Allen & Heath Avantis and SQ mixing systems have been installed as part of a major update to the Music Centre De Bijloke in Gent, Belgium, as it reopens following a one-year refurbishment to resume its role as a focal point for classical music performance in the region.

Music Centre De Bijloke Although Music Centre De Bijloke has been hosting performances since 1988, the building dates to 1228, when it served as a hospital. With its venue reopening in September, a team of experts has greatly enhanced the experience for performers and audiences in the main performance hall, including lowering the floor and install extensive wood panelling to bring its acoustics into the modern era without detracting from its medieval oak ceiling and stone walls.

With the acoustics tamed, the venue turned to A/V partner City Sounds Rent, to identify a mixing system capable of delivering excellent sound quality while being easy to use for in-house and visiting engineers. The centrepiece of the new set-up is a 96kHz A&H Avantis at FOH.

‘I fell in love with the Allen & Heath Avantis mixing console from the first moment I used it,’ says Music Centre De Bijloke sound engineer, Pieter Kinoli. ‘It’s so intuitive, easy-to-use and trustworthy. It’s definitely a step forward for us and the live performances we mix for.’

The Avantis shares a digital split with an A&H SQ-6 that is used for monitors. A GX4816 AudioRack provides the main I/O, with a portable DX168 stagebox giving additional I/O and further flexibility. A 64-channel Dante card in the Avantis gives the option for digital splits with other third-party mixers if required. The consoles were supplied by Allen & Heath’s Belgian distributor, XLR, which worked closely with the venue to ensure that the system and team were fully prepared for the first performances in the revamped space.

Music Centre De Bijloke is now open again, operating within Belgium’s coronavirus rules and giving audiences the chance to enjoy its autumn programme with improved audio.

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