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The Atkinson comes alive with EM Acoustics

Arts and cultural centre, the Atkinson, was subject to a three-year, £17 million revamp which incorporated installation of a new EM Acoustics-centric audio solution.

Three-years on from the start of a £17 million redevelopment project, Sefton Council’s flagship arts and cultural centre, The Atkinson, Southport, UK, reopened to reveal a EM Acoustics loudspeaker setup within.

Housed in a grade II listed building in the heart of Southport, The Atkinson integrates four arts and cultural venues – the Southport Arts Centre, the Atkinson Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens Museum and the Southport Library – into one single, regional cultural centre.

Renowned London-based theatre specialist, Theatreplan, was called in as the theatre consultants to oversee the redevelopment of the two auditoria housed in The Atkinson: the 440-seat Atkinson Theatre, which also houses a state-of-the-art cinema screen, and the 300-seat Studio, which features a large permanent stage, an open floor and balcony seating.

Theatreplan specified EM Acoustics loudspeakers throughout both venues and called in Churchill-based Oxford Sound and Media to handle installation of the audio equipment.

“It was clear that the spaces are going to be used by a huge range of performers with widely differing skill levels, so the equipment needs to be easy to use whilst delivering high quality sound throughout the complex,” explained Theatreplan’s Mathew Smethurst-Evans.

For the Atkinson Theatre, Smethurst-Evans opted for a combination of EM Acoustics flagship two-way point source MSE-159 and MSE-156 full range passive loudspeakers for the proscenium arch and L/R sidefill supplemented by five i-2 passive front fill speakers. A pair of flown EMS-118 subs provide low frequency reinforcement and pair of ultra-compact EMS-51s are on fill duty for the Minstrels Gallery. On stage monitoring requirements are handled by six EM Acoustics dedicated M-12 stage monitors.

The Studio relies exclusively on MSE-156s throughout (six in total) with low-end reinforcement coming from two groundstacked EMS-118 subs plus six M-12 stage monitors. All amplification is provided with EM Acoustics amplifiers.

“We chose EM Acoustics products because we have been extremely impressed with them on recent projects,” stated Smethurst-Evans. “Simply put, we believe that there is little to compete with them at this price point. Thanks to their passive crossover design, EM loudspeakers are truly “plug-and-play”.