Australia’s iconic Melbourne Athenaeum, which is home to the Melbourne Theatre Company, recently underwent a complete sound overhaul with the new system featuring Coda Audio LA4 series loudspeakers.
The venue hosts a slew of acts ranging from theatre productions, to comedy festivals, to concerts year round. The new audio system needed able to cater for all these different performances, while being easily reconfigured by his in-house tech staff.
Melbourne’s RTR Productions was enlisted to carry out the entire installation with Pascoe Valleys-based Coda Audio distributor, Group Technologies, supplying the kit.
The venue is wedding-cake style theatre, that does not lend itself to large systems, either flown or ground stacked. The concept was to have a high powered distributed system; one that would not impact visually on the heritage theatre, but still allow different zoning and system configuration to cater to the many types of clients that hire the theatre.
“RTR really had their hands full with a theatre like the Athenaeum” commented Drew Menard of Group Technologies’. “It’s from an era where cabling and rigging weren’t meant to be easy.”
For the stage areas the team deployed a main front of house PA featuring four Coda LA4 cabinets and an LA4 Sub flown per side. A further four LA4 subs were also installed along the front of the stage.
Front fill incorporates four D5 Cubes passive 2-way 5in/1in coaxial loudspeakers, which were installed against the front lip of the stage, and the proscenium fill is now handled by a single Coda G712 full range three way loudspeaker per side. Delay for the stalls comprise four D5 Cubes, which are spaced evenly from left to right half way down the theatre.
The dress circle, meanwhile, has a completely different layout with a very narrow vertical opening between the two balconies. For this area two CoRAY column speakers per side were installed. There is also a strong rake in this particular area, which made it challenging to get high frequencies to the back In this configuration, so the two columns flown top-to-top feature a vertical dispersion of 22º.
The upper balcony offers a similar setup to the stage level system as the team deployed four LA4 modules and an LA4 Sub flown per side, with an additional four D5 cubes for delay. They have been installed either individually or on truss between existing lighting fixtures throughout the theatre. This ensured an extremely low visual profile for the delays.
There are 16 loudspeaker zones throughout the venue and each zone is fed by a dedicated Coda DNC260N controller, which deliver proprietary advanced DSP and loudspeaker management to each zone.
The room has also been configured with a number of practical preset options.