Bank turned house of culture makes a d&b deposit

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Sentralen is a new centre for culture and innovation in Oslo, Norway. The project first began in 2007 when the DNB Savings Bank Foundation bought the DNB Bank buildings, which used to be home to the oldest savings bank in Norway. As part of the Foundation’s pledge to give back to the Oslo community, Sentralen is designed to be accessible, offering space to anyone who needs a venue, from small meeting rooms to an eight hundred capacity concert hall.

Technical Director, Lasse Baklien, joined Sentralen in 2015, and is responsible for the centre’s sound, lighting and technical equipment. “My first task was to prepare specifications, after which we invited five or six companies to tender,” he explained. In total five venues needed systems, including the club-like Vault and acoustically challenging Marble Hall, with its pillars and reflective surfaces.

d&b systems were chosen by Sentralen and installed throughout. The system was installed by d&b Distributor, Drammen Lyd, with Rasmus Eide and Paul Ivar Skjærvold leading the project. “For Sentralen, it was very important to have a user friendly brand,” Eide explained. “The centre has lots of visiting engineers, who just want to get in a room and work – they are already familiar with the d&b sound and system configuration, so can simply concentrate on achieving the best mix for that particular artist or event. The Marble Hall had very lively acoustics, but the room now sounds absolutely amazing with great definition and a crisp sound, whether for a chamber concert or rock gig.

“The component design of d&b systems means that we had a very broad range of models to choose from. Since the project was privately funded by the DNB Savings Bank Foundation, we had many more options to choose from. Although the d&b loudspeakers weren’t perhaps the cheapest on the market, their clever system configuration meant that the systems came in at the same price. This gave Sentralen the brand that both they and their visiting engineers liked, with the high quality sound that the rooms required.”

For Sentralen, it was important that the loudspeakers they chose for each room shared similar sound characteristics. The consistent voicing across d&b systems ensured that products from any Series could be utilized depending on the requirements for each room. In the Marble Hall, the Y-Series was combined with the smaller E6 loudspeakers and 16C columns attached to the back of the pillars, used as delays.

“With the d&b systems installed throughout the venue, every room is both user friendly and fantastic sounding, with the great quality we had come to expect from the brand,” explains Baklien. “We not only hold music events at Sentralen, but the rooms house art galleries and poetry recitals too, so the systems need to perform under a wide range of conditions. The Y-Series loudspeakers offered a great combination of clarity and powerful performance, with excellent speech intelligibility and enough power for the largest concerts, and were flexible enough for all our spaces.”

Photography courtesy of Lars Petter Pettersen

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