Oxley College opts for dampb for new performing arts centre
AUSTRALIA: A d&b audiotechnik sound reinforcement system was recently installed into the Oxley Christian College’s new performing arts centre. Through Australian distributor National Audio Systems, the college approached Berwick-based A/V company Mozaix for audio advice.
Chris Hodge, theatre and A/V manager of the centre, saw that the new space would require a discreet, yet flexible sound reinforcement system to compliment the venue’s design, which comprises a stage that is level with the front row of the audience, with the remainder of the seating set on a steep incline.
‘When it came to the PA, the college originally approached four companies,’ explained Mr Hodge. ‘My predecessor, Phil Mawson, was committed to acquiring a premium loudspeaker system, so d&b audiotechnik were always on the agenda.’
In conjunction with system designer, Dave Jacques from NAS, Mozaix system integrator Paul Tucker submitted a design comprising loudspeakers from d&b’s Ti-series, consisting of various Ti10L speakers supported by Ti-subs, to be driven by d&b D6 and D12 amplifiers. The proposed system was a rigged line array split equally between the left and right of the stage.
‘Although some walls have been treated with acoustic baffles, the space is fairly live to accommodate un-amplified pieces and because the performance space extends all the way into the seats the need for a fairly tight patterned PA was important,’ said Mr Tucker. ‘To provide a user-friendly system for students and teachers we set up essentially two user modes: performance mode (theatre, musical performance, church meetings) and lecture mode (for classes and school assemblies). Through an integrated AMX control system we were able to automate the lecture mode with the Yamaha M7 digital mixing console to make a fairly complex system respond easily for teachers.’
‘The speaker system needed to be as discreet and as inconspicuous as possible for aesthetic considerations while still providing a wide coverage,’ clarified Mr Hodge. ‘The subwoofers therefore are at the top of the array to build a compact single unit. As the building was new and didn't present any major acoustic challenges, the quality of sound and the visual effect were our major objectives.’
‘When we demonstrated the systems in front of the client their decision was made in an instant, and from that shoot-out they were going to do whatever they could to make sure d&b went in,’ said Mr Tucker. ‘It just goes to show that, certainly in the audio market, bigger is not necessarily better, either in sound or in value for money,’ he smiled.
Commenting on the budget being a factor in the project, Mr Tucker continued: ‘Everyone has a financial limit and quite frankly, I don't think they expected us to meet it. But with some minor compromises we met their target. Budget is always important but d&b carries so much weight that it sells itself,’ he asserted.
‘The auditorium is a much welcomed addition to the college facilities,’ commented Mr Hodge. ‘We are particularly pleased with the installation and performance of the loudspeaker system. It far exceeds the expected output and quality of sound within the space. From a full on concert like our opening show to the smallest of lectures, the speaker system really does the business.’
Commenting on the services of NAS and Mozaix, Mr Hodge concluded: ‘We were impressed by both the recommendations of other clients and their very positive attitude and general ethos. We also wanted to ensure local support for the system.’
The centre was opened by the state minister for education, the Hon Martin Dixon MP where it was officially named The Broadley Performing Arts Centre in honour of the College's principal.