Arts & Craft
The permanent installation of a d&b house system negates the need for hiring PA systems and bolsters the City of Kingston’s Arts program.
Story: Graeme Hague
The City of Kingston is located about 20 kilometres south of the Melbourne CBD, and with the city’s fantastic, ongoing funding of all things to do with the arts, it’s very much a part of the rich tapestry of creativity and entertainment for which Melbourne is renowned. Kingston Arts is the organisation responsible for coordinating and acquiring a wide variety of artistic endeavours throughout the community and across three separate primary venues: the Kingston Arts Centre, the Shirley Burke Theatre, and the Kingston City Hall. The Kingston City Hall (KCH) has within the building several versatile spaces for hire, including the Grand Hall where the larger performance-based events are hosted—modern live music, orchestral ensembles, local dance productions, plus conferences, seminars and everything else that requires a dedicated stage space and sound reinforcement for capacity crowds of up to 1000.
Last year, KCH decided to replace the ageing PA equipment in the Grand Hall, and to also refit the Banquet Room with a suitable system. After a period of consultation with audio specialists, and with a close relationship already in place, KCH worked together with the Synergy Events Group to provide the ideal solutions to suit the rooms. SEG had been a regular source for added production in the Grand Hall and knew the space well. With its conventional wide, ‘square hall’ design and ubiquitous flat parquet floor so common of the building’s era, a compact d&b line array system was going to reduce all the nasty reverberation issues these older, traditional town halls often suffer. It was also decided that a dependable, great-sounding PA like the d&b line array as a production core was all the Grand Hall needed. In other words, the eclectic and diverse programming the venue presented to the community made it impractical to purchase most ancillary audio equipment because it would likely be used so infrequently that it wouldn’t be cost-effective.
The best approach was to upgrade and install only the PA itself. The Grand Hall is a real space-for-hire that caters to all kinds of things, not only the programming of Kingston Arts. You never know what’s going to roll up to the loading dock on any given day, and with the sort of operational budget that Kingston City Hall works with, it didn’t make sense to have a storage room full of unused gear just in case. It means that KCH still has to outsource a certain amount of specialist equipment when it’s needed, but what’s important is nobody has to hire in PA at all. The d&b system sounds fantastic and will handle anything that comes into the venue.
DRIVEN BY D&B
The solution became four d&b 10AL series line array units and two d&b 10AL-D (with wider dispersion, 105° versus 75° of the 10AL) and two d&b 18A subs per side. These created the tighter focus the room needed. However, to deal with the width of the hall in comparison to the stage configuration and where the PA had to be mounted, four d&b 8S point source loudspeakers were deployed each side to provide a small amount of side-fill. Similarly, the depth of the room required a pair of the 8S units as delay speakers. To power everything, the load is divided between a single d&b 10D amplifier and a 30D amp.
The Banquet Room was a more straightforward project. While not surprisingly the room isn’t reserved strictly for banquets, being a smaller and more utilitarian space, the types of hire and clientele are more predictable and the sound reinforcement needed was the sort of standard configuration you’d expect—a pair of d&b Yi10P speakers deliver left and right ‘FOH’, but again the length of the room demanded delay speakers – in this case d&b 12S-D speakers (don’t let the numbers confuse you—the Yi10P has two 8-inch drivers and a 1.4-inch compression driver, while the 12S-D has a single 12-inch driver with the 1.4-inch compression driver). It’s all easily powered by one d&b 30D amplifier.
The end result for both rooms is exactly what was needed: the power and clarity of d&b sound reinforcement. The Grand Hall though takes the idea of in-house sound to the next level. The d&b system design and implementation gives the KCH crew and any visiting production teams a brilliant core PA—everything they need to complement the City of Kingston’s great support of the arts industry.
Just add talent, creativity, vision, and the keys to a versatile and dependable d&b PA, and you’re always good to go.