News & References

Installation

Northumbria University students union standardises on RCF

All main facilities on campus now equipped by Nitelites

Based in the heart of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the Students Union at Northumbria University boasts excellent campus facilities.
Following a series of upgrades in the past 12 months all the principal Student Union (NSU) spaces have been equipped with premium RCF sound systems. This applies to Reds Bar, with its leather upholstered booth seating and full 300-capacity performance stage, which can accommodate up to 900 students; Domain, its biggest, multipurpose venue, which has already hosted some of NSU’s bigger gigs, including Ed Sheeran, Ella Eyre, Anthrax, London Grammar and Soul II Soul; Habita, its award-winning stylish and relaxed cocktail bar; and finally Stage 2, a purpose built theatre performance space, which is used for student assessments and shows.

“When I took over the department in 2014 we talked about the future of gigs and formed a relationship with [local RCF partner] Nitelites. Since then, we have systematically moved over to RCF.”

The man responsible for standardising on RCF is NSU’s Technical Services Manager, Seb Cockcroft. “When I took over the department in 2014 we talked about the future of gigs and formed a relationship with [local RCF partner] Nitelites. Since then, we have systematically moved over to RCF.”
REDS
Having become accustomed to hiring in RCF gear from Nitelites, NSU had become familiar with the best selling HDL10-A and HDL20-A composite line arrays from the D-Line series — and a system was duly requisitioned for Reds.
Cockcroft explains, “I borrowed some HDL10 which we ground stacked after our old system failed on a club night — and we fell in love with it. This got us through until we purchased the system. We needed to upgrade anyway because the old system was 15-20 years old.” Nitelites supplied and installed four HDL10-A per side, with a pair of 21” TTS56-A subwoofers adding high-powered LF extension.

“You can't go wrong with [the HDL10-A] and for the price it represents great value and is well maintained"

The system has operated over a heavy duty cycle since the beginning of the year. “You can't go wrong with [the HDL10-A] and for the price it represents great value and is well maintained. In particular we have a lot of club nights here so you can never have too much sub — and the TTS56-A is extremely powerful. “Active systems are always preferable in my book and RCF was always my first choice.”
The versatile 1800-capacity Domain boasts a full AV infrastructure which is reflected in its usage by many of the Student Union societies. It can also be partitioned off to create a half space (with 650 capacity). But with a lot of hard surfaces sound reflections were an issue, and along with Nitelites, Seb Cockcroft has developed an optimum solution after a series of mismatched combinations had been used previously. He has purchased four NXL44-A enclosures — one of the real line source innovations in the RCF portfolio. With a pair sat either side of the stage the sound is delivered from three 10” neodymium woofers and a 1.4” driver with 3“ voice coil — all tuned to deliver uniform coverage and an extended frequency range, via on-board DSP a two-channel digital amp.

“Aside from the myriad of events we use it for gigs as well, with the addition of subs.”

This guarantees coherency to the back of the room. “Although we demoed it first it was an obvious solution,” says Seb Cockcroft. “Aside from the myriad of events we use it for gigs as well, with the addition of subs.” But Domain is also an RCF HDL20 facility, offered as standard spec with a TTS36-A sub — all supplied by Nitelites. “We offer various packages [to incoming productions], typically with six HDL20-A per side and four or six TTS36-A subs — with the new HDL6-A for lipfills.” The line array is stacked on the subs since the system can’t be flown.
In terms of capacity, while the room can take 600 delegates seated, for Ben Howard an incredible 1900 packed into the venue and overhead balcony.

"These columns have all the advantage of a line source so coherence over distance is good.”

Summarising, Cockcroft says of the NXL44-A, “It’s a great general purpose box, since it sounds great and there’s no drop off and. Previously the sound in the front had to be so loud but you would still would lose it at the back. These columns have all the advantage of a line source so coherence over distance is good.”
And Nitelites’ Ed Gamble underlines its popularity with smaller rental companies, many of whom his company has supplied. “They opt for it because of the versatility. The advantage is that it’s a line source, the reproduction over distance is great, it looks attractive … and it’s a one man lift.”
HABITA Habita is NSU’s main hub — a thriving sports bar with coffee house sessions for up and coming acts on the circuit, and with a generous 750 capacity. The old PA system was ripped out to make way for an RCF Acustica C Series solution, with four C3110 and 12 C3108 underpinned with three S8018 Mk2 subs. The amp rack, now relocated from the enclosed control room to the open main space to provide more venting, comprises three RCF IPS 2700 (2 x 1100 W RMS @ 4Ω), along with a pair of IPS 3700 (2 x 1500 W RMS @ 4Ω) which drive the subs. At the same time they replaced the mixing desk with a fully-featured 12-channel RCF LPAD 12CX, with internal effects.

STAGE 2 & PORTABLE
Finally, Stage 2 has been equipped with a pair of RCF’s active ART 322-A in studio theatre, while ART 712-A, ART 315-A with a pair of SUB 8003-AS subwoofers are used as a roving portable system along with the subs for use anywhere in the building.

"the fact that the RCF brand is well known, is of good quality and we can hire the system in from Nitelites provides them with complete reassurance.”

Summarising, Seb Cockcroft says, “Anything that’s purchased has to be justified by NSU. They want to see longevity and the fact that the RCF brand is well known, is of good quality and we can hire the system in from Nitelites provides them with complete reassurance.”
.