The new Cronus matrix system replaces the venue's former simple loop system and walkie-talkies with a state-of-the-art communications system that integrates the existing public address system with a building-wide wired and wireless communications system. This enables the stage manager to communicate with anyone in the building.
Working to a brief provided by Paul Kohlmann, chief engineer at the concert hall - Eire's leading classical and contemporary music venue, the venue - Alan Murphy of Sound Communications and Adrian Richmond, sales engineer at Telex Communications (UK) Ltd, set about designing the system: "It was decided that a Cronus matrix system would be the best solution for the venue as it allowed for future expansion and offered the flexibility that Paul required," explains Richmond.
The design entailed provision for the stage manager's backstage communications centre to talk with up to 12 dressing rooms, artists' bar, security, front of house, booking office, and a cloakroom, as well as to communicate with the lighting director, sound mixer and a production loop. It also required reception to coordinate events taking place in key areas of the building, including the Ivy Gardens some 100 metres to the rear of the building where summer concerts are held.
At the heart of the system, the 24-port computer-controlled Cronus matrix allows Kohlmann to monitor the system from any computer in the building. Desktop panels have been installed in the box office, security and reception areas and at the lighting director's position, with a 12-position keypanel at the stage manager's position. Twin-channel beltpacks supply communications to two follow spots in the lighting gantry and to backstage positions including the organ loft. Intelligent speaker stations provide two-way communication between the stage manager and artists' dressing rooms and the stage manager can also make announcements to the hall's 100-volt line system for site wide announcements.
"Telex's professional approach impressed me and I felt confident because they took our project very seriously," says Kohlmann. "It is an excellent system which will make our job a lot easier as we will have much more control over productions. With our fully-integrated radio system we now have site-wide communication, from front of house to backstage production."