Part of the Royal Concert Hall complex in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, the new Royal Scottish National Symphony Orchestra centre has had its new home equipped with L-Acoustics sound reinforcement.
The new auditorium was developed by Glasgow City Council’s in-house design team, with a 600-seat auditorium, rehearsal space and learning centre, recital hall and performance space that will be used for classical and choral recording, folk and other amplified music events.Following a detailed site survey and subsequent acoustic modelling of the new room, Adlib proposed the introduction of an L-Acoustics Kiva system complimented by SB15m and SB18i low-end speakers, with L-Acoustics XT Series speakers where additional fill was required. On appointment, Adlib liaised with the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s in-house technical managers and also with Arup.
The space is flexible with automated retractable seating, so the Kiva was chosen as an elegant, very lightweight modular line source solution offering acoustic performance and inter-cabinet that angles can be adjusted to suit current and future tiered seating arrangements.
The flown system features 11 Kiva speakers a side with two SB18i flown subs a side, plus two SB15M ultra-compact bass extensions sitting at the top each Kiva array. For stage and lip fill, four 8XTs can be deployed and two 12XTs were specified for covering the ‘platform’ area which can include additional seats in the choir stalls position behind the stage, or they can be used as general left and right stage fill. The Kiva system is driven by a combination of LA8 and LA4X amplifiers all featuring comprehensive onboard signal processing.
A DiGiCo SD8/24 console is an integral part of the package along with D2 DiGiCo stageboxes – well-suited to the task and offering continuity with other DiGiCo consoles used in the main GRCH venues. The SD8/24’s relatively low cost, coupled with its versatility, ticked all necessary boxes for this application.
The system is completed by a BSS London Architect network, which includes a Blu-160 signal processor and all necessary cabling, power distribution racks and packaging, plus a small analogue Allen & Heath MixWizard mixing desk for use as a plug-and-go system for straightforward presentations requiring one or two mics for commentary during smaller orchestral recitals.
The recital hall has an impressive acoustic response, which is made flexible by a series of fully automated acoustic damping and reflectors that can be deployed to suit each event in a matter of minutes. The consideration of acoustics at the design stage is crucial for the schedule of classical music recitals. It is also of huge benefit to live amplified events, as controlled acoustics will ensure functionality as a top quality performance space explained Adlib’s Roger Kirby, who designed the sound system and co-ordinated the installation. Once all the kit was onsite, Adlib engineers ensured that everything completed in a tidy eight days. It was a very efficient process and a great tribute to the meticulous and detailed prep undertaken beforehand.
Adlib tuned and commissioned the system in a number of configurations, establishing presets to suit the different audience configurations, which can be easily selected by technical staff running day-to-day events. The main challenge was the short installation window, which demanded late-night shifts as the building had already been handed over to the orchestra by the time the Adlib crew was on-site, so all work was dovetailed around rehearsal schedules.
Adlib worked closely with Graeme Ironside and Nick Milnes from Glasgow Life, the organisation that manages all the council’s cultural and sporting related activities, and directly with Iain Stirton of Carillion Plc, the building’s appointed Construction Company. ‘Working with Adlib was a pleasure’ Milnes says, ‘Everything was organised and efficient on site and the resulting sound system design is fantastic and is being enjoyed by all using it and listening to it’.
The installation has worked well for its first events. including the Under the Skin of Tchaikovsky, which was presented by Sandy Burnett, and the popular Celtic Connections events.