One of Britain’s oldest theatres has undertaken a partial upgrade of the sound specification in its 800-seat capacity Main House.
The new audio installation was one aspect of a six-month refurbishment initiative in this area of the Theatre Royal Bath.
“The Theatre Royal Main House is principally a receiving venue, handling a wide variety of different live entertainment genres, from stand-up and the spoken word, through live bands and playback, to full-scale musicals,” said technical manager Joe Wright. “Upgrading the FOH sound system during the refurb was at the top of our list, on the basis that our previous system had been in place since the mid 80s, and was getting a little tired. It also had two main failings in that it lacked any sub bass and the coverage of the stalls was poor. We needed a system that not only gave great sound reproduction across the board, but also was flexible enough that we could adapt it to whatever was required by the production. Above all, we wanted a system that visiting sound engineers would be familiar with, and would be able to use in place of touring equipment. This in turn would minimise the amount of time spent rigging additional speakers during fit-ups.”
Orbital has had a long association with the venue and previously supplied its Egg Theatre for children with a d&b Q7 system. Ultimately, a Q7 was also specified for this latest programme of work.
Wright explained: “d&b currently represents one of the most popular choices with touring companies, and as we already have d&b speakers installed in both the Egg and Ustinov Theatres here, we knew the build and sound quality we would be getting. We met with Steve Jones from d&b and discussed a range of possible options. Due to the ornate nature of the Theatre Royal main house auditorium, we were slightly hampered by the fact that the new speakers would have to be sited in the same place as the previous speakers. We discussed how to achieve the best possible coverage of the auditorium, agreeing on three Q7s per side – sited as close to the proscenium as possible – with a pair of Q10 side fills covering the stalls; all to be powered by D6 amps. The system is supplemented by a pair of Q-SUBS, powered by a D12 amp. This gave the best compromise between speaker positions, sound quality and coverage.
“Since completing the installation, the system has dealt with everything we have thrown at it and the response from engineers has been very positive. We have some more plans on the stocks, involving surround and delays for each auditorium level, as well as more subs to extend the bass frequencies. Also on the list is a centre cluster and extra front fills to create a fuller, better coverage – but that’s something for the future!”
Orbital also supplied a four-way HME DX200 wireless intercom system for use in the Main House.
Image Credit: Freia Turland