Installation
Sound Advice carries out complete audio upgrade as mediaeval meets post-modern
Back in 2010, when the medieval Tewkesbury Abbey was considering the installation of a new LED environmental lighting system it simultaneously saw the opportunity to rectify the problems it had been having with its sound system — which was becoming unreliable and lacking in intelligibility — and at the same time take advantage of the new cabling infrastructure.
The contract went out to tender, and from the five companies originally approached, Jon Hunnisett’s Sound Advice PA Installation, specialists in houses of worship, provided the successful bid. He based his proposal around an RCF VSA (Vertical Steerable Array) solution, having seen it successfully deployed in other famous heritage buildings such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
VSA would need to be sensitively installed in Tewkesbury’s Grade I-listed visitor attraction under the watchful eye of the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee) since it dates back to Norman times. In fact The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin (to use its correct name), is the second largest parish church in the country and a former Benedictine monastery. Founded in 1087 by nobleman Robert FitzHamon, building of the present Abbey did not start until 1102 and was eventually consecrated in 1121.
Jon Hunnisett’s company has worked on many projects with RCF — aside from installing column speakers in houses of worship they have fitted many of their conference systems in commercial meeting rooms and chambers. “They are a great company to deal with — we always get excellent support, including the technical expertise in Italy to back us up,” he said.
In this case the back-up came from the project manager from RCF’s in-house division, who provided the measurements and analyses. This gave the project team the acoustic background in which to design their series of VSA2050, VSA1250 and VSA850 columns in a six zone system incorporating the main Nave, Quire and Lady Chapel.
In another zone — the Ambulatory walkway which runs around the perimeter behind the altar — these were supplemented by eight passive CS6940, powered by a pair of RCF UP8504 quad channel power amps, a column speaker the installer has used on many occasions in the past (and which features in Westminster Abbey).
Hunnisett continues, “This time around I didn't want a large number of distributed speakers with separate delays so much as minimal equipment that would provide a lot of options with more versatile delay and EQ options. I had heard VSA and knew it would tick all the boxes while still hitting the price points.”
And so in addition to the high directivity CS6940, he specified a total of six of RCF’s flagship VSA2050 powered and steerable vertical array columns (four for the nave and two for the high altar), five VSA1250 (for the Choir, the Font and Lady Chapel) and a pair of VSA850, which sit under a pair of the larger VSA’s either side of the aisle at the front of the nave. While the VSA2050s handle the long throw focus over a 20-metre distance, the VSA850’s cover the near-field. The two VSA1250, installed on pillars facing the Font, provide independent local coverage for specific services.
The Diocesan Committee were already aware of the power and flexibility of the preset beam patterns, as the Sound Advice team had earlier provided a VSA demonstration to the entire Abbey church committee. “We put one speaker up and they were enormously impressed,” Jon Hunnisett remembers. “As a result, the Faculty immediately approved [the investment].
“The trick was to use the loudspeakers in conjunction with the excellent natural acoustics of the space to amplify the sound, rather than try to overpower the reverberation.”
So what attributes make this multi-amplified RCF series, in which each VSA2050 contains 20 x 3.5in RCF neodymium full range transducers and 20 x Class D 50W digital amps, so impressive? The principle is based on the power of the DSP’s which process the audio signal sent to each speaker for controlling its vertical acoustic dispersion. This enables it to address the audio signal to the listening area, rather than scattering acoustic energy to ceilings and empty floors, creating unwanted reflections that would affect speech intelligibility in buildings with high reverberation time, such as churches. This speaker offers vertical coverage selectable within 10°-30°, with steering angle selectable within 0°-40°, and frequency response 100Hz-18KHz with best steerable directivity control between 150Hz-6kHz.
The values measured at the end of commissioning by the RCF team, using the latest analysis software, make interesting reading. STI average values were recorded at: 0.57 (Nave), 0.59 (Choir), 0.56 (Lady Chapel, Ambulatory), with a 40dB background noise correction factor enabled. At the same time, the RT60 average value over different measurements on octave bands revealed 4.85 secs (125Hz), 4.63 secs (250Hz), 4.44 secs (500Hz), 4.18 secs (1KHz), 3.36 secs (2KHz), 2.08 secs (4KHz) and 0.94 secs (8KHz).
The decision had already been taken to leave the speakers in factory finish white, rather than apply a custom stone finish that would see them disappear into the stone columns on which they were mounted, but the same was not true of the cable runs — on 12-metre drops from the Triforium above — as these have been painted to blend invisibly into the background.
Yet these physical demands were nothing compared to the challenges of providing highly sophisticated control that could nevertheless be managed intuitively from a remote Crestron interactive touch tablet. Even clergy in a mediaeval abbey are still expected to sign up to the iPad/remote tablet generation.
With all the control housed in a remote 32U rack, the architecture is based around three Symetrix DSP Radius digital 12 x 8 matrix devices, giving 36 input channels (including CD player and recorder) feeding 24 output channels; it is this that issues relay commands via the processor.
Jon Hunnisett explains the rationale. “There was not a manual slider available which would meet the requirement and so we spent ten days programming each of the zones so that the matrix could be controlled over wi-fi, with individual input control and volume control for the outputs.”
For the speaker coverage it could scarcely be simpler as graphic representations of each zone appear on the tablet, clearly showing masked areas that can be selected for sound coverage, depending on the service rota. “For example,” says Hunnisett, “for the Lady Chapel the remote touch screen would tell the DSP to access certain outputs as required. Behind the scenes a lot of programming has taken place to achieve this.”
The iPad also contains an app for the radio mics so that the control panel will show whether any of the five lapel mics are muted or not, as well as the status of the rechargeable batteries. These radios are joined by two condenser microphones for the lectern and pulpit, hardwired to the equipment rack.
An audio feed is also sent to the new induction loop system, but as RCF’s Phil Price notes: “Some people may be reluctant to use aids, even though they may be hard of hearing — but now they can hear every word of the sermon. Another interesting fact about the new sound reinforcement system is that if there is choral music at low level the sound appears to come from the choir itself rather than from the speakers.”
At the end of it all, mediaeval abbeys were never built to host music — such as CD’s for weddings and baptisms — and were hardly built with slide rule precision. At the survey stage Jon Hunnisett realised that the pillars down the nave tilted slightly, and he had to decide whether to follow the line of the pillars with the steerable columns or take a true vertical approach (which he eventually opted for, with the aid of a laser leveller).
He could scarcely be happier with the implementation. “The new set-up offers two-way interactivity and with all the DSP pre-programmed, and the beam steering computer optimised by the RCF specialists, anyone who can tap a button can now use this.”
Corporate
RCF has appointed Freund Elektronik A/S to handle all their voice alarm products in Denmark.
The new partnership was confirmed, with immediate effect, by Jørgen Freund, director of the Danish company, and Phil Price, who has taken on a new role heading up Voice Evacuation, Commercial Audio and Installed Sound for RCF in Europe.
Founded in 1981 to supply the country’s wholesalers and electricians with high quality products, Freund Elektronik A/S has been specialising in the sale of Voice Alarm systems for the past ten years.
States Freund Elektronik technical consultant, Thomas Knoth, “We researched the market, and realising that RCF was the industry leader, we approached them at ISE 2015.
“With the new and high demands of voice evacuation equipment we were pleased to discover that RCF had EN54 compliance on all their VA products, combined with easy installation.”
He added that with the company’s heritage in supplying fire alarm and fire protection equipment the partnership with RCF was a natural fit. “With the RCF VA systems portfolio we will be able to offer customers product that fits perfectly within their field of specialisation,” he said.
In reply, Phil Price added, “RCF has been involved in PA/VA for over 15 years and this marries well with the our general pro audio heritage, stretching back 66 years.
“However, with the new EN54 legislation we decided to make a major investment in our in-house technology by mounting a strategic and ongoing R&D programme.
“In some instances this has required a channel to market that differs from our traditional routes, and in identifying suitable partners in the fire and voice alarm sector, I met Freund Elektronik. I was very impressed with the technical support they offer customers and their ethos of long-term after-sales support — and this made me realise that they were a partner we could work with.”
Pic (left to right): Jørgen Freund, Thomas Knoth, Phil Price and Kenneth Freund
Installation
Seven years after the grandeur of Harrogate’s iconic Royal Hall was restored following an £8m grant-assisted investment, the theatre has installed a digitally steerable RCF column PA system.
With its spectacular décor, the Grade II*-listed 1000 seat multipurpose theatre not only forms part of the large Harrogate International Conference Centre (HIC) but significantly is one of the few surviving Frank Matcham-designed theatres from the Edwardian era. Among its many technological breakthroughs, it remains the last surviving Kursaal, a genre which was particularly popular in spa towns, offering a 360° ambulatory for visitors.
Originally designed 115 years ago, the venue is focused on a wide range of performance, from the three-week International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival to a myriad of community activities. Therefore, the new sound system needed to be versatile and distribute sound evenly across the three tiers, while the heritage listing meant that the system needed to be free standing and easily demountable.
The house’s technical manager, Ross Simpson, and in-house sound engineer, James Burn, pointed out that a raked stage further compromised placement of the PA – and a flown system was not an option.
“Technology has evolved a lot over the past four or five years since we first went digital with our new mixing desk,” said Simpson.
When local rental and installation company AV Matrix hired in their lightweight and steerable active RCF TTL11A-H/TTL11A-B columns — mounted on TTS26 subs — to reinforce last year’s Tour de France opening dinner they believed they had found the solution.
And by the time the Gilbert & Sullivan Festival took place at Harrogate later that summer an identical system had been installed by Mark Parker’s company, along with a pair of NX L-24A active processed columns on each side of the balcony, to delay the sound firing into the upper tiers. The top speakers are inverted for improved acoustic coupling while a loudspeaker management system controls the delay times and preset parameters.
The sophisticated 96 Khz, 32-bit DSP-controlled column speaker array system, composed of two modules — one for the mid-high and one for the bass frequencies — is vertically steerable down to -10° (in 1° increments), either manually or via RCF’s proprietary RDNet software, and delivers 90° horizontal coverage. With the addition of the new TTS26-A subwoofer, the TTL11A system becomes a powerful, compact and high definition live sound system.
James Burn is in no doubt of the benefits the RCF solution has brought, although HIC Yorkshire auditioned several top-line systems before making their decision. “The TTL11-A is a small footprint system, visually unobtrusive, but sufficiently potent to encourage incoming productions to use the in-house set-up. And because we are able to steer the sound dispersion electronically we can achieve even distribution, with far greater intelligibility than what we had previously.
“There’s also better isolation on stage than the previous system. For performers wearing lapel mics the feedback rejection is so much better and we can avoid radio mic feedback when we bring the system forward, if the stage needs to be built out.”
He concluded, “The RCF system delivers even coverage for conference, speech, music, CD playback and awards ceremonies. The sound now gets to the back quite easily and by monitoring the consistent SPL in the control booth we also know it’s not deafening the front rows.”
Event
Un progetto vasto e complesso, con 3 linee di ritardo sull’area di oltre 120 mila metri quadri che hanno garantito una resa perfetta di voce e strumenti a centinaia di metri dal palco
Oltre 3 ore di concerto, per uno spettacolo grandioso che ha celebrato 25 anni di carriera di Luciano Ligabue, con più di 150 mila spettatori. L’evento è anche il risultato del lavoro di centinaia di professionisti che hanno fornito il loro supporto alla realizzazione di soluzioni efficienti e originali per lo spettacolo, sotto la supervisione di Franco Comanducci, responsabile di produzione.
Ancora una volta Ligabue ha scelto RCF per l’impianto audio. “La collaborazione con RCF risale al 2012 ed è ormai consolidata” spiega Claudio Maioli, manager del cantante, ricordando gli spettacoli alla Royal Albert Hall nel 2012, le notti all’arena di Verona nel 2013 e il tour nei palazzetti e negli stadi nel 2014. Per il Campo Volo 2015 RCF ha progettato un impianto da 2 megawatt, in grado di fornire una copertura audio impeccabile a tutta l’enorme area d’ascolto, pari a oltre 120 mila metri quadri. Il main principale era costituito da 2 cluster di 24 unità di moduli attivi a tre vie TTL55-A appesi, più 2 cluster da 12 subwoofer TTL36-AS. Come ulteriore rinforzo delle basse frequenze sono stati posizionati a terra 72 subwoofer TTS56-A, in configurazione cardioide e curvati elettronicamente, sormontati da 20 unità di moduli attivi a tre vie TTL33-A II come front-fill. Due cluster da 20 TTL55-A sono stati utilizzati per il side-fill. Di RCF anche gli stage monitor modello TT45-SMA e TT25-SMA, presenti sullo spettacolare palcoscenico del Campo Volo.
Come spiegano gli ingegneri di RCF, il requisito fondamentale del progetto risiede nella capacità di coprire l’ampia distanza fra palco e ascoltatori: le ultime file del pubblico, infatti, si trovavano alla distanza record di circa 300 metri dal palco. Allo scopo di garantire una perfetta resa delle caratteristiche timbriche e un buon livello di pressione sonora, la zona d’ascolto è stata suddivisa in 4 aree, la prima delle quali coperta direttamente dal sistema principale, mentre le altre tre servite da linee di ritardo studiate ad hoc. La prima linea di ritardo era costituita da 6 cluster di 16 unità di TTL55-A ad arco. La seconda linea di ritardo, collocata a circa 120 metri dal palco, comprendeva 7 cluster da 12 unità di TTL55-A e 4 unità di TTS56-A ciascuno. Infine la terza linea, a 170 metri, era composta da 6 cluster di 12 TTL55-A e 4 TTS56-A, per il rinforzo delle basse frequenze. Durante lo show, l’utilizzo del software di monitoraggio RDNet ha consentito agli ingegneri di RCF di controllare da remoto in tempo reale lo stato del sistema e di correggere le equalizzazioni tramite tablet.
Alberto Butturini, FoH dell’evento, si è espresso in termini fortemente positivi. “Enorme potenza e caratteristiche timbriche perfette per un concerto con un contenuto di chitarra molto elevato,” ha commentato il fonico. “Ho potuto lavorare con ottimi risultati sulle frequenze della voce di Ligabue, che ha risaltato nel migliore dei modi da un mix potente e pieno di strumenti.” Ricordando le precedenti esperienze nei tour passati di Ligabue, Butturini spiega: “L’impianto di RCF è risultato adeguato anche nelle location più ostiche, come certi palazzetti di provincia con ambienti acusticamente difficili”.
Willy Gubellini, titolare della rental company Nuovo Service con oltre 30 anni di esperienza, sottolinea un ulteriore punto di forza del sistema di RCF: le dimensioni contenute dei moduli e la presenza di amplificatori a bordo, che ne hanno ridotto l’ingombro e il peso. Gubellini ha lodato inoltre la qualità delle risorse umane dell’azienda reggiana e il loro contributo fondamentale per il megaevento: “Un’altra caratteristica vincente di Campo Volo 2015 è il buon rapporto che si è creato con il team di RCF, la cui disponibilità e competenza nel seguirci durante tutte le operazioni ci hanno consentito di mettere a punto l’installazione nel migliore dei modi”, ha spiegato. Un mix di competenze tecniche di alto livello e passione per l’audio, dunque, quello che ha permesso a RCF di siglare un altro successo al 100% Made in Italy con Ligabue.
FoH N.48 TTL55-A main N.40 TTL55-A side-fill N.24 TTL36-AS subwoofer N. 72 TTS56-A subwoofer N. 20 TTL33-A II frontfill
1° DELAY: 6x16 TTL55-A, 2x4 TTS56-A 2° DELAY: 7x12 TTL55-A, 7x4 TTS56-A 3° DELAY: 6x12 TTL55-A, 6x4 TTS56-A
Monitor N. 6 TT45-SMA monitor N. 6 TT25-SMA monitor
Event
L'evento musicale dell'anno è frutto di una collaborazione al 100% reggiana: artista, location e impianto sonoro all'avanguardia, per un totale di 2 milioni di watt.
Reggio Emilia si prepara per la grande festa di sabato 19 settembre, quando da tutt’Italia accorreranno al Campovolo per assistere a quello che sarà il concerto più lungo della carriera di Ligabue, uno spettacolare evento celebrativo dei 25 anni di carriera del rocker reggiano.
Reggiano l’artista, reggiana la location, reggiano anche l’impianto sonoro. Per l’area del concerto, pari a circa 240 mila metri quadri, è stato sviluppato un sistema audio di portata impressionante firmato RCF. Ci vorranno 2 milioni di watt di potenza per garantire al pubblico una qualità del suono eccellente ed omogenea, fino all’ultimissima fila, come assicurano i tecnici che da giorni stanno lavorando al Campovolo per garantire la perfetta riuscita dell’evento.
I diffusori scelti sono quelli della serie Touring and Theatre (TT+), il top di gamma di RCF: si tratta di prodotti innovativi ad altissima definizione sonora, creati usando tecnologie audio all’avanguardia. RCF, fondata a Reggio Emilia nel lontano 1949, fa della costante innovazione tecnologica il proprio cavallo di battaglia sullo scenario competitivo italiano e internazionale, ed è una realtà imprenditoriale leader nel proprio settore. Come il Liga, una vera e propria gloria reggiana.
La collaborazione fra i due “concittadini” è ormai di lunga data, supportata dal contributo fondamentale di Willy Gubellini della rental company Nuovo Service, che assicura standard di produzione di prim’ordine. Nel 2012 RCF accompagnò il cantante nella prestigiosa location della Royal Albert Hall di Londra, per una serie di concerti che venne replicata anche l’anno successivo. Sempre nel 2013 il Liga si esibì a Verona nelle indimenticabili e suggestive “Sette Notti in Arena” col supporto dei diffusori della serie TT+. Di nuovo insieme nel 2014 durante il tour Mondovisione, amplificato da RCF in tutte le date italiane. Il management e l’artista hanno richiesto di personalizzare l’aspetto delle casse, anziché il classico nero.
Sabato 19 settembre i cancelli apriranno alle 8 del mattino, mentre l’inizio del concerto è previsto per le 20:30. E’ grande l’emozione che accompagna l’evento, non solo da parte dei fan, ma anche di tutti coloro che hanno contribuito col proprio lavoro alla realizzazione di questa grande festa. Non possiamo fare altro che augurare a tutti buon divertimento, e un felice 25esimo anniversario a Ligabue.
Event
I sistemi audio digitali di RCF per la gestione e diffusione di musica di sottofondo, annunci di evacuazione ed emergenza a norma EN 54-16 sono stati installati in una decina di padiglioni dell’Expo e nelle aree comuni del Children Park e dell’Open Air Theater, dove si è svolta la spettacolare cerimonia di inaugurazione lo scorso 1 maggio.
Il sistema DXT 9000, composto da una matrice digitale configurabile con instradamento degli 8 ingressi verso qualsiasi canale di uscita, è in funzione nei padiglioni di Belgio, Cile, Francia e Germania. Con 2500 W di potenza installati, il padiglione tedesco ospita il più importante impianto RCF presente all’Expo. Anche l’Open Air Theater, il grande spazio dedicato a concerti e spettacoli all’aperto, con una capienza di circa 11 mila persone, ha adottato il DXT 9000 per l’evacuazione delle aree comuni e dei camerini.
Il padiglione della Svizzera e il Children Park sono stati realizzati con sistema DXT 7000, che grazie alla sua matrice digitale con 8 amplificatori da 80 W bene si adatta alle richieste delle due installazioni. Il Children Park è un’ampia area all’aperto, dedicata al gioco e all’esplorazione da parte dei bambini, che possono in questo modo familiarizzare con i temi dell’Expo. I diffusori a tromba RCF HD 21EN sono stati installati nel colorato e spettacolare parco giochi poiché sono la soluzione più adatta per le installazioni all’aperto, come dimostrato dalla certificazione con grado di protezione IP 66.
Nei padiglioni di Azerbaigian, Moldavia, Principato di Monaco, Austria e Vietnam troviamo il sistema DXT 3000, il più recente delle matrici digitali di RCF per uso evacuazione vocale. La specificità del sistema sta nel montaggio a parete, che lo rende la soluzione ideale per installazioni in locali di piccole o medie dimensioni, da progettare con una potenza audio massima di 250 W.
Tutte le centrali installate nei locali tecnici dei padiglioni permettono di effettuare sia chiamate separate per le aree indipendenti, che annunci vocali generali nell’intero padiglione, in italiano e inglese. I messaggi di evacuazione a norma EN 54-16 sono programmati per essere trasmessi automaticamente in caso di bisogno in tutta l’area del padiglione. I due gruppi di alimentazione a norma EN 54-4 (modelli PS 4048 e PS 6048) assicurano un corretto funzionamento delle centrali anche in caso di interruzioni dell’alimentazione elettrica principale, rispettando le specifiche richieste dalla normativa di settore.
Il team di RCF ha fornito il servizio di attivazione delle centrali in maniera personalizzata e con la possibilità di inserire richieste specifiche di programmazione, come ad esempio musica di sottofondo o separazione dei padiglioni in aree distinte, nel rispetto della norma UNI ISO 7240-19.
Event
For more than 100 years the family-run Tennants Auctioneers have been hosting international sales from three dedicated rooms at Leyburn in Yorkshire.
But several years ago company chairman, Rodney Tennant, the third generation of the family, decided to expand the operation into a world class events centre by adding a wing that would give the building, set in spacious grounds in the Yorkshire Dales, three times the capacity (and cost £9m to realise).
In addition to the multipurpose 550-capacity Garden Rooms that could serve as a banqueting, concert and theatre space, the new wing would also incorporate new restaurants, lecture and seminar rooms and exhibition space.
He contacted Mark Parker of AV Matrix, based at nearby Wetherby, who knows the building implicitly after fitting out the original building when with his previous company. As on that occasion, he managed to source most of his loudspeaker requirements from the catalogue of RCF, one of his preferred long-term suppliers.
“I was conscious of budget, and the price to performance ratio had to be exactly right, and the speakers unobtrusive,” he said. Ticking those particular boxes he was able to specify RCF’s powerful C-series Acustica for the main ballroom/function room and between 70-80 PL 8X 8” + 1” flush mount coaxial ceiling speakers on a distributed system through many of the 16 zones into which the venue is divided.
While the sweeping staircase leads upstairs to viewing areas, a mezzanine gallery and three first floor meeting/seminar rooms, a roof terrace, private dining room and viewing gallery, downstairs are a dedicated restaurant, café and original sale rooms. However, the piéce de rèsistance is The Garden Rooms. With the partitions removed, this can open out into the adjoining Fountain and Versailles Rooms when the space can function in full concert mode.
In specifying a full sound, stage lighting and video package, with a contract value of £130K, Mark Parker knew that each of the many rooms had to communicate with any other, and that any signal source had to be routable via the processor to any destination.
“We worked with the M&E consultants and put a full cable spec together, including coax, SDI, 4-way audio and two CAT5 to every room and every TV position,” he explained.
To serve the many functions scheduled for The Garden Rooms are two pairs of RCF Acustica Compact C5212-64 (60° x 40°) and eight C3110-96 wall mounted distributed delay speakers and two S8018 MkII single 18in Acustica subs — part of an industry standard concert spec. Driving this system are RCF HPS 1500 (2 x 750W) and HPS 2500 (2 x 1400W) amplifiers.
Meanwhile, two RCF L-Pad 12CX 12-channel portable mixers (with effects) have been built into portable racks for manual mic mixing around the facility.
Up on the new outside terrace AV Matrix have installed eight of RCF’s IP55-rated indoor/outdoor MQ80P Indoor/Outdoor 2-way horn loaded speakers for background music and public address.
Explaining his choice of RCF products, Mark Parker states, “We’ve used Acustica many times over the years and installed them successfully in nightclubs and cabaret clubs. It’s a small footprint product for the sound it produces and it’s important that in addition to their excellent active speakers, RCF still offers a good quality passive solution — and one that is significantly less expensive than comparable models.
“The ceiling speakers offer extremely good value and the exterior speakers are simple and unobtrusive.”
The entire installation operates under Philips Control 4 with individual room touch control via iPod Touch — which enabled the installer to simply reconfigure the room settings as required.
Summing up, RCF’s Northern Sales Manager, Mick Butler says, “The quality of AV Matrix’s work is exemplary, and the profile this gives to RCF cannot be overstated.”
Adding his own endorsement, Rodney Tennant stated, “We never had any doubt that Mark and his team from AV Matrix would provide us with sound and light systems of the highest standard.
“The space we designed had all the potential to be a top venue but this only became a reality with AV’s input throughout the design and build process. The sound and lighting systems that they have installed are so complex that they have taken the space from a ‘good’, to a top class venue suitable for international musical and stage productions.
“AV Matrix have been an integral part of making The Garden Rooms at Tennants what it is today and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
Going forward, the new-look facility will now be administered by the fourth generation of the family, as Rodney Tennant has passed the operation down to this three daughters, Caroline, Alison and Jane.
Event
For more than 100 years the family-run Tennants Auctioneers have been hosting international sales from three dedicated rooms at Leyburn in Yorkshire.
But several years ago company chairman, Rodney Tennant, the third generation of the family, decided to expand the operation into a world class events centre by adding a wing that would give the building, set in spacious grounds in the Yorkshire Dales, three times the capacity (and cost £9m to realise).
In addition to the multipurpose 550-capacity Garden Rooms that could serve as a banqueting, concert and theatre space, the new wing would also incorporate new restaurants, lecture and seminar rooms and exhibition space.
He contacted Mark Parker of AV Matrix, based at nearby Wetherby, who knows the building implicitly after fitting out the original building when with his previous company. As on that occasion, he managed to source most of his loudspeaker requirements from the catalogue of RCF, one of his preferred long-term suppliers.
“I was conscious of budget, and the price to performance ratio had to be exactly right, and the speakers unobtrusive,” he said. Ticking those particular boxes he was able to specify RCF’s powerful C-series Acustica for the main ballroom/function room and between 70-80 PL 8X 8” + 1” flush mount coaxial ceiling speakers on a distributed system through many of the 16 zones into which the venue is divided.
While the sweeping staircase leads upstairs to viewing areas, a mezzanine gallery and three first floor meeting/seminar rooms, a roof terrace, private dining room and viewing gallery, downstairs are a dedicated restaurant, café and original sale rooms. However, the piéce de rèsistance is The Garden Rooms. With the partitions removed, this can open out into the adjoining Fountain and Versailles Rooms when the space can function in full concert mode.
In specifying a full sound, stage lighting and video package, with a contract value of £130K, Mark Parker knew that each of the many rooms had to communicate with any other, and that any signal source had to be routable via the processor to any destination.
“We worked with the M&E consultants and put a full cable spec together, including coax, SDI, 4-way audio and two CAT5 to every room and every TV position,” he explained.
To serve the many functions scheduled for The Garden Rooms are two pairs of RCF Acustica Compact C5212-64 (60° x 40°) and eight C3110-96 wall mounted distributed delay speakers and two S8018 MkII single 18in Acustica subs — part of an industry standard concert spec. Driving this system are RCF HPS 1500 (2 x 750W) and HPS 2500 (2 x 1400W) amplifiers.
Meanwhile, two RCF L-Pad 12CX 12-channel portable mixers (with effects) have been built into portable racks for manual mic mixing around the facility.
Up on the new outside terrace AV Matrix have installed eight of RCF’s IP55-rated indoor/outdoor MQ80P Indoor/Outdoor 2-way horn loaded speakers for background music and public address.
Explaining his choice of RCF products, Mark Parker states, “We’ve used Acustica many times over the years and installed them successfully in nightclubs and cabaret clubs. It’s a small footprint product for the sound it produces and it’s important that in addition to their excellent active speakers, RCF still offers a good quality passive solution — and one that is significantly less expensive than comparable models.
“The ceiling speakers offer extremely good value and the exterior speakers are simple and unobtrusive.”
The entire installation operates under Philips Control 4 with individual room touch control via iPod Touch — which enabled the installer to simply reconfigure the room settings as required.
Summing up, RCF’s Northern Sales Manager, Mick Butler says, “The quality of AV Matrix’s work is exemplary, and the profile this gives to RCF cannot be overstated.”
Adding his own endorsement, Rodney Tennant stated, “We never had any doubt that Mark and his team from AV Matrix would provide us with sound and light systems of the highest standard.
“The space we designed had all the potential to be a top venue but this only became a reality with AV’s input throughout the design and build process. The sound and lighting systems that they have installed are so complex that they have taken the space from a ‘good’, to a top class venue suitable for international musical and stage productions.
“AV Matrix have been an integral part of making The Garden Rooms at Tennants what it is today and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
Going forward, the new-look facility will now be administered by the fourth generation of the family, as Rodney Tennant has passed the operation down to this three daughters, Caroline, Alison and Jane.
Event
The Vienna City Marathon was held this year on April 12th, attracting over 42000 runners from all over to world to compete on a carefully planned track among Vienna’s most beautiful monuments, and supported by the excited cheer of the crowd. The audio system for the whole event was provided by local company Yoursolutions with RCF Touring and Theatre Series products, that were placed in various points throughout the 42 km of the itinerary.
Starting in Vienna International Centre, the marathon’s route crosses the Danube and gets to the green urban oasis of the Prater Park. Then it keeps running along the Danube’s canal until Ring Road, it continues from the State Opera until the Schonbrunn Palace, goes back towards the Ring and the Prater and ends at the finish line in Heldenplatz.
The start and finish of the marathon were equipped with 7 units of TTL55-A, 24 units of TTL33-A active three-way line array module, and 7 units of TTS36-A active high power subwoofer. RCF TT+ Series products were also placed in several intermediate points – namely TT22-A II and TT1-A active speakers, TTL31-A active line arrays, as well as TTS36-AS and TTS18-A active subwoofers. Moreover, a total of 52 units of RCF ART 312-A active three-way speaker were used to provide additional sound reinforcement for the public.
“We have been using RCF’s products since 2007,” states Heinrich Schiller, CEO of Yoursolution. “Behind our choice for the Vienna Marathon there is a genuine trust in the company’s wide range of products, that is able to offer solutions to diverse needs with great sound reproduction and reliability.”
Installation
RCF D Line speakers were installed in the recently opened Epica nightclub in Okinawa, Japan.
Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It is warm all year round and attracts thousands of visitors each year thanks to its subtropical climate, green islands and touristic attractions. It is also an influential economical and industrial area for the whole country. Epica Okinawa nightclub opened in the prefecture’s capital city Naha in summer 2015. It is one of the largest nightclubs in the area, with a dancefloor more than 1000 square meters large, and strategically located only a few steps away from the famous sightseeing spot of International Street. The nightclub usually hosts about 1000 visitors per night during the weekend. Customers enjoy a cutting-edge interpretation of the latest trends in video and lighting, a large-sized LED screen and gorgeous VIP rooms. Several famous DJs, artists and entertainers were invited to the opening event starting from July 18th and lasting for 10 days. More than 2200 people attended the opening night on the first day.
The newly installed audio system includes 6 units (per side) of RCF HDL 20-A active line array in flying configuration on stage, and 4 stacked HDL 18-AS subwoofers per side. For an enhanced reproduction of low frequencies 2 additional HDL 18-AS subwoofers were installed under the bar counter right in front of the stage, on the other side of the dancefloor. Finally, the DJ booth is equipped with an RCF NX 12-SMA stage monitor and a NX S21-A active high-power subwoofer.
Despite its compact appearance, the HDL 18-AS is an extremely powerful subwoofer and left the artists very satisfied after the opening of Epica. The NX-12 SMA stage monitor and NXS 21-A subwoofer were praised by local DJs for their acoustic pressure and easiness of monitoring.
Epica Official Website: http://epica.okinawa.jp/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clubepicaokinawa
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