Clair Brothers at college
AUSTRALIA: Having recently completed a project at Sheldon College, Integration Partners Australia was contracted by the institution once again, this time to replace the old audio system in the campus’ 3,500 sq-m multipurpose sports and entertainment building. The new audio system needed to provide intelligibility for a multitude of different types of events and performances. Providing the solution, the systems integrator installed a Clair Brothers Kit Curves system.
The building was constructed in 2001 and hosts a variety of sports and assemblies for up to 1,500 seated students and faculty, and serves as a community conferencing and event centre that can be hired by the public as a performing arts venue. Until recently it had maintained the same loudspeaker system that was originally installed during the building’s construction 15 years ago. This original system was designed to deliver uniform SPL throughout the venue, but wasn’t fit for purpose due to unwanted reverberation and amplifiers with no usable dynamic range in a room that demands intelligibility due to the events it stages.
‘We were asked to provide some expert guidance and a solution to the college after completing a large A/V design and build project for their new technology and business centre on campus and updating the video and media systems in the venue,’ Integration Partners Australia’s owner, Julian Stirling recalled. ‘With the help of Wayne Grosser from Clair Brothers Australia we were able to give them a real world demonstration, hanging a Clair Brothers concert system for their biggest event of the year, they were convinced on first listen, even before the show started.’
With a focus on multimedia and the performing arts, the college sought high-quality technical production equipment, including sound. The Clair Brothers system installed comprised two self-powered Kit Curves that were flown either side of the stage. ‘All the sound problems in the venue were solved. The detail in the sound is the first thing that gets commented on, with a flat frequency response even at low volume,’ noted Mr Stirling. ‘The tight pattern control of the Kit Curves provide sound exactly where it is needed, limiting reverberation with uniform SPL right to the back of the room. The gain before feedback from wireless microphones from almost anywhere in the room is now very good. The system headroom provides a huge increase in dynamic range, easily reproducing the biggest notes without any clipping or distortion at all.
‘Every instrument in the 60-piece college orchestra can now be heard in the mix from the kettledrums to strings and woodwind. Live acoustic recitals and simple vocal and piano performances sound clean at every seat. The college couldn’t be happier with their new system and feel that they have made a very good investment for the next 15 or 20 years of operations, which also makes us look good as the integrator,’ Mr Stirling continued. ‘I would personally recommend the Kit Curves to anyone, they are undoubtedly the best loudspeaker I have used in the past 30 years and something really new and different in the market.’
Integration Partners Australia was also engaged by Sheldon College to deliver a solution for the Performing Arts Theatrette, also known as The Little Theatre, on campus. It is a wedge-shaped room that seats up to 100 people and reportedly has a ‘nice natural acoustic’, making the room well suited to vocal performances and stringed instruments. The new sound system in this room needed to be unobtrusive, maintaining the aesthetics of the intimate environment.
‘We chose a pair of Clair Brothers IRIS-II loudspeakers, matched with a Lab.gruppen amplifier and Rane DSP for this venue and are extremely happy with the results,’ said Mr Stirling. ‘These cabinets, normally employed as balcony or stage-fill loudspeakers in concert venues have great dynamic range and very flat frequency response even at very low volume levels. We were amazed with the performance and the quality of sound coming out of this small, very low profile cabinet, the very first time we turned the system on.’