Brisbane (October 20, 2005)–The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (JWC) in Brisbane features a main performance space designed for easy configuration into alternate physical arrangements, and it requires a sound system that is no less versatile. “We needed a system that is capable of being subtle and transparent, but can also punch it out when necessary,” said technical manager Donald Mackenzie. The result is a self-powered Meyer Sound line array system that can be rapidly tailored to meet a wide variety of reinforcement needs.
Built in a former office supply warehouse, the JWC complex now houses not only the performance space, but also an art gallery, artist studios, a screening room, administration and storage facilities, workshops, and theatre, music, dance, and circus rehearsal spaces. The room is rectangular with tiered seating for 200 people covering about half the area. The balance is flat floor. In theatre mode, this open area is largely covered by a stage and the side walls draped. In cabaret mode, the floor area is mostly covered with cafe tables and chairs seating another 100 people, with a small stage set up against the back wall.
“Due to the different operating modes necessary in the space, we needed more than just a set of speakers,” explained Mackenzie “We also needed the ability to confidently make alterations to these room modes at the last minute, and to be able to make accurate acoustic analysis of our situation.” Rigging was also critical, as the multipurpose nature of the space requires that loudspeaker rigging must sometimes come second to the rigging requirements of the client, such as for circus performances. This dictates that moving loudspeakers to different positions must be a relatively painless process.
The heart of the system is a left/right set of arrays, each comprised of five M1D ultra-compact curvilinear array loudspeakers, which provide 100 degrees of horizontal coverage, driven by an LD-3 compensating line driver. Low-frequency requirements are met by four M1D-Sub ultra-compact subwoofers. “Sometimes the client wants the walls to shake,” noted Mackenzie. The system also includes two UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers.
The system’s straightforward design allowed installation to be handled in-house by the JWC. “Electrically, the self-powered system was easy to install,” Mackenzie reported. “We just ran power and a couple of multicores (snakes) to patch the audio.”