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Colburn School Installs L-Acoustics KIVA System

Colburn School exterior. Photo: Arden Ash.

The Colburn School, located in the heart of the music and arts district in downtown Los Angeles, has installed an L-Acoustics KIVA line source array system with KILO low-frequency extension speakers in Thayer Hall, a newly constructed 200-seat performance and instruction space. The loudspeaker system, which is powered by L-Acoustics LA4 amplified controllers and also includes the company’s 108P self-powered reference monitors for L/C/R stage lip fill, was specified by A/V consultants Sonitus and is integrated into a campus-wide audio and video network.

Sonitus principal Fred Vogler, an L.A.-based independent consultant, sound designer and engineer, recommended the setup of four ultra-compact KIVA line source array elements flown below a single KILO LF extension on each side of the intimate Thayer Hall stage. “I’ve had success using L-Acoustics speakers at the Hollywood Bowl,” he explains. Vogler works the entire summer season of L.A. Philharmonic and contemporary music events at the Hollywood Bowl, which features substantial V-DOSC and dV-DOSC arrays. “My experience with L-Acoustics has shown that it’s a great speaker for all types of music, whether it’s heavy rock or subtle classical amplification.”

The KIVA and KILO systems, which were introduced less than a year ago, were suited for the new Thayer Hall installation for a number of reasons, he says. “These are the baby brothers of the dV-DOSC and brand new on the scene, and we didn’t need something that was too imposing. Especially in a small concert hall, you don’t want a large eyesore of loudspeaker technology. The coloring and shape of them also matches the style of this facility.”

Sonitus is an affiliation of independent consultants that offers sonic environment solutions, says Vogler. “There are a couple of folks that work with me and we divvy up the workload; somebody designs the audio network paths, someone looks over the video elements.”

Colburn School’s Thayer Hall. Photo by Arden Ash

Thayer Hall, which opened in September, is additionally outfitted for Webcasting, video displays and long-distance teaching. “We’re excited because the L-Acoustics system integrates well with all of the digital networking that we’re providing,” adds Vogler. “We have CobraNet for live sound and EtherSound for recorded elements. We can channel it locally at each of the performance venues or distribute it throughout the campus, including the internal cable video network.”

The new hall is part of a $120 million, 326,000-square-foot, 12-story expansion of the Colburn School, known as the Olive building, which incorporates performance, rehearsal and teaching facilities, a student lounge and publicly accessible cafeteria, and residential housing for up to 145 students. The performance space is also used for student film nights. “They have a large screen that can drop down on the upstage side of the stage,” Vogler reports. “The KIVA arrays then become the left and right channels for the movie sound.”

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