â€“â€“Pacific Sound & Lightâ€™s Challenging Flagship Venue Installationâ€“â€“
Having provided technical infrastructures for three other Glee Clubs around the country, Paul Duffyâ€™s Pacific Sound & Light faced their toughest challenge yet masterminding the new flagship venue, set in a former Jongleurs in Nottinghamâ€™s historic British Waterways Building.
Owned by Mark Tughanâ€™s Comic Enterprises, these hybrid theatres host a diverse program of entertainmentâ€“â€“from comedy to eclectic folk and emerging and established artists. But it was the enormous width and narrow depth of Nottinghamâ€™s main theater, complemented by a â€˜letterboxâ€™ balcony with raked seating and difficult sightlines that provided the real challenge.
Pacific needed to source a sound system that would give even venue coverage across the frequency range â€” whoever was performing on stage. Having provided problem-free Martin Audio solutions to Comic Enterprises for the past ten years, the British manufacturer again became Paul Duffyâ€™s first port of call. â€œAfter using
EMs in the early days and later Blackline, we were introduced to the new W8VDQ hybrid,â€? explained Duffy.
After attending a demonstration at Martin Audioâ€™s High Wycombe HQ he knew he had found his solution. Combining line array and differential dispersion technologies to provide an advanced solution to provide even coverage over wide angles and throw distances, the system was designed for an awkward shaped venue such as this.
The short throw horizontal dispersion is 120Âº, narrowing to 100Âº as throw increases. Comic Enterprisesâ€™ artistic director Alistair Cunningham had requested high-end sound reinforcement with the emphasis on speech intelligibility; and Paul Duffyâ€™s concern was to provide rider-friendly components while being further hampered by the existing steels and infrastructure within a Grade II-listed building. Martin Audio lent technical support in the form of Al Brown and the room measurements were taken and dispersion characteristics duly formulated.
â€œThe sound needed to be very focused,â€? stated Duffy. â€œWe stripped out the old Jongleurs system and set out to replace lots of speakers on delays with a single point source; the wide dispersion characteristics of the VDQ fitted the bill perfectly.â€? A total of nine W8VDQâ€™s were commandeered â€” a pair each mounted to the steel stanchions in the main space, left and right of stage (one front facing the other for outfills).
Meanwhile, up on the roof a classic L/C/R design, with the enclosures flown from the steel joists, fires deep into the balcony. A pair of Martin Audio WS218X subs is provided to add low-end extension â€” and these can be relocated to the second room as necessary, since the VDQâ€™s are quite capable of reinforcing the full vocal range for speech without further assistance. The remaining pair of W8VDQâ€™s are used, front-facing, down in the smaller first floor room, with outfills provided by a pair of Martin Audio AQ8â€™s. A dedicated DX2 system controller processes and optimizes the main theatre sound, and a DX1.5 does likewise in the smaller room, while artists benefit from six of Martin Audioâ€™s low-profile LE1200â€™s for their reference sound.
To complete the Martin Audio inventory, Pacific Sound & Light specified Martin Audio MA6.8Q and MA4.8Q amplifiers to drive the primary systems. As such, the two venues can operate independently and in isolation, at the same time benefitting from portable kit and the flexibility of a CAT 5 cabling infrastructure. Pacific Sound & Light have also handled the lighting, favoring LED fresnels, color bars and house lights, all run off an Avolites Pearl Tiger.
The new Glee Club now has capacity for 450 seated (700 standing) in the main theatre and 250 seated (350 standing) in the second room. The sound system installation was masterminded by Matt Trigg and the venueâ€™s production manager Jon Nash says, â€œPacific have angled the enclosures perfectly â€” particularly in the way they have managed to cover the first two rows of the balcony, where the sightlines are undisturbed.â€? And Paul Duffy concluded, â€œThe owners have always been happy with Martin Audio â€” which consistently exceeds their expectations.â€?
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