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Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York City Installs d&b audiotechnik System

Photo: Aislinn Weidele

In 1998, The Public Theater in New York City, a non-profit organization in the heart of the East Village, opened live performance venue with 200 seats known as Joe’s Pub, named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp. To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Joe’s Pub renovated its interior and invested in a new sound system, which took some extra time to specify.

Director Shanta Thake explains: “Our venue space is very unusual. With the stage positioned in the corner of a large bar, and the sound mixer located in the balcony, there are so many nooks and crannies to address. With over 360 days of performances per year, big name productions, and a variety of performance styles, we needed a system that could be ready for anything. When Acme Professional introduced us to d&b audiotechnik, our sound guy’s eyes just lit up. I took that as a good sign!”

Photo: Bernie DeChant

“It’s a fact that d&b has a few systems now, including the White range used at Joe’s Pub, that will be a game changer for the U.S. market,” says Tom Clark of Acme Professional, the audio consultants engaged for the Joe’s Pub project. Clark has used d&b for many projects recently, including other events for The Public Theater. “It was important to understand that Joe’s Pub wanted to buy a system, not rent it. Our goal was to offer them security in a system that would last and one that would function well with their extreme versatility as a venue. Plus, with the busy performance schedule at Joe’s Pub, we only had one day to install; in that respect, d&b rigs easily and sounds great with little adjustment.”

Acme’s design solution pulled from various d&b systems to create custom coverage for the venue. Above center stage hang three 10A d&b loudspeakers with a single 10AL-D loudspeaker hung above. The single 10AL-D is there to address some seating in the back of the room. It avoids the balcony, where the audio mix is located with it’s own E8 mix fill loudspeaker, and helps target an area of the venue where the center cluster needs some extra support. The design also used a set of four floor understage 18S-SUBs to provide the low end; while on each side of the stage, a single 12S-D, a 2-way point source loudspeaker with 90-degree rotatable HF horn, provides 110×55-degree (HxV) coverage, explains Clark.

Photo: Paul Wagtouic

“The fact that all these loudspeakers are passive boxes meant the number of d&b amplifiers required to drive the system is minimal,” Clark says. “Due to the location of everything within Joe’s Pub, the design was a bit tricky, so we had to get creative. That said, d&b was an easy choice due the options in coverage and size of loudspeaker, especially since all systems work together seamlessly.”

“It’s always a goal to cater to the people who will have to use our sound systems every day, especially at Joe’s Pub where they pretty much have a show every single day,” says Michael Eisenberg, d&b audiotechnik Regional Manager for the Northeastern U.S., who supported Acme Professional. “Design was the biggest challenge on this project, but Tom was able to find a solution so the center cluster could carry audio for the whole room. Like most New Yorkers, I have attended a few shows at Joe’s Pub throughout the years. It’s a high energy venue, and fun to be in the audience. I can say with confidence that the new sound system makes a big difference.”

“We love it. We wanted to provide the best possible experience for every seat in the house, and feel confident that we have the best sound in New York for a venue our size,” says Thake, “Now, we most certainly can say both.”

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