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Amsterdam theatre upgrades for the future with a d&b update

A-Series, Y-SUBs and Y point sources complement existing 5S front fills and E3 delays

The 750-seat International Theatre Amsterdam (ITA), formerly the Stadsschouwburg, has upgraded its existing d&b C- and Q-Series audio installation with a d&b A-Series, combined with Y-SUBs as well as Y point sources to complement the existing 5S front fills and E3 delays.

The new installation realised the venue’s requirements for improved coverage, flexibility and control – important factors for a venue with aspirations of delivering an even more extensive and varied program. The theatre owners also opted for an R90 touchscreen remote control for ease-of-use, as well as a DS100 signal engine, readying the ITA for a Soundscape immersive audio system in the future.

“We already had d&b in-house and were very satisfied with it, but we were looking for more control and flexibility coverage-wise,” said Erwin Sterk, head of sound at the ITA. Dutch d&b distributor Amptec was enlisted to co-design the new system, drawing on the latest technologies available to them.

Fred den Dulk, commercial project manager at Amptec added: “The theatre is often used as a flat floor space so the main request for our PA design was to keep the view to the stage unobstructed by loudspeakers. The idea was to fly the whole PA, including the SUBs with minimal visibility. In ArrayCalc it became quite obvious that the A-Series would provide maximum control and coverage in relation to footprint.”

The theatre is not only used for live performances but also community events, making it crucial that non-technical staff can operate the system. Amptec installed the R90 touchscreen remote control panel so that preset system configurations and other predefined functions could be quickly accessed at the touch of a button.

“The reason we suggested an R90 was to have an easy way of configuring the PA setup,” said den Dulk. “We created customised presets for the R90 to simplify integrating the digital format converter and audio router with the desired PA setup. The DS100 can be used as an insert on the converter and also be recalled by the R90. For special projects the DS100 can be used as a matrix to allow the theatre to create localisation by creating delay via matrix cross points. It also means the ITA can easily expand their system to Soundscape in the future.”

That flexibility and scope for expansion hasn’t not gone unnoticed with the team at the ITA. Sterk: “The d&b workflow with R1 and the DS100 allows us to store our productions and recall them when they are revived in the coming seasons.The new system is really transparent and multifunctional, which is so important as we host such a broad spectrum of performances.”