Play AV and Viladco combine to deliver pristine audio to popular Antwerp culture centre, with CODA Audio APS and N-APS.
The Culture Centre de Kern is a multi-purpose hub for the arts in the Wilrijk district of Antwerp. Offering a wide variety of entertainment and cultural participation, the different spaces in the centre are in great demand. Theatre, live music, comedy and presentations of all kinds take place at the Centre, so that no two days are ever the same. With a mission to ensure that productions are supported by the best possible technology, the team at de Kern recently took the decision to replace the ageing sound system in the venue’s main theatre. An extended period of closure due to the Coronavirus pandemic provided a window of opportunity to carry out the work, and integrators PLAY AV were invited to carry out the installation.
The team at de Kern chose a CODA Audio system, as Wim Meuwis, Head of Technology at the centre explains: “I’ve had really good experiences with other CODA systems at previous workplaces and on tour. The impact of COVID-19 meant that the venue was closed, and although I hadn’t specifically heard the APS system, the fact that it was CODA and that the virtual simulation looked really great, was enough to convince us to go for it. Since we are partly funded by the City of Antwerp, the system had to come in within strict budget limits – the CODA system was very competitive and its specs were better than some other more expensive alternatives.”
The team faced a few challenges at the venue owing to its relatively low but wide dimensions. Added to this, a movable tribune allows the auditorium to be adapted in size to respond to variable ticket sales, so the system had to deliver high quality audio for every possible setup.
Play AV, who had previously installed a CODA TiRAY system at another nearby Culture Centre, worked closely with CODA Audio’s distributor in Belgium, Viladco, on the project, with the latter’s Hans Engelen responsible for the pre-design of the system following a site study by Play AV’s Audio Visual Solution Architect Jan Ryckaert.
Hans Engelen, Owner at Viladco describes the system design: “We were asked to design a left-centre-right system with a left-right sub arrangement, to achieve consistent horizontal and vertical coverage. As the stage is almost the same width as the seating, we deployed an asymmetric CODA Audio APS system to minimise the impact of any reflections from the side walls of the venue. To achieve the best possible result, we individually selected couplers within each APS loudspeaker, to tailor the coverage to the venue. For each side, 3 x APS were selected, together with 2 APS-SUB per side on the floor – making use of the space available.
The centre channel was more complex to integrate, due to obstacles within the auditorium, however N-APS’s versatility led to an easy choice. Two hangs of 2 x N-APS flown as a ‘centre’ and ‘centre delay’ was designed to clear all obstructions. The widest symmetric coupler setting (120º) provided a direct and focused sound to all listeners.
All loudspeakers, being completely passive – only required one amplifier channel. This, together with intelligent linking of loudspeakers, allowed for a very economic amplification configuration. A total of only 2 LINUS14-D and 1 LINUS10-C were needed, without any compromises on either flexibility or power.
Keeping the bulk of the audio energy away from the walls really increased intelligibility in the venue by reducing reverberance, whilst simultaneously increasing the uniformity of the coverage in the audience listening area.”
Wim Meuwis and the team at the Centre are more than pleased with their new system:
“We are all extremely excited. We’ve moved on from a thirty-year old point source system which was ok in its day, but no longer cut it in terms of the standards expected of a modern venue of our size. Play AV and Viladco worked closely together to deliver excellent service and we hope we can open our doors very soon to let our audience enjoy the pristine quality of our new sound system!”
David Webster, Director of Global Marketing at CODA Audio added: “With a return to indoor live events hopefully just around the corner, the patrons of the Centre will soon be enjoying a wide variety of entertainment, all of which will benefit from the quality and flexibility of the chosen APS system. It is this flexibility that enabled the team to deliver a solution that met the venue’s budgetary requirements without any compromise on audio quality.”