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On a Mission

The Wesley Mission auditorium is a busy Sydney conferencing and performing arts venue, in operation since 1990.

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16 April 2019

The Wesley Mission auditorium is a busy Sydney conferencing and performing arts venue, in operation since 1990. Hired out most days of the working week, the 800-seat auditorium regularly hosts events ranging from single-microphone lectures to musical concerts. Every Sunday the auditorium holds both morning and afternoon worship services run by Wesley Mission. 

While there was nothing ‘wrong’ with the resident PA system installed in 2000, David Prideaux, Technical Production Services Manager at Wesley Auditorium, recognised that the busy venue warranted an upgraded PA system to better service Wesley Mission’s clientele. 

“There’s a large majority of speech that goes on,” says David. “But we also need the facility to cope with bands on the weekends and anything else that comes in like a musical show, dance recital or something that requires a fair bit of grunt behind the sound.”

Before weighing up the options for a new system, the Wesley Auditorium team first settled on a few non-negotiable criteria. 

“We make it a point that you will get the same audio experience regardless of where you’re seated in the auditorium,” says David. “That was one of the things we looked for in a replacement system. The room has a bulkhead at the back which means we needed some delay speakers to cover the area which isn’t reached by the main PA.”

In addition, it was important the system didn’t pose a steep learning curve to regular or one-off clients hiring the auditorium. David comments, “The PA had to be easy to operate from an end user point of view because we have multiple users — ourselves as the technical department for the conference centre, but also the congregations have their own operators so they needed something that they would be able to turn on and off and they will preset easily.”

V FOR VICTORY

The team at Wesley Mission auditioned a number of PA systems before settling on their choice of d&b loudspeakers. 

“We looked at a few options and the d&b system came out as the best performer for what we required and fit within our budget as well,” says David. “We felt the d&b system had a bit more clarity in the top end and midrange and didn’t lose any grunt in the bottom end from the subs. For the size of the subs, the fact that we’ve only got two on each side flown, it still produces a lot of bottom end.”

Doug Pringle from the NAS Projects Team designed a V Series-based solution to ensure the coverage and SPL requirements were met.

“It’s a really compact system,” says David. “The fact that they got away with only having two boxes on each side, and they’re not even mounted side by side — they’re on top of each other — the horizontal coverage is pretty amazing.”

Among all the positive feedback, one of the most obvious improvements brought by the new PA system is how quickly an operator can pull a good mix.

“It’s definitely easier to mix on,” says David. “There’s a lot less involved in order to get a good-sounding microphone. We pretty much reset the desk back to zero to start again and there’s been much less EQing across groups and things like that. Hearing clients and other operators come in here and say the new system sounds great is the biggest take away for me personally.” ⎨

NAS (d&b): 1800 441 440 or nas.solutions

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