When Jozef De Kesel, the Bishop of Bruges, declared that he could see no future for The Holy Family Church in the Langestraat Quarter of the city, the building ceased to be a centre for worship. Enter young entrepreneurs Mon and Zowie Hayen, owners of Brasserie Uilenspiegel, who envisioned the transformation of the 1904-constructed red-brick landmark into a multi-purpose events venue.
That vision became a reality with the creation of Owla Bruges, a 270sqm space suitable for concerts, performances, weddings, parties, corporate events, conferences, seminars, fashion shows, product launches and more.
High quality, flexible audio would naturally be essential to the venue’s success, although the team at Owla suffered something of a false start when its original installed system was deemed less than optimal during the first concerts staged in the space. Moving quickly to rectify the situation, and at the recommendation of its lighting contractor, Owla contacted audio specialist Studio Haifax to supply and install a new system. Pieter Begard of Studio Haifax recommended CODA Audio N-RAY to replace the existing setup.
As a regular customer of CODA Audio’s Belgian distributor Viladco, Pieter was very familiar with the quality and power of the ultra-compact N-RAY line array, and was confident that a CODA system would prevail where the previous system had not succeeded. Pieter consulted with Viladco’s Hans Engelen over the system design. Using CODA’s proprietary System Optimiser 3D modelling prediction software, they were able to design a system that could comfortably overcome what was an awkward room layout.
The final system comprised a main PA of 8 N-RAY and 2 SCN-F 15” sensor controlled low frequency extensions per side with an additional centre cluster of 4 N-RAY and a cardioid arrangement of 9 SCV-F 18” sensor controlled subwoofers beneath the stage. 2 HOPS were deployed as infill and 6 HOPS8 served as delays. The system is powered by CODA Audio LINUS14 and LINUS10C DSP amplifiers.
Pieter described the job: “It was quite a difficult setup because of the layout of the room. The main PA couldn’t cover the entire space because there were overlapping audience zones on the left and right sides. To compensate for the height difference, we flew the SCN-F subs in the centre of the left and right arrays. To maintain sight lines, the centre cluster was necessary to freshen up the centre area of the venue between the left and right balconies, since they were shadowing the main left/right array. The HOPS8 were used under the balconies.
“Because the stage depth can be altered, the main PA was mounted on a motorised rail so that it can be automatically moved up to two metres forward. The different presets on the amps ensure that this movement is taken into account.”
Following a fast turn around on delivery and installation, the system was tuned and aligned by expert freelance audio specialist Tim Martens, enabling Owla to deliver its busy and varied programme of events without delay. According to Pieter, every visitor to events at the venue now benefits from a full audio experience:
“Coverage is complete, the sound quality is excellent and the customer is especially pleased with the system because visiting sound engineers are satisfied that no extra speakers are required! What had the potential to be a very tricky installation was made straightforward by CODA’s next generation technology.”