d&b V- & A-Series Installation in Historic New Zealand Theatre

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Regent Theatre in Palmerstown North, New Zealand, was originally designed in 1929 and, at the time of its opening, set a new standard of entertainment for local audiences. Fast forward to 2020, and the installers tasked to renovate the sound turned to d&b audiotechnik to ensure the venue stayed ahead of its time with a brand-new audio system installation.

Unique venues come with unique challenges. Regent Theatre has three distinctive acoustic spaces: the circle, the under-balcony, and the stalls, each with their own unique sonic fingerprint. For Western Audio—the team selected for the upgrade installation—dealing with a listed historic building, such as this one, meant they needed a powerful but flexible audio system that could work seamlessly in each acoustic space.

“As Regent Theatre is a historic building there were restrictions on rigging and deployment. The venue also has a long throw from the stage to the back row of the circle; some 36 metres,” said Andy Craig, Owner, Western Audio Engineering. “The incumbent sound system used delay speakers in an attempt to provide coverage to the entire theatre but architectural constraints meant that these speakers were not particularly effective. We have successfully deployed d&b systems in the past, so I was confident d&b could provide the necessary coverage and articulation without needing delay speakers.”

For this installation, d&b A-Series and V-Series systems were chosen to successfully tackle the audio distribution challenges in the venue. For Regent Theatre, one of the stand-out features of a d&b system is ArrayProcessing, which optimizes the performance of all d&b line arrays in a project and ensures all systems share a common tonality.

“ArrayProcessing was one of the core reasons why we chose d&b, no other loudspeakers, as far as I’m aware, offer the same level of control,” added Craig. “I hadn’t used the A-Series speakers before, so I was curious as to how they would sonically integrate with the V cabinets, but as with all d&b systems, they integrated seamlessly.”

So far everyone, audience, the venue technology team and visiting engineers, is pleased with the new loudspeaker system. Western Audio were also appreciative of the support from d&b throughout the process.

“I was hoping to achieve a situation where any touring engineer could walk into the room, run up their favourite piece of music, check the coverage and then relax, knowing that they were going to have a good day,” concluded Craig. “I believe that we have reached that benchmark, in part because of the vast skill and experience of the d&b team.”

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