A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Wavefronts At The Waterside

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Advanced Martin Audio Cinema System At New £35m Aylesbury Theater

When Northern Light won a competitive bid to provide an advanced technical infrastructure for the new £35 million Aylesbury Waterside Theater, the company set out to design a fully-integrated system that was versatile, reconfigurable and able to carry out remote system diagnostics over a LAN via the resident PC.

Evenly dispersed sound was of paramount importance, since Aylesbury has three audience tiers (including fixed-seating balcony and upper balcony levels) and optional ground floor seating wagons to enable the 1200-seat auditorium to convert into a larger 1800-capacity standing space.

Thus Northern Light project manager Simon Cooper decided to base his sound reinforcement solution around Martin Audio’s purpose-designed Wavefront theater systems.

For the primary system, he chose 14 purpose designed WT3 arrayable 3-way compact theatre enclosures. These are designed in three vertical pairs on either side of the proscenium arch, focused onto each balcony, with a single enclosure at the base. The proscenium system is complemented by a centre cluster of seven W3P arrayable compact enclosures to provide true L/C/R imaging, while two WS18X subs, either side of the stage, add LF extension.

Providing stage fills are Martin Audio WT15s, while high up the building four WT2s and a pair of S18(F) subs are mounted on the second lighting bridge to form the delay system for the second balcony. Finally, under-balcony support is provided by Martin Audio’s C6.8T ceiling speakers, six on each level.

Martin Audio amplifiers drive the main PA system, which is situated in a rack room close to the proscenium arch in order to reduce cable runs. These consist of 13 x MA5.2K, 2 x MA12K and 1 x MA1.3s, while the Martin Audio ceiling speakers reside on a separate circuit.

Explaining his choice of system Simon Cooper stated that he had previous experience of seeing WT3’s designed in a similar configuration — and his concept received the full support of Martin Audio’s Peter Child, who assisted with the design.

In addition to the sound, Cooper realized that with Ambassador Theater Group (ATG), the UK’s largest theater group, running the venue, visual reinforcement would also need to be world class, since the Aylesbury Waterside would be a circuit venue for the nation’s UK’s top touring productions.

In each instance, he evolved a solution to match challenges, which included networking through two lighting bridges and a fore stage, plus servicing ancillary areas such as a second, 225-capacity studio/function space, a foyer and a number of dressing rooms requiring show calls. All this is within an extraordinarily high, seven-story building — measuring 25.27m from stage level to fly tower — with an orchestra pit and motorized floor.

Finally, the integration company has succeeded in delivering a production infrastructure, which will enable the client, Aylesbury Vale District Council, to decommission its old Civic Hall in favor of this magnificent multi-cultural arts centre, and kick start the new development in the town center.

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.

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