L-Acoustics Brings 150-Year-Old Schouwburg Ogterop Theater into the 21st Century
Rider-friendly K and A Series win in a competitive purchasing process for Meppel’s cultural hub
Meppel, The Netherlands – December 2020 – Schouwburg Ogterop, in the northeast of the Netherlands, hosts a varied program ranging from classical productions, drama, dance, cabaret, and music to contemporary shows. When the decision to install a new sound system in the theater’s historic large hall was made earlier this year, the Ogterop’s technical team invited Audio Innovation Foundation (AIF) to find a solution that would cover the needs of the various types of visiting productions. The rigorous selection process results determined that L-Acoustics K and A Series would deliver the required combination of high sound quality, excellent speech intelligibility, and even coverage over the entire listening area.
AIF is a non-profit foundation that aims to improve sound reinforcement quality in the live events market. It provides independent consulting and process facilitation. At Ogterop, the AIF team of Erik Hendriks, Thei Munten, and Rob Goedee provided a competitive purchasing procedure to ensure the best system was chosen for the venue and, as the theater is publicly owned, also ensure the best financial return.
“Everybody hears, sees, and experiences a sound system in a very personal way,” explains Hendriks. “But to empower them to be able to describe what they are hearing, and then to be able to assess it qualitatively, is much more complicated.”
Hendriks organized a day for the theater’s crew to listen and evaluate their existing sound system, training them to identify the different evaluation criteria. All participants were invited to appraise the system based on the importance of a specific role: audio crew, lighting crew, head of production, visiting engineer, audience, etc.
“This process allowed us to learn how to listen to what a PA system actually does with sound, assess the impact it has on each role within the theater, and remove any preconceived preferences,” says André Posthuma, Technical Manager at Schouwburg Ogterop.
Then, five leading loudspeaker brand distributors, including L-Acoustics Dutch partner Fairlight, led by René van der Linden and Ben Brouwers, were invited to demonstrate. “We asked the suppliers a simple question: can you give Schouwburg Ogterop your best shot within the boundaries of our budget?” adds Posthuma. “After a very tough competition, L-Acoustics won the shoot-out based on the system’s quality and rider friendliness.”
The final system configuration comprises left/right hangs of six Kiva II topped with an SB15 sub, with a center cluster of two A10i Focus and one A10i Wide. Infill is catered for with one X8 stage left and right plus an additional KS21i sub per side. Four LA4X amplified controllers power the system.
“We are very grateful for the way René, Ben, and the Fairlight team took on this task,” Posthuma remarks. “And we are very, very happy with the end result.”
“Sometimes there are theaters that capture the imagination so much that it feels, beyond the commercial interest, an honor to be able to supply an L-Acoustics system,” concludes René van der Linden. “Ogterop, with its beautiful hall and excellent acoustics, is such a location, and the collaboration with the technical crew of Ogterop and the AIF team felt like a really good fit.”