d&b ArrayProcessing drives audio renaissance for French theatre.

Not far from the major port city of Caen in the Normandy region of north-west France, lies the small town of Mondeville. Despite its close proximity to Caen, Mondeville enjoys its own mayor, town hall and local services, including the municipally owned La Renaissance theatre, now the proud owner of a new d&b audiotechnik sound system solution.

While d&b systems can be found among the world’s most prestigious venues, it is the teams behind lesser known local applications that are making quality listening truly accessible to all. To that end regional projects like La Renaissance receive every bit as much attention, time and effort as the globally renowned stadiums and concert halls.

Laurent Coulombier is the theatre’s technical manager. “We needed to replace our old sound system that was completely obsolete, and it ultimately came down to three brands. We decided on d&b because, from a technical point of view, they were able to offer certain solutions, such as the flown sub array and ArrayProcessing, that the competition couldn’t. Given the constraints of the space we needed to cover, this gave us much more flexibility to develop the right system and save money in operational costs.”

One such restriction was due to the theatre’s expandable stage. Extending from the front made it impossible to incorporate ground stacked elements, such as subwoofers, “unless you’re prepared to go through the hassle and expense of moving and recabling six subs every time you have a configuration change,” says Coulombier.

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To solve the problem, the team chose to fly the subs in a horizontal array from a dedicated proscenium truss.  Six 27S compact, high performance, cardioid subwoofers were specified, enable up to 20dB of rear cancellation, thereby avoiding any unpleasant resonance on stage. The sub array format combined with the use of delays on the various sound sources resulted in accurate horizontal directivity control for smooth, homogeneous coverage throughout. This also has the benefit of maintaining a clean, uncluttered stage.

With the adaptable stage in mind, it was crucial that the PA system could provide full, consistent coverage in all three configurations without having to change the angles of each cluster. L/R hangs comprising six d&b T10 compact line array elements were specified per side utilizing the optional ArrayProcessing function to realize the flexibility needed at the touch of a button.

“I also appreciate the amps,” continues Coulombier, referring to the installation targeted 30D and 10D used on the project. “With integrated processing that work with any d&b loudspeaker they allow us to optimize our loudspeaker combinations, stay within budget and still deliver superb results. The system is fully networked for straightforward system management, and I also felt that the ArrayCalc simulation software and associated R1 remote control software offered more personalisation than was possible from other manufacturers. In short, we have a high quality system from a top name brand that performs impeccably.”

Throughout the project d&b worked closely with the contractors, Triptyk, who handled the installation and local client relations. Triptyk is a multi-faceted event production company and systems integrator already very familiar with both the venue and with Laurent Coulombier. 

“It was a fascinating learning curve for us as this was actually our first installation with d&b,” explains Olivier Mette, Triptyk’s head of audio. “We worked intensively with d&b for nearly six months in order to deliver the project. It was the first time we got to work with their innovative ArrayProcessing technology, a highly efficient processing technique that has been particularly compelling for Laurent at La Renaissance who works with three different room/stage configurations. 

“The training provided by d&b enabled us to reinforce our knowledge of ArrayCalc and the R1 remote software. I have to say, all of them [d&b] have been a pleasure to work with: friendly, professional, efficient and always available. We’re already looking forward to our next opportunity to work together.” 

“Although we are just a small theatre with a capacity of 400, nothing has been too much trouble for d&b,” confirms Coulombier. “They have addressed every single detail related to the specifics of the space and what we wanted to achieve.”

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