Design and Architecture Norway, known as DOGA, describes itself as a driving force for sustainable value creation through design and architecture. The organisation looks to facilitate collaboration between creative talents and businesses and work to strengthen the role of design and architecture in shaping the Norway of tomorrow. DOGA’s Machine Hall building, which dates back to 1898, hosts events to advance this mission. In any given week the schedule might include conferences and seminars or live music sets and video screenings.
Because of the core the values of DOGA, designing an audio system for the space meant not only creating a versatile system capable of quality in spoken word and live performance, but also careful consideration to the tenets of good design. To achieve both, Norwegian distributor Benum utilised Renkus-Heinz digitally steerable loudspeaker solutions.
“The basic requirements were high speech intelligibility throughout the hall and sound reinforcement of live music,” said Daniel Glaister, Pro Audio Sales manager for Benum Norway. “But in addition to that diverse use, the hall itself is a challenge from an acoustics standpoint. That means a powerful solution like Renkus-Heinz’ digitally steerable loudspeakers are required.”
Renkus-Heinz’ digitally steerable loudspeakers allow for perfectly positioned audio in all types of locations, regardless of size, shape or type of location. With digitally steerable technology, audio can be positioned exactly where it belongs – on the audience. And the quality of sound provided by properly positioned audio enhances any type of performance – be it spoken word, music, or other type of live event.
Further, a digitally steerable solution keeps audio away from the reverberant surfaces and other architectural flourishes that come as part of uncompromised artistic design.
“The Machine Hall is acoustically challenging both from a geometric and material point of view,” Daniel said. “The shape of the main hall is long and narrow at 10-by-34 meters, and the ceiling is more than eight meters high. Further, the construction is true to the original materials used in the location and mainly consists of brick and concrete. This makes it highly reverberant.”
The solution, Daniel said, was to integrate two Dante-enabled Renkus-Heinz IC24-RD and five Renkus-Heinz IC8-RD loudspeakers. Not only do the ICONYX Series loudspeakers provide the precision control to keep sound away from reverberant surfaces, but they also provide an architecturally seamless solution for a space such as the Machine Hall.
“The speakers are unobtrusive when wall mounted,” Daniel said. “That allows them to blend into the overall design. A surprise benefit of the IC24-RDs, which are nearly three meters tall, was that we could make them more prominent and create a natural frame for large scale projections on the rear wall. It allowed for flexibility in the visual design, which was excellent for the space.”
The integration also utilizes Audinate’s Dante protocol for audio-over-IP delivery across the system, and includes components from Allen & Heath and Shure in the workflow.
“The whole system is used several times a week by non-technical personnel without issue,” Daniel said. “It has greatly increased the popularity of the venue with a noticeably higher number of bookings than before the installation. In all, it is performing incredibly well and has greatly impressed the client.”