Hawthorn Town Hall, located in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, has taken on new life as a venue deemed integral to the artistic and cultural life of the community. Opened in 1890, the building housed the council chambers for the City of Hawthorn until 1994. Since then it has been used as a library, museum and gallery space.
The building, along with the connecting and adjacent office annex built in the 1980s, is currently being redeveloped into the Hawthorn Art Centre. The $17.9 million redevelopment includes new sound reinforcement systems using Adamson Metrix-I line array enclosures and Metrix Sub-I dual 15-inch subwoofers in both the venue's main hall and chandelier room.
The final system designs were created and optimized by Simon Tait of CMI, who also commissioned and tuned the systems.
Hanson and Associates, the consultant on the project, set a very stringent set of criteria for the new system in the main hall, including a minimum STI (Speech Transfer Index) of 0.6 coupled with a +/-3 dB variance between 80 Hz and 15 kHz across the entire listening area.
Installation of delay zones was not feasible for aesthetic reasons, therefore the entire throw in the room, approximately 100 feet, had to be accomplished using only the front arrays.
Tait specified main arrays each comprised of eight Metrix-I enclsoures flown left and right, with Metrix Sub-I subwoofers also provided for applications requiring enhanced low end. The only additional loudspeakers in the system are attached to the face of the stage to bolster coverage to the front seating rows. Rutledge AV installed the system under Project Manager Daniel Woodward.
"The system delivers excellent speech intelligibility, consistency of coverage and tons of headroom," says Tait. "Subjectively, it sounds superb at every seat and is eminently suited for applications as diverse as spoken word, musical theatre and full-blown rock."
The chandelier room is a much smaller space that accommodates up to 200 depending upon how the room is used. Two left-right arrays, comprised of 4 Metrix-I enclosures, were installed above the small balcony in the room. The system provides the flexibility required for the variety of applications the room hosts.
The new systems are powered by MC2-T1500 amplifiers in bridged mode for the subs, MC2-T3500 for midrange frequencies and MC2-T1500 for HF. Speaker management is performed by a group of four XTA-DC1048 processors.
"The diversity of both systems is the key to making sure they deliver value for money to the venue for years to come," Tait concludes.