Avantis Upgrade for Historic Classical Venue

The A&H Avantis console at FoH at Music Centre Bijloke

Allen & Heath Avantis and SQ mixing systems have been installed as part of a major update of Music Centre De Bijloke in Gent, Belgium.

The venue reopened in September, resuming its role as a focal point for classical music in the region following a one-year refurbishment. Although Music Centre De Bijloke has been hosting performances since 1988, the building dates all the way back to 1228, when it served as a hospital. A crack team of experts has greatly enhanced the experience for performers and audiences in the main performance hall, going so far as to lower the floor and install extensive wood panelling to bring its unruly acoustics into the twenty-first century without detracting from its medieval oak ceiling and stone walls.

With the acoustics finely honed, the venue turned to its AV partners, City Sound Rent, to identify a mixing system capable of delivering excellent sound quality while being easy to use for in-house and visiting engineers. The centrepiece of the new setup is a 96kHz A&H Avantis at FoH. “I fell in love with the Allen & Heath Avantis mixing console from the first moment I used it,” comments Pieter Kinoli, sound engineer at Music Centre De Bijloke. “It’s so intuitive, easy-to-use and trustworthy. It’s definitely a step forward for us and the live performances we mix for.”

The Avantis is teamed up over a digital split with an SQ-6 on monitors. A GX4816 AudioRack provides the main I/O, with a portable DX168 stagebox giving Peter further I/O and added flexibility. A 64 channel Dante card in the Avantis gives the option for digital splits with other third-party mixers if required. The consoles were supplied by Allen & Heath’s Belgian distributor, XLR, which worked closely with the venue to ensure that the system and team were fully prepared for the first performances in the revamped space.
Music Centre De Bijloke is now open once more, operating within Belgium’s Coronavirus rules and giving audiences the chance to enjoy its Autumn programme with superior audio quality.