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d&b system for Antwerp opera venue

A 1,081-capacity theatre operated by the Vlaamse Opera company has been equipped with a d&b audio solution devised to complement its multi-balcony, semi-circular design.

A 1,081-capacity Antwerp theatre operated by the Vlaamse Opera company has been equipped with a d&b audio solution devised to complement its semi-circular design.

The new installation follows a programme of refurbishments between 2004 and 2007 that included the specification of a new ventilation system and new video and audio elements, among them an Ethernet network. Two years later, Vlaamse sound chief Dirk Minnebo began discussions with d&b’s support department and Belgian d&b distributor Amptec about a new PA system for the venue.
Quickly ruling out an L/R system for reasons of practicality and sufficient dispersion, they opted for a central cluster to deliver the necessary coverage and help avoid the problem of high SPLs in the areas that would have been closest to an L/R configuration.

On recommendation from Amptec, with the design confirmed by d&b technical support, a centre cluster of four d&b Q10s was proposed. With their dispersion of 110° (H) x 45° (V), these cabinets were able to achieve the necessary vertical dispersion and create sufficient horizontal dispersion for the front boxes. Architectural considerations mans that it was difficult to install a delay system on the fourth balcony, but the upper top cabinet was aligned to take this role without compromising the rest of the sound field.

For distribution on the ground floor, Amptec devised a unique mechanical solution using custom designed stand-off mountings for the d&b Q7s (75°h x 45°v), placing them in front of the gold-plated filigree frames that adorn the walls at the ideal loudspeaker locations.

Additional fill requirements are relatively minimal and restricted to one horizontally mounted E8 to each side of the first rows of the theatre. Surround sound is provided by wall-mounted E0s, low-end is delivered by d&b J-SUBs, while a mobile set of E3s handle stage monitoring.

The entire system is driven by d&b D6 and D12 amplifiers. All presets are centrally controlled by a MacPro through the d&b R1 Remote control software, enabling the user to monitor the system from the theatre or from the production office.