these, the Großes Haus, had a new L-Acoustics Kiva sound system installed.

Theater Münster hosts every kind of stage production, with around 550 performances and 25 premieres each season, as well as readings, lectures and exhibitions. The Großes Haus hosts the biggest productions, including opera, musicals, dance and orchestral performances. When a recent update of the venue's audio system was commissioned, an L-Acoustics Kiva system was the chosen solution, replacing the existing system which was outdated, having been installed more than 15 years ago.

"Großes Haus has unusual acoustic properties, with a circular floor plan that causes adverse reflections which meant it wasn't possible to adapt the existing PA," says Andreas Simon from Bergisch Gladbach-based Graner+Partner, specialists in room acoustics and sound media technology. "The theatre had budget for a new system and the loudspeaker characteristics and system design had to complement the acoustics and the geometry of the room. In addition, of course, the usual coordination with the lighting technicians was required."

Working closely with Theater Münster's sound engineers and system integrator Salzbrenner Stagetec, Andreas and his team compared several audio systems from different manufacturers, and chose Kiva because "L-Acoustics delivered the best quality sound and could be adjusted to the properties of the room".

The team went on to design an LCR Kiva array, with SB15m subs. Six 8XTi point source cabinets, two SB28 high-power subs and six 12XT monitors allow the system to cover the upper balconies and under balconies, focussing sound energy on the audience and achieving a homogenous frequency response curve for all seats.

"We chose an LCR system due to the wide stage opening," says Rainer Hettwer, project manager for Salzbrenner Stagetec. "The biggest challenge was the loudspeaker arrays having to be installed in very precise positions. To achieve this, sophisticated steelwork was necessary to guarantee the correct positioning. "The system hangs relatively high, so it was necessary to include front fills and lip fills to cover the first few rows of the audience, but careful positioning meant that the coverage is absolutely seamless."

The system took around 10 days to install and, at the commissioning stage, Salzbrenner Stagetec engineer Thomas Dürrbeck worked with L-Acoustics' Martin Rode to ensure the system delivered exceptional quality sound to every seat.

"They did great work in measuring and aligning the system," says Rainer. "This ensures that every member of the audience enjoys the best possible sound."

"The technical staff and the directorship, the public and the local press have commented positively about the new sound," concludes Andreas. "The PA's sound is very direct, clear and natural. In other theatres it is now known that the theatre in Münster has a new, very well functioning public address system and technical staff from other theatres have already asked us about the new sound system."

(Jim Evans)

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