Maotai raises a glass to Renkus-Heinz
CHINA: Employing approximately 30,000 staff, Maotai Group has recently built a multi-purpose auditorium and conference centre. Guizhou Chiyu was the A/V consultancy engaged by the baijiu distiller and it in turn brought in Tico Digital Group, Renkus-Heinz’ Chinese representative.
The 2,600-seat auditorium covers an audience area of approximately 1,000 sq-m and includes two ‘shallow-but-steep’ balconies. With three levels of seating, a number of acoustical challenges were to be overcome to achieve even audio coverage. Although some acoustic treatment was applied on the room’s rear wall, the reflections still produced a reverberant atmosphere when combined with the reflections from the balcony fascias. Other obstacles that Guizhou Chiyu and Tico had to overcome were that the client required a discreet sound reinforcement system, so as not to interfere with the décor, and that there were large video screens installed either side of the stage, restricting the placement of loudspeakers.
‘A conventional line array or even a point source solution in a theatre of this size would simply have been too obtrusive,’ explained Lu Cheng of Tico Digital Group. ‘It would have been extremely hard to install a large system without harming the auditorium's beautiful and ornate design. And even if we had tried to hide a large system, the position of the screens means that we would not have achieved the desired coverage.’
To combat these difficulties, Tico delivered a solution comprising Renkus Heinz’ Iconyx series. This saw two IC2 enclosures flown above the centre of the stage and providing eight individually controllable beams directing audio coverage towards the audience while avoiding the balcony fronts. Meanwhile, six IC Live columns were hung to the left and right of the stage, three per side, and DRS18-2B subwoofers were also deployed.
‘The ability to steer coverage with Renkus-Heinz IC Series speakers and the fact they are small in size means that they can be located in the most appropriate location for the venue, ensuring there's no harm done to the venue's interior décor, while still achieving an excellent result,’ noted Mr Cheng. ‘All of the systems were put through a rigorous trial lasting many months to ensure that the technology met the requirements of the owners.’
The system is completed with additional coverage by way of four TRX121/12 and five CF61-2 cabinets mounted inside the lip of the stage providing frontfill, while six TRX121/9 and a pair of CF15S subwoofers serve as monitors. A control room, located behind the first floor seating, houses a Yamaha CL5 digital mixer connected to three networking infrastructures as per the design’s contingency and future-proofing plans.
‘The installation is ready for all major networking protocols – Dante, AVB and Cobranet – which means in the future it can be extended in whichever way the owner requires,’ added Mr Cheng. ‘If future products need to be added or if a broadcasting system, for example, needs to be integrated, then the architecture will be able to support any transport protocols that are required.’
Connected to the CL5 via the Dante network is a Biamp Tesira server, for which Tico used Biamp Canvas to created a remote control interface for the client to access on an iPad. Also installed throughout the conferencing centre are condenser microphones from Audio-Technica, eight channels of Sennheiser wireless and several Telex conferencing systems.
‘We have paid close attention to the implementation of every stage of this project and we have participated in training the operators throughout,’ concluded Mr Cheng. ‘The owners are very satisfied and I can now say that this our landmark project.’