Since first opening its doors in 2005, the Holland Performing Arts Center (HPAC) in Omaha, Nebraska, has been celebrated as a world class concert hall. Originally designed almost a decade ago to enrich live acoustic performances, the 2,000-seat space is used for a variety of purposes, showcasing jazz, blues and popular performers presented by Omaha Performing Arts, and is also home to the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, which plays here several times per month.
"It is all about the audience experience," says Omaha Performing Arts Production Manager, Kate Williams. "Whether seated on the main floor, or anywhere in the two-tier balcony, the Peter Kiewit Concert Hall at the Holland Performing Arts Center hopes to offer even, balanced coverage for every person."
After almost a decade the venue had noticed a significant increase in the number of amplified shows it hosts. "While the room is ideal for acoustic or lightly amplified performances, our old audio system was aging and becoming no longer competitive in the entertainment market," Williams says. "We just weren't capable of providing the listening experience we wanted, so we decided to make a change."
The HPAC was looking to for an amplified system that would match and preserve the acoustic audio quality of the auditorium. Reaching out to Threshold Acoustics, Williams says she appreciated how the team, led by Jonathan Laney, "took time to understand the pros of the room, while also exploring how to control the cons. The long, shoebox design made it challenging, as we needed a loudspeaker that would focus energy on the audience and off the walls. Our biggest struggle was finding a solution that wouldn't slam the front of the room or create shadows in the back. Confident in the flexible nature, narrow throw, and accurate directionality of their loudspeakers, we all decided d&b audiotechnik was the best choice for the concert hall."
Together with d&b partner Audio Logic and use of the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software, the new audio design took careful consideration of each loudspeaker selection, coverage and placement. From the Qi10s employed in the center cluster, to the E8 under balcony delay system, each element addressed a specific venue need. Both J-SUBs and B4-SUBs are also used in the room, all running from D6 and D12 amplifiers. The T10s selected for the front-fills have deliberately been left as portable components, so they can easily be redeployed for use in the main entrance, as well as rehearsal and conference rooms.
"We are thrilled," Williams says. "I have often seen d&b on tour riders, and now I understand why. I'm proud to be able to communicate what we have with other audio professionals, because we all trust the d&b sound system to do what is promised. It's a warm, lovely room, and we've finally found a solution to highlight its full glory, regardless of performance type.
"Threshold Acoustics, Audio Logic, and d&b have allowed us to offer a wide variety of performances, such as comedians, jazz and rock concerts on the Omaha Performing Arts subscription series, lectures and meetings, and the Omaha Symphony Pops and Rocks calendar, to have a more reliable experience at HPAC," Williams concludes. "The artists are happy, the technicians are happy, and perhaps most important, the audience leaves happy. That's what I watch for. Making the switch to d&b makes my whole day easier. We only wish we'd done it sooner."