Fifteen years with L-ACOUSTICS at Musikhuset Esbjerg - Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre
Situated on the rugged west coast of Jutland, the Utzon-designed Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre, is host to 125,000 visitors and over 100 shows a year, varying from rock to opera. The shoebox shaped main hall seats 1,121 and since 1997 has been powered by a previous L-ACOUSTICS ARCS system which has now been upgraded to KARAi and KIVA systems.
“Contrary to what you might believe, our PA has not yet really started showing its age despite its heavy workload. In its 15 years with us we only had to diaphragm, and recone one single speaker element,” says Paul van Zijl, the in-house sound technician. “That kind of longevity in today’s throw away society demonstrated to us that our investment in an L-ACOUSTICS system 15 years ago was a solid decision.”
So why replace a well functioning PA? The answer is quite simple says Christian Søvad, technical head at the Musikhuset, “There has been a vast improvement in the quality of sound we hear through digital media at home in the last five years. This has changed what our audience perceives as ’good’ sound. We had to re-invest, not just in a new line source array, but invest in the future happiness of our audience.”
”A track record of 15 flawless years with the L-ACOUSTICS ARCS system makes it clear why we chose to stay with the French speaker system manufacturer. We were impressed with the predictable way our ARCS system performed in the demanding and ever changing shows we have hosted over the years. Our choice was always going to be L-ACOUSTICS.”
To accommodate the throw requirement, the Esbjerg Performing Arts Centre invested in 2 x 9 KARAi as a left/right system together with 9 KIVA and 2 KILO in the centre cluster and 8 x SB18i along with LA8 amplified controllers used to control, filter and power the system. The L-ACOUSTICS systems were supplied by L-ACOUSTICS distributor Moto Audio Sales ApS and All Stage Aps took charge of the installation.
The main hall posed a serious challenge with a ‘floating’ roof system that allows the roof to be lowered in five separate sections between 10 and 18 meters in height. Combine this with removeable seating and an orchestra pit that also functions as a protracted part of the stage (allowing it to sit one meter above the stage and four meters below the floor), and you have all the hallmarks of a difficult acoustic application.
“We made use of local sound engineer Martin Poulsen and All Stage Aps, who has a long history and knowledge of L-ACOUSTICS products. Martin presented us with various SOUNDVISION 3D simulations of the hall in all its different configurations, confirming that a KARA/KIVA configuration would provide more than adequate coverage across the whole venue” says Christian Søvad. “It gives you a great sense of security to know in advance how your investment is going to perform, and even better when it performs exactly as was predicted on SOUNDVISION.”
“As for our ‘old’ ARCS system, well that is now serving us in our spectacular main foyer, thus ensuring the L-ACOUSTICS legacy lives on in this part of Jutland,” laughs Paul.