Cultural landmark of Sevilla ‘puts a lid on it’ with d&b.


La Maestranza Theatre in Sevilla has firmly anchored itself in the cultural landscape of the region as well as within Spain. Affectionately christened ‘Magefesa’ by the locals - due to the building’s shape resembling a Spanish cooking pot – the theatre opened in 1991, and with 1800 seats in its main auditorium it is one of the largest stages to be found in Europe.

Originally conceived as a lyric theatre, since 2007 Magefesa has been offering a more diverse program that includes live music concerts, dance, musical theatre, flamenco as well as galas and other traditional events. After years of hiring in equipment, the theatre decided to install a permanent, high quality sound system, that would address the issue of uneven audio coverage in harder to reach audience areas.

“We have listened to a lot of different sound systems in the room over the years,” explains Sebastián Gutierrez Ortega, Technical Production Manager at La Maestranza. “The greatest difficulty has always been reaching the last rows with sufficient acoustic pressure without losing control and producing unwanted reflections.”

The main auditorium at La Maestranza has a linear shape with a stage opening of twenty metres and a staggering distance of forty metres to the last row of seats. The audience area is divided into zones and includes terraced areas to either side of the stage opening as well as a large, two tiered balcony at the back of the room. The angle and distance of these seats make them complex positions to sonically cover effectively.

Longstanding d&b partner, Producción Técnica TJL, has been providing sound systems to the theatre as well as technical support for tours and concerts, for a number of years. Their knowledge of the theatre’s parameters and the room’s idiosyncrasies is second to none.

We were able to prepare a system proposal for a permanent install that would guarantee the desired sonic performance regardless of the type of event, as well as provide the theatre with a rider friendly solution to limit the need for sub-hire in the future.Andrés Pombo, TJL

TJL opted for a flown V-Series line array solution with ground stacked V-SUBs placed at either side of the stage. A set of E6 loudspeakers act as removable frontfills, covering the first few rows of the audience. Given the openness of the room and thanks to ArrayProcessing, delay speakers were not needed.

“ArrayProcessing helped us to overcome the challenge of providing the last rows of seats with the right sound pressure at every frequency,” says Luis Lopez, Managing Director, TJL. “And we knew that it was this that set our technical proposal apart.”

ArrayProcessing enables the user to apply algorithms to the system design that account for loss of sound pressure due to air absorption, amongst other causes, and helps to generate even tonality across the entire width and length of the desired coverage area.

For Guiterrez Ortega, the results are unquestionable. “The installed V-Series line array in combination with ArrayProcessing provides the theatre with sensational directivity control, proven by our testing. Usually the room is adjusted to work at about 85dB of sound pressure. With this system we have been able to reach 95dB without losing directivity control at any time, achieving clarity of music and speech alike. It’s incredible.”

d&b’s Iberia team supported the theatre alongside TJL with training sessions and commissioning of the installation. “We always like to welcome our new d&b system owners with a personalized training session to ensure they are comfortable in using their new system and have an enjoyable experience testing their PA for the first time” says Juanma de Casas, EAS Manager, d&b Iberia.

The theatre has been confidently putting the system through its paces and is delighted with its new, in-house PA.

Thanks to the support and training by TJL and d&b we were able to hit the ground running. During a performance by Pastora Soler we presented the PA to the audience as well as staff members. We received unanimous positive feedback. No other equipment I have used is capable of such stunning results.Daniele Velasco, Deputy Head of AV, La Maestranza
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