Located since 2010 within the modern Haarlem campus of the Inholland University of Applied Sciences, Conservatorium Haarlem has a rich cultural history. But it always keeps up with the times and so has recently made a large investment in Yamaha equipment for its brand new performance facility.
Conservatorium Haarlem was one of the first educational facilities in the Netherlands to introduce full-time study in pop and electronic music, which includes projects, classes, individual study, presentations and assignments. The courses run alongside the conservatorium’s courses in traditional music.
Recently the conservatorium enhanced its student facilities by building a performance room. With capacity of around 100, the room is used for examinations and performances, as well as a playback facility for the electronic music students.
It was vital that the room featured the kind of equipment that students would find in the ‘real world’, so Arjan Muusz – coordinator of the pop music department at conservatorium Haarlem – approached Chris Mertens, owner of production company and dealer Mertens AVR, to supply audio equipment of the latest specification.
Arjan and the Conservatorium management worked closely with Chris and agreed a package of Yamaha drums, keyboards and guitars, while for sound reinforcement Chris recommended two Yamaha QL5 digital mixers for front of house and monitors, using a Rio3224-D i/o unit in combination with the local inputs from the monitor QL5. Overall, this solution provided an affordable but completely modern approach.
On 29 October, eight mixed bands of students took their performance exam in the facility, each performing four songs and being judged by their lecturers, one for each instrument. Freelance sound engineer Anco Jongsma was in charge of mixing the performances, working in collaboration with conservatorium equipment manager Harry Janssen.
With very limited time for soundchecking, to be fair on both students and lecturers, Anco had to ensure everything sounded perfect in a very short space of time. This task was made considerably easier by the QL5’s fast and intuitive user interface.
“You can work really quickly on the QL5 for both FOH and monitors,” he said. “It is very easy to use, everything you can think of is there, every part of it sounds great and access is very fast. I used the latest Neve compressors in several sub-groups, they are simply great.”
“It was really important that we invested in equipment that is high quality, reliable, sounds great and will continue to be even in 10-15 years time,” added Arjan. “These are the reasons that we invested in Yamaha and we have been really pleased with how the equipment is benefitting the students.”