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Winter Gathering fires up with Danley Sound Lab speakers

The Manchester event includes live bands and an ice skating rink in a disused fire station, with some loudspeakers mounted to the firefighter poles

Set up amid the architecture of the historic London Road Fire Station in Manchester, UK, the Winter Gathering includes an ice skating rink and live music.

Local A/V integration and live sound company Neuron Pro Audio delivered the sound by using a sizable collection of Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers.

The live music is a mixture of bands, DJ sets, and quirky pop-up acts, like a mannequin challenge and a walkabout brass band that performs covers of famous 90s-era dance tunes.

Kyle Marriott, managing director at Neuron Pro Audio, says: “As one of our company’s main technical people, I advised that we should import Danley equipment via air freight due to its famous sound quality and pattern control. In addition, Danley would be something a little outside the norm for the area – it has a ‘cool’ factor.”

He adds: “The ability to take the client’s preliminary site plans and use them to produce accurate direct SPL plots with Danley’s free ‘Danley Direct’ acoustical modeling software … also helped us to meet their tight licensing application deadlines and assuage council fears of off-site noise bleed affecting nearby residents.”

The event uses four zones in total, controlled via a BSS London BLU-160 running a bespoke configuration with auto-gain leveling and timed noise level reductions, with customised BLU-10 touchscreen wall panel for minor adjustments and source selection.

Each zone has independent source control and can be fed from one of two background music systems running from iPads or from the music being played on the main stage.

The main stage uses a stereo set of Danley SH-46 full-range loudspeakers, girded from below by three Danley TH-118 subwoofers per side. The Neuron team chose the SH-46 for its narrow dispersion pattern to help with the sound quality in the long, reverberant space. They aim straight down the narrow room that used to house the fire engines and are time-aligned well with the indoor bar, which is fifteen yards farther down the room.

The indoor bar and its associated attractions use six Danley SH-mini loudspeakers mounted to the fire house’s original Victorian firefighter poles, along with one Danley TH-212 subwoofer installed against the wall near the bar.

Outside, the ice rink uses four Danley OS-80 fully-weatherised loudspeakers in a classic “quad” configuration.

Says Marriott: “These boxes are totally exposed to the elements. Manchester is well known for near constant rainfall, and therefore frost, sleet, and snow as well. In addition, their proximity to the ice guarantees lower temperatures than the surrounding air. The OS-80s can handle all of it and still sound great.”

Finally, two Danley SM-80s handle the outside, but covered bar area. The rink and the outside bar get enough low-end punch from the OS-80s and SM-80s, allowing Neuron to avoid adding subs and risking breaking sensitive sound ordinances.

Danley DNA SC48 processors handle all of the loudspeaker conditioning with presets for each of the Danley boxes. Neuron’s fleet of four-channel Powersoft X4 amplifiers runs the entire installation, delivering 5200W per channel with built-in DSP and networking capabilities. The network connects to a remote control system that also controls the BSS BLU platform. A Behringer X32 desk with 2x S16 stage boxes is the engineer’s interface for live acts, complete with a full live production case with Sennheiser, Shure, AKG mics (wired and wireless), and Radial DI boxes.