Gent, Belgium (July 13, 2021)—Billed as the oldest building in the world that permanently serves as a concert hall, De Bijloke in Gent, Belgium was originally built in the 13th century as a hospital. Having hosted jazz, classical music and theater presentations since the 1980s, the venue recently installed a brand-new d&b audiotechnik sound system as part of a major refurbishment project.
Acoustic treatment was a priority to be considered in the refurbishment plans as the wooden roof structure naturally absorbed a lot of sound and the ancient walls had warped, therefore reflecting most sounds away from the audience. Acoustical engineering company Arup took on the challenge of revamping the venue’s acoustics.
Despite those changes, installing a sound system was challenging for system integrator Amptec. Not only is the hall long, but due to the age of the wooden roof structure, there were limited rigging options for the delay speakers.
As part of a tender process Amptec demonstrated the d&b Y-Series at the hall, and ultimately installed the system in combination with an R90 control panel. “Our goal was to make daily operation as simple as possible; with the R90 all system parameters can be set at the push of a button,” said Brecht Ieven, project manager at Amptec. “The main system consists of two eight-deep Yi8 line arrays. We used the ArrayProcessing function to optimize both frequency and level distribution for the entire audience area. This use of ArrayProcessing meant we did not need delay speakers, which solved the problem of not being able to fix anything to the walls.”
Natan Rosseel, technical and production coordination at De Bijloke, shared, “Since our official opening in September, we’ve had a lot of socially distanced concerts where visiting sound engineers, artists and the audience have complimented us on the astonishing sound quality. Thanks to the renovation of the hall and a perfectly integrated sound system, the city of Ghent now has an excellent new concert hall to be proud of.”
d&b audiotechnik • www.dbaudio.com