d&b audiotechnik Revolutionises De Factorij

Speed and efficiency with d&b at De Factorij Zaventem

Amptec, tasked with upgrading Belgian Performing Arts facility, De Factorij, sound reinforcement system, chose d&b audiotechnik Y-Series system; designing the initial configurations using the d&b ArrayProcessing software.

Frank Geerts of Amptec said: “Before ArrayProcessing was available ,our experience with line arrays was that you can’t get an even frequency distribution in that kind of space; a point source system may have been the best solution. But with ArrayProcessing, you have the guarantee that you will have the control needed to work around these issues with the space.”

De Factorij’s Dries D’Hondt, an experienced live sound engineer, said: “There are some difficulties in the venue, because you have a projection space with a vertical wall, so we used the ArrayProcessing to get rid of the reflections there, and it really works.”

In finalising the design and the final installation, the team at Amptec were supported by d&b at every stage. Frank added: “On the design phase, we coordinated with d&b, to get a second opinion. The guys from d&b Education & Application Support are really great with that. No two venues are the same; there are always considerations.

The main Theatre system includes eight d&b audiotechnik Yi8, two d&b audiotechnik Yi12 and three d&b audiotechnik YiSUBs in each main left and right hang, with additional low-frequency support from a pair of VG-SUBs each side. d&b audiotechnik Yi10P and d&b audiotechnik Yi7P cabinets provide downfill and outfill, with d&b audiotechnik E5 cabinets delivering frontfill from the stage lip. The main system is powered by nine d&b audiotechnik 30D amplifiers. Also provided are twelve d&b audiotechnik M4 stage monitors.

Amptec’s solution involved a custom-designed touchscreen offering selection of simple presets drawn from an industrial PLC [Programmable Logic Controller] from automation specialist Beckhoff. This allows easy recall of audio setups for speech, or cinema projection, for example, including amplifier settings and Dante patch presets.

Dante patch presets are prepared in Dante Controller software and can be exported to the PLC using a USB stick. d&b amplifier presets are stored in the amplifier and recalled by the PLC through OCA (AES70) protocol or GPIO.

Integrating automatic control of the cinema processor into the control network was another challenge, Frank said: “We decided to have the cinema processor on the Dante network, but if you are the cinema technician, you don’t want to open your computer to have Dante Controller in front of you so that you can patch the cinema processor to the d&b amplifiers.

“So we developed a Dante patch controller. The Beckhoff PLC also sends signals to the Dante network, through another interface, and like that, they have an automated cinema patch. So when they press the ‘cinema’ button, all the routing in the Dante network is done automatically. Go back to the PA presets, and all the routing is done again, automatically, to a left-right system.”

Dries D’Hondt is impressed with the new system, he said: “It’s a great-sounding system, in a really great hall. I think we are now the best-equipped venue in Belgium, so of course, that must be true for Europe too.”