Lighthouse project with d&b Soundscape at the Théâtre du Jura.

The Théâtre du Jura (www.theatre-du-jura.ch) in the cantonal capital Delémont, 40 km southwest of Basel, is the first building of its size in the Swiss canton of the same name and part of an inner-city real estate complex. Theater, dance, music, and circus arts will fill the new cultural venue with life in the future. In addition to the Great Hall (“La Grande”), the establishment has a smaller, flexibly configurable hall (“La Cadette”) with one hundred seats. The new building is regarded as a lighthouse project for the cultural self-understanding of the canton.

Soundscape in “La Grande”

The Great Hall has up to 433 seats (800 standing places when the raked seating is retracted), affording an unobstructed view of the stage. The best conditions have also been created for the ears: Thanks to extensive acoustic measures, the ambient sound in the newly built Great Hall is pleasing everywhere, and the reverberation time is shorter than the visual appearance initially suggests.
A Soundscape system from d&b audiotechnik provides impressive sonic experiences when listening to electroacoustically assisted performances at La Grande. At the heart of the d&b Soundscape system is the Dante-enabled network-based DS100 DSP platform, which is operated in Delémont with the optionally available En-Scene software module for convenient object positioning.

d&b Soundscape is the perfect solution for the wide-ranging scenarios in the new venue with variable stage widths and different hall depths!Claude Kamber, Sound Engineer, Théâtre du Jura

Interconnected network

The front PA in “La Grande” consists of 5 x 2 AL90 augmented array loudspeakers from the d&b A-Series. The twin packages are mounted on a motorized truss, the height of which varies depending on the seating situation (or depth of the hall) – Kamber and his colleagues rely on d&b ArrayCalc for the best results. Alternating with the AL90 loudspeakers, six cardioid Y-SUB high-performance subwoofers are mounted on the truss.

If required, twelve d&b E5 coaxial point source loudspeakers can be rented as near-field monitors. These are used in combination with three D20 four-channel amplifiers and a DS10 Audio Network Bridge.

The near-field monitors are essentially only needed for the first two rows of seats – all other areas of the hall are covered by the main PA.Claude Kamber, Sound Engineer, Théâtre du Jura

Closer inspection of a light bridge suspended above the audience reveals four d&b 10S-D loudspeakers, which serve as a delay line and supply sound to the top rows of seats as well as the control room at the rear of the hall. The latter takes the form of a kind of loggia and does not require a partition screen. The loudspeaker system in the Great Hall is complemented by eight d&b M4 units, which are used for different purposes, but mostly as stage monitors. The M4 monitors are powered by tried-and-tested d&b D12 amplifiers.
The rest of the amping is the responsibility of four-channel d&b 40D installation amplifiers, which receive their input signals digitally via a d&b DS10 Audio Network Bridge. The latter is connected via Dante to a digital audio mixing console system or the DS100, guaranteeing a completely digital signal flow to the amplifiers.

As the Swiss d&b distributor, 2M Audio GmbH (www.2maudio.ch) from Küttigen was involved in the project. Claude Kamber was in charge of planning the sound system, supported by Jérôme Abraham (d&b France). One particular driving force who emphatically advocated the purchase of a d&b Soundscape system was the renowned scenographer Philippe Warrand (www.artsceno.ch). The d&b components were supplied by GC-Tech Sàrl (www.gc-tech.ch), which provides additional sound equipment for the theater depending on the show.

No longer any “cheap seats”!

I consider it one of my most important tasks to ensure that there are no longer any “cheap seats” in the entire auditorium for the productions I oversee. The guests should always be able to enjoy an excellent sound experience in our venue, irrespective of where they are sitting or standing. With d&b loudspeakers, I can easily cover the entire room during performances; the coverage is excellent!Claude Kamber, Sound Engineer, Théâtre du Jura

According to Claude Kamber, one of the great advantages of Soundscape is the way in which it enables the visitors to localize the performers onstage, corresponding perfectly with what they see.

Just recently there was a performance in which I created the signals coming from a piano as an object in Soundscape. The result was so good that a musically knowledgeable guest came up to me after the performance and pointed out that the pianist had perhaps hit the keys a little too hard – the guest had not even noticed that the instrument was miked up and amplified!Claude Kamber, Sound Engineer, Théâtre du Jura

Jurassic sound for connoisseurs

Due to the fact that the Théâtre du Jura only opened in October 2021, the technical crew members are currently still kind of “finding their feet.” Nevertheless, the dedicated Delémont sound team is already thinking about ways of expanding the setup: High on the wish list is the d&b module En-Space, which enriches the existing Soundscape system with room simulations of outstanding quality. In order to get the best out of En-Space, the Théâtre du Jura would in future like to upgrade the existing 180-degree scenario to a 360-degree setup with the support of GC-Tech – listeners will then be able to enjoy immersive sound experiences.

The system sounds fantastic, and artistically exacting productions such as Pixel / Equilibre-Nuithonie have already demonstrated its potential. As far as I am aware, there are currently only a handful of theaters in Switzerland that can compete with the Théâtre du Jura in terms of sound experience!Claude Kamber, Sound Engineer, Théâtre du Jura

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