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Palace Theatre’s power upgrade with new EM Acoustics system

The venue invested in a HALO-C system to replace their aging Martin Blackline rig

The 600-seat Palace Theatre in Nottinghamshire, England was originally built as a picture house but is now laid out as a traditional proscenium arch theatre with front stall, rear stall, circle and boxes.

The venue invested in an EM Acoustics HALO-C system to replace their aging Martin Blackline rig.

Admits Mark Noutch, the Palace’s technical manager: “We were well overdue for an upgrade. By modern standards our old system was seriously underpowered and we continually failed to deliver quality sound with any energy to the furthest parts of the theatre. My goal was therefore to design a system that would deliver sufficient power to cover every seat in the house with the same clarity and energy.”

He adds: “It also needed to be compact enough that when flown it would leave enough space to accommodate any ground-stacked touring elements. However, my ultimate ambition was really to provide a system of sufficient power and quality such that touring acts would no longer feel the need to bring in their own systems, thus creating a further potential long-term income stream for the venue.”

Noutch spent some time discussing the theatre’s requirements with EM’s David Kelland and how they could best achieve their vision.

He says: “Being a traditional theatre space, and in our case with a listed ceiling with no available load capacity, we had several limitations to contend with. We don’t have much ground-stack capacity either, so our only option in order to leave floor space for touring systems and to alleviate the issues of the relentless nightly de-rigs was to fly the system from a wall bracket to side of the proscenium arch. At 17kgs per box the HALO-C is ridiculously light considering the power it delivers and a total hang weight of 140kgs was a no-brainer.”

The final system comprised L-R hangs of 7 x HALO-C cabinets supplemented by 6 x EMS-51 front fills, 12 x EMS-51s in the balcony boxes, 2 x EMS-129 rear fills and 2 x EMS-118 bass loudspeakers.

Finally, Noutch wanted to ensure that special attention was paid to the corporate boxes as, despite their VIP status, they aren’t actually the best positions from which to view or listen. The main hangs are powered by a pair of EM Acoustics AQ-10 amplifiers with system processing courtesy of a couple of DSC48s. The fill/delay systems are driven by the venue’s existing MC2 amplifiers.