L-ACOUSTICS KARA Helps Liverpool University Guild of Students Attract National Promoters
The University of Liverpool Guild of Students (LGoS) has a long history of hosting concerts, student nights and conferences. In early 2013 the university embarked on a 214m refurbishment as part of its commitment to making the institution a world-class place to study and, at the same time, offering the biggest student union building in the UK. With the listed 1911 part of the building carefully restored to its former glory and taking on the role of a new reception area, the major investment also saw the university's live production equipment upgraded across its three venues - Mounfford Hall, Stanley Theatre and The Courtyard - in order to facilitate all in-house and visiting productions. Aware of previous issues surrounding the LGoS venues, installation company and rental house, Adlib was brought on board by the university to specify 'rider friendly' audio and lighting systems that would make LGoS attractive to national promoters and prospective clients. Local to the university, Adlib has a standing reputation throughout the touring market and has established installation and design departments, making it the ideal company for the job. Commenting, Adlib's Director John Hughes told mondo*dr: "We specialise in pro audio and lighting installations for live performance venues and drew upon our collective experience to provide the university with a turnkey solu-tion that would give it the platform to develop its live events without the need to constantly sub-hire equipment." Following a tender process in October 2013 to supply and install production infrastructure across the three venues - cabling, containment and rigging - Adlib was awarded the contract. Work on site began in November and completed 16 weeks later. Following this, the second phase tender was awarded to install sound, lighting and power solutions; this was completed in 10 weeks and handed over to the venue's technical staff. Working to a design brief drawn from a series of meetings with the university's project team and Technical Supervisor Matt Gadbsy, John worked together with Roger Kirby, Installation Director at Adlib, to manage the contract.
During the early stages of the building development, Adlib's design team was involved in conversations with the university's structural engineers, regarding steelwork designs. Due to the nature of the building's construction, only minimal roof loads were available to support the lighting trusses and any new production equipment that might be suspended overhead. However, Adlib helped to optimise the designs to increase the payloads considerably within Mountford Hall, which will benefit touring productions for years to come. Every installation project has its own unique challenges and LGoS was no different as Roger explained: "The university's Project Manager Andy Murphy had specifically requested that access within the roof space cavity was completely restricted to workers and all university staff. Due to this lack of ceiling access, along with restricted load tolerances of the building's structure, an inventive approach to the design and production specific cable services was required. Our designers considered a number of different cable routes and containment options before devising a wall mounted cable path which also helped to maximise the overhead payloads that can be used for productions." As mentioned, the main brief for Mountford Hall (the largest of the three spaces) was to ensure it was rider-friendly. Explaining their reasoning for specifying the L-Acoustics loudspeaker system, John told mondo*dr: "Our rental department is extremely busy in the touring market and so we're very aware of the loudspeaker systems that are being specified by touring engineers on a regular basis, The decision to go with a Kara system was made to fit with the brief - it is rider friendly, the loudspeaker set-up is fully flexible and adaptable for the venue's operators and it is a solution that offers long term cost effectiveness and value. We have successfully installed L-Acoustics into many live venues over the years and the feedback from engineers has been superb." The acoustic response within Mountford Hall has always presented problems during live events. Therefore detailed sound modelling of the room was undertaken by Adlib in conjunction with L-Acoustics. The L-Acoustics Kara system was employed for the main PA - 18 Kara two-way enclosures split evenly into two hangs left and right of the stage, with three L-Acoustics SB18 high power subwoofers hung behind each Kara array. There are also eight L-Acoustics SB28 high power subwoofers placed on the floor in front of the stage. In addition, four L-Acoustics Arcs Wide two-way loudspeakers can be found on stage as in fills, alongside 12 Adlib Audio MP4 two-way bi-amp high performance stage monitors and one Adlib Audio 215DS high performance drum subwoofer loudspeaker - the monitors and drum subwoofer are powered by seven Crown XTi 6002 amplifiers. A number of smaller in fill and delay loudspeakers were also introduced to provide coverage to the balcony area in Mounfford Hall. These include four L-Acoustics Arcs Focus two-way constant curvature loudspeakers; one L-Acoustics 12XTi two-way passive coaxial loudspeaker and two L-Acoustics 8XTi two-way passive coaxial loudspeakers. The whole system is powered by six L-Acoustics LA8 amplifiers and three L-Acoustics LA4X amplifiers and controlled by a BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 networked audio processor.
Asked to summarise his experience of the LGoS project, John concluded: "Being involved at an early stage in the design process allowed us to offer valuable advice, all of which was done with an eye on the overall final use of the venues and production expectations and requirements. Our designers managed to do this with an in depth knowledge and insight into the best use of the performance spaces and practical day-to-day operations of new production equipment and infrastructure within the venues." Matt added: "The new technical install at LGoS not only offers Mountford Hall better quality production for student groups, but also provides a high spec and appealing in-house systems for touring shows. Adlib has provided high quality service on both accounts, from concept to construction, and their after sale support has been second to none."
SOUND MOUNTFORD HALL 18 x L-Acoustics KARA loudspeaker; 6 x L-Acoustics SB18 subwoofer; 8 x L-Acoustics SB28 subwoofer; 4 x L-Acoustics ARCS WIDE loudspeaker; 4 x L-Acoustics ARCS FOCUS loudspeaker; 1 x L-Acoustics 12)01 loudspeaker; 2 x L-Acoustics 8XTi loudspeaker; 12 x Adlib Audio MP4 loudspeaker; 1 x Adlib Audio 215DS drum sub loudspeaker; 6 x L-Acoustics LA8 amplifier; 3 x L-Acoustics LA4X amplifier; 7 x Crown Xti6002 amplifier; 1 x BSS Soundweb London BLU-160 networked audio processor; 1 x Soundcraft Vi3000 mixing console; 1 x Soundcraft Vii Mixing Console
For more information on the Liverpool University Guild of Students: www.liverpoolguild.org
For more information on Adlib: http://www.adlib.co.uk/