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Shanghai Arts Center Brings Constellation to China

The newly opened Nine Trees Shanghai Future Art Centre sports China’s first Meyer Sound Constellation System.

Shanghai, China (February 4, 2020)—As might be expected of China’s most populous city, there’s a lot to do in Shanghai, and now with the opening of Nine Trees Shanghai Future Art Centre in late 2019, there’s even more. The three-theater venue hosts hosting both Chinese and international artists in the fields of music, drama and dance, and Shanghai’s EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) agency designed and constructed Nine Trees to accommodate those sorts of productions.

The project team, led by general counsel Le Shengli with lead technical assistance from Zhu Shijie, theatre director for the EPC, surveyed a number of newer theatres in China and overseas, and soon determined that an active acoustic solution would best accommodate the desired diversity of performances. After evaluating available systems, they narrowed their focus to Meyer Sound’s Constellation active acoustic system and initiated consultations with Meyer Sound’s Chinese distributor, Shanghai Broad Future Electro-Technology, Ltd. As a result, the venue now has the first Constellation system in the country.

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Constellation is installed in the main theatre, which accommodates 1,200 patrons on two levels. The balanced physical room acoustic, with a reverberation time of about 1.2 seconds, can be enhanced with times up to about seven seconds. In addition, the reverberation envelope can be altered by adjusting the warmth, strength and brightness. During commissioning and tuning, 11 presets were created for different performance requirements, with additional presets open for future needs.

The Constellation system at the venue is based around 160 self-powered, full-range loudspeakers (Ashby-5C, Ashby-8C, UPM-1XP and UPJunior-XP) mounted laterally and overhead, with the lowest octaves reproduced by 16 compact subwoofers (12 UMS-1XPSM and four MM-10XP). To capture the acoustic ambience, 56 miniature condenser microphones are distributed throughout the space. In between the microphones and loudspeaker output, a D-Mitri digital audio platform comprising 21 modules provides the DSP and matrixing, with five modules dedicated to hosting the VRAS acoustical algorithm. The theatre’s 30 meter-deep stage is served by a dedicated Constellation zone functioning as a virtual acoustic shell.

The main theatre’s PA is based around left-right hangs of 13 Leopard line array loudspeakers each, bolstered by four 1100-LFC low frequency control elements. Also deployed as subsystems for fills, delays and foldback are four UPQ-1P, two UPQ-2P, two UPM-1P and 14 MM-4XP loudspeakers along with six MJF-210 stage monitors. Mounted over the proscenium — concealed behind a scrim — is a left-center-right system configured with 12 JM-1P and four UPQ-1P loudspeakers for, respectively, far- and near-field coverage. Three Galileo Galaxy 816 processors enable system drive and optimization.

The two smaller venues in the complex also are furnished with Meyer Sound reinforcement systems. The 500-seat multi-functional theatre sports 12 Lina line array loudspeakers and six 750-LFC low-frequency control elements, along with a pair of UPA-1P loudspeakers, six MJF-210 stage monitors and a Galaxy 816 processor. Meanwhile, the 300-seat theatre is covered by two CAL 64 loudspeakers, augmented by two 750-LFC elements, two UPJ-1P loudspeakers, six MJF-208 stage monitors and a Galaxy 816 processor.

Summing up the supporting role of the new technologies, EPC general counsel Le Shengli says, “The goal is to make the theatres more international, more iconic and more artistic. We aim to make Nine Trees Shanghai Future Art Centre a place that belongs not only to the Fengxian District but to all of Shanghai and, more importantly, a home for artists from throughout the world.”

Meyer Sound •