Originally built in the late ’20s, Montreal’s landmark Olympia Theatre recently underwent a renovation project and technical facilities update. As part of the plan, local sound and lighting provider Kloda Focus Group was called on to supply the venue with a new P.A. system, which is now accompanied by a Soundcraft Vi6 digital live sound console feeding Crown-powered JBL VerTec arrays.
“For a digital console, the Soundcraft Vi6 has a shallow learning curve and is very easy to use, which is a great advantage for visiting engineers,” offers Mathieu Guilbault, who serves as front-of-house mixer for the theater and co-designed the new system. “The console’s EQ and dynamics sections also sound great. I’m very happy with the choice we made.”
With two floors and a seating capacity of 1,370 patrons—up to 2,800 for standing audiences—Olympia Theatre hosts a wide variety of musical and related events ranging from hip hop, electronic, punk and rock to gospel choirs, jazz, plays and conferences. The venue’s new sound system was installed as a cooperative project between Guilbault and Kloda Focus Group’s chief of sound, Bill Kinal. “We were looking for a state-of-the-art solution,” Kinal recalls, “and eventually decided on an all-Harman system that would incorporate as much all-digital technology as possible to ensure the highest sound quality.”
“The two-layer control surface, with 32 faders flipping between upper and lower configurations, is perfect,” the FOH mixer continues. “We can also handle a combination of analog and digital sources, routing to a very flexible array of group and auxiliary outputs, and/or the main stereo buses.
Outputs from the Soundcraft Vi6 console connect digitally to a pair of dbx DriveRack 4800s that enable system delay, equalization and 8-in/16-out signal distribution to Crown I-Tech 4000 and XTi 1000 amplifiers powering the loudspeaker cabinets. An analog Soundcraft MH3 40-channel/12-auxiliary console handles onstage monitoring. Floor monitors include four JBL SRX712 and six JBL VRX915 wedges powered by Crown XTi 2000 and XTi 4000 amplifiers. Two JBL SRX725 cabinets are available for side-fills.
The flown line array comprises 16 compact JBL VerTec VT4887 (eight per side) augmented by two pairs of VT4880 dual-18 subwoofers. Four JBL MS26 cabinets handle front-fills, powered by a single Crown XTi 1000. A rack of 10 Crown I-Tech 4000 amplifiers power the line arrays and side-fills. Harman Pro HiQnet software handles overall system control and monitoring.