Salle Albert Rousseau

Since its construction during the 19th century, the Salle Albert Rousseau has provided Canada’s Quebec city with a classical music venue and, more recently, a contemporary multi-purpose centre. Recent revamps have seen the house sound system replaced and the stage remodelled to accommodate current trends.

Steering that remodelling was the audio consultant Alexandre Forgues of 20k inc, who turned to a d&b audiotechnic loudpeaker system, Yamaha digital mixing desk and Crestron control.

‘I started my career as a system engineer and had visited the theatre many times,’ he says. ‘I know it well and have a great fondness for the room. On several occasions I had taken in a d&b audiotechnik system from Axion [now part of Solotech], a rental company that used to be based in Quebec. The house had always liked the sound of d&b equipment so when I established my consulting company 20k some years later and was asked to design a system installation it was natural that I would look at the d&b range to replace their old PA.’

His familiarity with the venue meant that he also knew its acoustics: ‘Having been originally designed for classical concerts, the room has many issues for sound reinforcement with much reflection and bounce,’ he explains. ‘The new system has been in since last September and we are now implementing acoustic modifications I have recommended. The balcony lips will have absorbent acoustic panels added, and we will re-position the acoustic reflectors across the top of the stage. Removing these traditional orchestral reflectors would have been too expensive as aesthetically they conceal the ceiling void, but a change in angle makes all the difference to the listening environment.’

Amp rackThe system 20k has designed comprises Qi-Series loudspeakers; Qi10, Qi1 and Q subwoofers flown left and right, with E6 loudspeakers mounted to the proscenium walls as fills to the boxes at the sides, and again as front fills to the stalls. ‘Unlike the old system which was very large, black and visually intrusive, we have had d&b colour match the fills to the walls, and further work has now been completed to the stage lip so the front fills are built in,’ Forgues says. ‘The main left right system is tiny compared to what was there before.

‘Since the theatre re-opened visiting engineers have been really happy,’ he reports.

‘When I saw the Q system I decided immediately that we could leave our rented d&b J-Series on the truck,’ says Pixies sound engineer, Ray Furze. ‘I have a lot of experience with d&b and other makes, and found this installation to be well chosen, properly implemented, and tuned just how I like it. The horizontal array of B2-Subs is especially nice, in conjunction with the flown Q-Subs the two elements are set to negate any low end hotspots in the room, something I really appreciate with a high energy band like the Pixies.’

As well as the new PA, 20k specified a Yamaha M7CL desk ‘a simple standard for many users’ and d&b M4 wedges with a mobile rack of D12 amplifiers. ‘We have implemented a Crestron control system that, as well as controlling the house and stage lights, also has presets for controlling sound when the venue is used for such things as comedy nights, and similar simple cabaret style presentations. The PA system is so predictable you could almost leave it unattended for such an entertainment.’

More: www.dbaudio.com

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