Jands Help Supply Solution For A Most Unusual Performing Arts Venue
The new Pringle Building at Oxford Falls Grammar School includes new performing arts facilities such as music tutor rooms, dance and drama rehearsal rooms, an intimate theatre with retractable tiered seating and extensions to the Resource Learning Centre.
Fredon Industries were contracted to design, supply and install a flexible audio visual system to an unusual and innovative auditorium. The school wanted to expand their sports facility into a multi-use arena to cater to both sports and the performing arts. Essentially a hole was cut into the side of the existing basketball court and a flat floor stage area installed, however behind the stage area (which doubles as a drama and dance studio) is a lecture theatre.
So not only was a sound system required to cover the main auditorium space but also to cover the drama / dance studio as well as the lecture theatre and all three spaces needed to interlink.
“These can operate as three discrete spaces if required,” explained Nick Orsatti, Fredon’s Audio Visual Manager. “It becomes interesting when the dance and drama studio becomes a stage for one of two modes of operation; either with the audience in the auditorium or with the audience in the lecture theatre for a more intimate venue. So for large school presentations such as gala nights they can use the large auditorium but for the average musical or drama performance they use the other option without interfering with any sports activities.”
Nick designed different speaker solutions to support the different modes of operation in particular a JBL VRX system flown as a left-centre-right configuration to cater to the wide auditorium when large school productions take place. The left and right hangs each comprise of three VRX928-LA with a VRX915 sub sitting on top whilst the centre cluster has four VRX928-LA for extra vertical coverage.
“It sounds fantastic,” remarked Nick. "We modeled it in Ease because we were very concerned about the hard surfaces of the basketball court. Initially the school was looking at using a traditional, more old-school, 15” horn type of scenario but we thought we needed a solution with better pattern control and dispersion characteristics. By modeling the space and providing precise aiming, and using a curved line array system, allowed us to focus the energy away from the reflective areas. The school was quite surprised at how much energy the system delivers and it really does sound great.”
Crown amplifiers are used throughout with three Crown XTi 4002 powering the auditorium PA, a Crown XLS 1000 for the lecture theatre and a Crown XTi 1002 for the dance studio. According to Nick, they system has ample headroom to ensure it's loud and clean.
There are four JBL Control 30 speakers on the stage; two are configured so they can act as side fill when required, or for music reproduction when the stage is used as a dance studio. Another pair of JBL Control 30 speakers point back towards the lecture theatre to provide FOH for the small presentation mode. The dance theatre also has two MRX512M fold back speakers. Two JBL Control 29AV speakers are installed into the lecture theatre for stand alone operation.
“All of this is tied in by the BSS BLU-100 audio DSP, which is fabulous, and there is provision for live mixing,” added Nick.
Shure microphones are used throughout and include a MX410C lectern microphone, plus a couple of Shure ULX wireless microphone systems complete with wireless antenna boosters and receiver antennas.
Staging wise, Jands supplied all of the drapes around the body of the stage area as well as Jands H500P-VX hoists and Jands JLX-Pro lighting bars over the stage.
According to Nick the result is big smiles all around and you can’t get better than that!