Performing Arts Centers
Kaufmann Concert Hall
Upgrading a 20-Year-Old Sound System at Kaufmann Concert Hall
Kaufmann Concert Hall, opened in 1930, has grown into a cultural beacon on the Upper East Side of New York. Hosting regular panel discussions with world leaders in various fields such as former heads of state, government leaders, and supreme court justices; the hall has also been abuzz with news media, movie stars, and celebrity chefs, and is home to a rotating musical theater program, cinema experiences, rock, acoustic acts, and special events. A venue with such a rich history and vast rotating events needs a sound system that’s versatile and dynamic.
The concert hall’s aging 20-year-old sound system was becoming less equipped to host such varied performances back to back. The team at the venue wanted a contemporary solution that would last another 20 years and blend seamlessly into the existing architecture while accommodating the demanding range of program material. This called for a system that would deliver exceptional intelligibility for speech reinforcement and support the big sound of rock and acoustic acts without reconfiguration. Simultaneously, the system would have to be well-controlled vertically and horizontally to avoid exciting the space’s naturally reverberant acoustics. Having a ‘future proof’ and innovative system was essential to the team.
To blend with the room’s natural acoustics, yet provide excellent intelligibility, and deliver the required SPL and impact for rock acts, L-ISA was the obvious solution. The main scene system comprises Kiva II with six enclosures per hang across the stage’s width and four SB15m subwoofers. This frontal system provides localized, reinforced sound for the sources on stage, improves intelligibility, and creates a cohesive blend of live and reinforced sound.
For the system’s immersive aspect, 20 X8 loudspeakers allow the Kaufmann staff to use the entire venue to place sounds for cinema or enhance the space using the L-ISA integrated Room Engine. Completing the configuration are 5XT under-balcony fills, six X4i ultra-compact coaxial frontfills on the stage’s lip, and two Syva collinear loudspeakers as proscenium nearfills.
FOH Engineer Anthony Lombard noted the ease of using the L-ISA Controller, stating that it naturally integrated into the workflow and created a fantastic sound quality. The L-ISA system accomplished everything the Kaufmann Concert Hall team desired and provided exceptional performance for its comprehensive list of applications.
The ease of use of the L-ISA Controller is so natural. I can place objects quickly, move them around, add width and depth, and create and recall snapshots from the same screen in the software. It just naturally integrates into the workflow, so while mixing with dimension might seem complex, it’s made to feel really intuitive. And the quality of sound is just amazing.
FOH Engineer, Kaufmann Concert Hall
- 30 KIVA II – five Arrays of six KIVA II
- Four SB15m Subwoofers
- 20 X8 L-ISA Surrounds
- Six 5XT Frontfill
- Seven X4i Under Balcony Fill
- Two Syva Outfills
- 12 5XT Pit Fills
- Eight Kara Frontfills
- 11 LA4X Amplified Controllers
- Two L-ISA Processors