Recognising that training students in classical music doesn’t oblige them to remain in the traditional classical field, Poland’s Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music (aMuz) in Gdańsk recently installed an Alcons Audio pro-ribbon system to blend the sound of old and new instrumentation in the Academy’s concert hall.

Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music (aMuz)With evolving course content, aMuz accommodates classical recitals with little, if any, amplification and diverse performances, including opera, operetta, musicals, jazz and contemporary classical, where electronic instruments play solo or with orchestral instruments.

The 50-year-old, 592m2 venue has an audience capacity of 413 in raked stalls and a balcony, with a 160m2 stage. Finding its small sound reinforcement system inadequate for the performance programme, aMuz chief sound engineer Piotr Rodak sought a better option.

He has experience with Alcons through local rental company Offstage, owned by Przemyslaw Waszkiewicz and Alcons’ Polish distributor Aplauz. Having the system update in mind, he attended a demonstration of Alcons Audio pro-ribbon systems hosted by Aplauz, where he spoke to Alcons co-founder Tom Back, Aplauz president and MD Grzegorz Fotek and Patryk Kozak, sound engineer and owner of contractor company Sound System.

‘It was immediately obvious that a pro-ribbon solution was the answer because, in a venue originally constructed mainly for classical music, it delivers audio with a very natural character, with directivity that minimises unwanted reflection,’ he reports.

As a result, the only open questions regarding an Alcons system for the academy, were the final system set-up and the proper budget allocation. After different demos and further discussions, an Alcons LR7 pro-ribbon micro line-array module system was selected and included in a wider venue system update. Designed in cooperation with and installed by Patryk Kozak (Sound System), the system features four LR7/90 and three LR7/120 wide dispersion units, flown each side of the stage; Two BC322 cardioid subwoofers were flown as a central cluster and five SR9 ultra-compact in-fill monitors were installed at the edge of the stage as front-fills. It is powered and managed by twelve channels of Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.

System inputs are from microphones for instruments and/or vocals, with DIs as necessary from electric instruments, depending on the type of production.

‘All kinds of instrument and technology from popular music are now being adopted for contemporary classical music,’ Fotek says. ‘As aMuz wants to prepare students for all situations that they might meet in their professional lives, it wants to help the students experience a wide range of musical styles and activities. This program cannot be delivered without a high quality amplified system in the concert hall.

‘The Alcons LR7 system has provided a balanced and flexible setup, where classical and modern instruments can be played together with a very authentic and harmonious sound.’

‘The sound of the Alcons system is clear, detailed and, thanks to the pro-ribbon technology, the audience experiences the sound exactly as it is presented on stage,’ Rodak adds. ‘We were so confident about the technology that we purchased the LR7 system, which had not even been demonstrated live in the venue, due the limited time available. But the final result is excellent.’

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