d&b system revives former medieval hospital.
De Bijloke in historic Gent, Belgium dates back to the 13th century. The site combines a grand hall with modern architecture hosting classical music, jazz and contemporary arts. Originally built as a hospital De Bijloke was transformed into a music venue in the 1980s.
In 2020, d&b sales partner and integrator Amptec installed a brand-new d&b sound system as part of major refurbishment project.
The combination of the musical genres on offer and the age and heritage of the building called for an expert audio solution to guarantee exceptional listening experiences.
Amptec were asked to deliver a state-of-the-art concert hall that provides impeccable sound for every seat: a system that befit the distinguished name the venue had already made for itself.
Acoustical treatment was a priority to be considered in the refurbishment plans as the wooden roof structure naturally absorbed a lot of sound and the ancient walls had warped, reflecting sound away from the audience.
World-renowned acoustical engineering company Arup (known for their work on Sydney Opera House and parts of the set for Björk’s recent Cornucopia tour amongst others) was tasked with the acoustic treatment challenge and managed to create a space that is now truly ‘tuned’ for its use as a concert hall.
Installing a sound system into the redesigned space came with its challenges for system integrator Amptec. The peculiarities of the long hall, in combination with very limited rigging options for delay speakers, due to the immense age of the wooden roof structure, had to be considered.
As part of a tender process Amptec demoed the d&b Y-Series at the hall which generated great positive feedback. “We asked to bring the full system for a demo, and invited a select group of sound engineers. We were all overwhelmed by the results” remembers Natan Rosseel, Technical and Production Coordination at De Bijloke.
Amptec installed the system in combination with an R90 touchscreen control panel to address the unique features of the hall and satisfy the brief of bringing the amplification and technical spec into the 21st century to future-proof the venue with a rider and user-friendly system.
“The main system consists of two 8xYi8 line arrays. We used ArrayProcessing to optimize both frequency and level distribution for the entire audience area. This use of ArrayProcessing meant we did not need delay speakers which solved the problem of not being able to fix anything to the walls.”
He continues: “To be able to control the dispersion in the low-end we chose a Yi-SUB array that is placed underneath the stage. The cardioid nature of the subs prevents reflection towards the audience, and of course towards the performers, keeping the stage undisrupted.”
“This sound system offers maximum control in a compact and user-friendly format. With this technical upgrade De Bijloke positions itself at the top of the international concert landscape” Leven concludes.
Rosseel agrees: “Since our official opening in September we’ve had a lot of socially distanced concerts where visiting sound engineers, artists and the audience have complimented us on the astonishing sound quality. Thanks to the renovation of the hall and a perfectly integrated sound system, the city of Ghent now has an excellent new concert hall to be proud of.”