The Royal Geographical Society’s magnificent 750 seat Ondaatje Theatre in London recently decided to upgrade its sonic capabilities with APG.
Luciano Figueira, business development manager at the RGS, commented: “When we voted to invest in the theatre revamp, the sound system became our first priority. We needed a solution that would help the speakers deliver their insights and bring the best in audio clarity, regardless of where the audience is seated in the theatre.
“We needed a solution that would be flexible and efficient enough to help them share their stories, the audio element of the refurbishment became of paramount importance.”
Plus4Audio specified 18 APG Uniline Compact loudspeakers equally split in an LR flown line array configuration. Each line array is made of 8 x UC206N for the medium/long throw requirements, coupled with 1x UC206W speaker (dedicated to the front rows) and 2 UC115B bass speakers. 14 x DX5 coaxial loudspeakers complete the installation: two of them act as onstage monitors, three are installed in front fill, while the rest is equally spread across the room both under and above the balcony. Both the line array boxes as well as the DX5 situated below and above the balcony were customised in white in order to integrate perfectly in the environment.
Luciano added: “The structure of the theatre itself also presented a number of challenges. It features a xx seat balcony and large wooden panels across the theatre walls. The RGS called upon the expertise of integrator Plus 4 Audio to tackle the brief – and they re-thought the entire sound system for the theatre before selecting the audio equipment.
“We are close to a number of iconic music halls and auditoriums in London, so we asked them who in their opinion would be the best integrator, and Plus4Audio stood out”.
Plus4Audio managing director Stewart Chaney explained: “The sound system had to meet a number of requirements. So we needed a sound system that would not only be compact and powerful, but precise and flexible enough to perform flawlessly regardless of the circumstances. We needed speakers that could reach every single person in the room”.
The entire system is powered by two APG DA:50 and four DA:15 DSP amplifiers, allowing for various cabling configurations depending on speakers and impedance load. For the front of house, Plus4Audio specified 1 x DiGiCo SD9 and 2 x Digico 32:16 D Rack, along with a Tascam SS CDR 200 audio recorder. Ten Sennheiser 2000 series radio mics are available for speakers and the audience alike.
Plus4Audio involved the RGS in selecting the right PA system, and organised A/B tests onsite. Luciano said: “We listened to different loudspeaker brands, but when APG demonstrated its Uniline Compact range, we were immediately sold. The performance was fantastic, and we were most impressed with the bass levels. We first tested the system without any subwoofers and the result was already amazing. A senior representative from APG also took the time to come over, which was most appreciated and gave us further confidence that we were making the right choice”.
Stewart said: “It is easy for integrators to take a safe approach and recommend the big brands everyone knows about. I don’t think we would have achieved the same results with other speakers, and we’re proud to be the first company to install the Uniline Compact range in the UK.”
Luciano concluded: “The sound is perfect; it is exactly what we wanted it to be.”