The Musikalische Komödie (Musical Comedy), a division of the Leipzig Opera in Germany, has updated the theatre sound system installing a pro-ribbon line array system from Alcons Audio.
The auditorium, which focuses on productions of operettas, musicals, and ballet performances, has a capacity of 520, but is also an acoustically challenging space.
The company HFE professional studio technology from Leipzig was an advisory and executing service provider for the installation. Hans Hermann Hönsch from HFE explained: “I’ve known Alcons Audio for a long time and recommended the Alcons LR7, because the system is in my opinion particularly well suited for theatre. Already in mid-2014, we organised a comparative listening session, whereupon the heads of the Musikalische Komödie unanimously agreed to Alcons. “
The new PA system consists of six Alcons LR7/90 (one RBN401 4in pro-ribbon driver + 6.5in woofer) micro line-array and two Alcons LR7B (12in neodymium woofers) line-array bass as low frequency support per side. The centre unit consists of a further four Alcons LR7/90. In addition, two Alcons VR8 (one RBN401 4in pro-ribbon driver and 8in woofer) monitors have been installed on each side of the orchestra pit.
The auditorium can also be expanded to include three Alcons SR9 (one RBN401 4in pro-ribbon driver) as frontfills – an option that the musical comedy is currently only using during microport performances. In addition, two BF362 double-18in subwoofers are available for bass-intensive applications. The entire system is powered by one Sentinel10 and three Sentinel3 four-channel amplified loudspeaker controllers.
On the acoustic challenges of the theatre, Tobias Finke, mixer and sound department manager, explained: “The Musikalische Komödie is a very early concrete construction, arc-shaped with facets in the interior. This creates a few strange reflections and other unique hall effects. In addition, self-resonances are an issue. The room is excited by the PA quite severely.”
“This is where the Alcons LR7 fully demonstrate their strength,” added Hönsch. “Especially the line arrays sound at low sound pressure levels as good as at high levels, which cannot be claimed by all sound reinforcement systems. With pro-ribbon tweeters you do not have this typical ‘horn effect’; The speaker does not ‘bellow’ at you, but has a very refined and even coverage. But even if it has to be more powerful, Alcons plays very well. “
Sound engineer Holger Weise added: “In musicals, the location of the sound source plays an important role, and by arranging the frontfill and centre, we have now solved our imaging problem very well. You do not have to drive at such high levels, which is very pleasant. What surprised me a lot is that we have two separate subs that can be selected, but you do not really need them even during shows with complete live bands.”
Picture: Tom Schulze