Le Volcan (The Volcano) theatre in Le Havre has undergone a major refurbishment, with its original audio infrastructure replaced with an L-Acoustics Kara(i) sound system.
The venue, opened in 1982, was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and has an adjacent building, Le Petit Volcan, which sits in the heart of Le Havre’s cultural quarter. In 2010 it was decided the area would be refurbished to improve access and lighting and make the area more welcoming.
Le Petit Volcan has been turned into a reference library, and Le Volcan, also referred to as ‘the yoghurt pot’, was rebuilt internally to upgrade its equipment, décor and general safety. Auvisys supplied the new production technology including the L-Acoustics package, which was chosen for its even coverage, stereo sound quality and ability to cleanly reproduce diverse types of music and performance.
There are three performance spaces within the venue including a 796-seat theatre and rooms for 125 and 150 people respectively. Installed by Audio Courtin, under the project management of Alain Szklarek, the system in the theatre comprises six L-Acoustics Kara(i), two SB18i and two SB28 subs per side. These are complemented by a centre cluster of three Kiva, 5XT front fills as well as two ARCS Wide infills, with the passive loudspeakers powered by five LA4x and an LA8.
“A jury of people from the venue, planners and AV companies listened to a number of systems,” said Philippe Lacroix, technical director at Le Volcan. “They came away convinced that Kara(i) was the right choice. It had the best coverage, the best stereo image quality and was the most versatile of all the systems they heard.”
In addition, a mobile L-Acoustics system has been supplied for use in all spaces or, if required, outdoors. This features a range of loudspeakers, ensuring that any event can be catered for, and includes 14 115XT HiQ, 10 108P, eight 12Xti, four 8Xti, two 112P and two SB15P coaxial enclosures.
Meanwhile, the existing L-Acoustics stage monitors, which Lacroix describes as ‘indestructible,’ have been retained, which includes 12 MTD112b, eight MTD115b and four SB218.
The entire building features a Dante network, allowing any elements of the mobile system to be easily linked to Yamaha CL1, CL3, CL5 and M7CL-48 mixing consoles anywhere in the building, for maximum versatility.
“The Kara(i) system is perfect for the diverse line-up at Le Volcan,” explained José Michel, sound engineer at Le Volcan. “From contemporary music to classic concertos or spoken word, our audience can now enjoy clear sound from any seat in the room.”
The project has also included a major overhaul of the acoustics in the theatre with movable suspended acoustic panels installed to work with the L-Acoustics system.