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Yamaha offers new acoustics to ‘The Old Lady’

The AFC3 system has been installed in a historic theatre in the Netherlands

A Yamaha AFC3 system has been installed in a historic theatre in the Netherlands, allowing performers and audiences hear each other both directly and via the acoustics of the space.

Nicknamed ‘The Old Lady’, the 102-year-old Parkgebouw in Rijssen, Netherlands is well-established as a venue for drama and amplified live music.

But the venue’s management – headed by managing director Jolanda Agteresch – was keen for the 420-seat venue to become truly multi-purpose, hosting classical music performances and, in particular, local choirs who have always rehearsed and performed in other venues, such as the town’s churches.

With funding for the system provided by a combination of sponsorship, private donations and the Rijssen authorities, Parkgebouw commissioned Innovation Audio to install the necessary matrix of ceiling loudspeakers, as well as a new front of house PA system and stage lights.

Numerous loudspeakers were mounted in a matrix across the ceiling to reproduce natural indirect reflections, picked up by a row of microphones mounted in the ceiling in front of the proscenium.

Yamaha loudspeakers 54 VXC5, VXC8 and VXS8 models were chosen for the AFC3 system, powered by digital XMV series power amplifiers.

The AFC3 system was tuned by Jo Wang and Roy Knudsen from Oslo-based acoustic engineering company Panpot, who provided multiple presets to match many different types of performance.

Wang said: “The main challenge was ensuring the acoustic enhancement matched the very special look and feel of Parkgebouw, as well as its original acoustics. We tuned some ‘big’ presets with reverberation times of more than two seconds to support the large Rijssens Mannenkoor male choir, which is very popular. But the system really comes to life with the presets that are carefully tuned to benefit the venue.”