d&b delivers a powerful and flexible audio upgrade to Bille Brown Theatre.

Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

The newly renovated Bille Brown Theatre (formerly the Bille Brown Studio) in Brisbane, Australia, was unveiled in October 2018 after a 12-month closure. The former ‘black box’ space is now a corner stage theatre seating 351 people who are never more than 15 metres from the stage. Accommodating yet intimate, the theatre needed a PA system that was unobtrusive, powerful, and flexible enough to support multiple configurations.

Daniel Maddison, Queensland Theatre’s Technical Coordinator, and the audio team diligently evaluated possible solutions. One of the loudspeaker products on Daniel’s list was the Y10P from d&b audiotechnik, a dual 8” with a 1.4” compression driver.

Y-Series is renowned for vocal clarity and rear rejection which were two of the qualities we wanted the PA to haveDaniel Maddison, Queensland Theatre’s Technical Coordinator

Thomas Kelly and Doug Pringle, audio specialists at Australian d&b audiotechnik distributor NAS Solutions, worked to develop a design that would preserve sightlines, deliver pattern control and rig in the available space. The system adopted by Queensland Theatre includes the three pairs of Y10Ps rigged horizontally on custom bracketry as LCR, two single Y7Ps dual 8” loudspeakers as outfills, two 21S single 21” subwoofers and six E6 coaxial loudspeakers that can be deployed as surround, effects or fill. For maximum flexibility, every loudspeaker in the theatre has its own dedicated processing and amplification channel, courtesy of two d&b 30D and two D20 power amplifiers.

1/2 Photo Credit: Jeff Busby
2/2 Photo Credit: Jeff Busby

"During installation, Sound Consultant Matt Erskine and I spent some time playing with the angles and splay of the Y10P arrays. It was advantageous for us to be able to build the array brackets on-site in our workshop to millimetre accuracy, based on the modelling NAS Solutions provided. After install, we walked the seating and listened carefully for audible changes in the coverage as we moved between the top and bottom loudspeakers in the arrays. Coverage was very smooth, with no perceptible differences. Matt and I commented on the first day of the install, before tuning and commissioning, that we would already be happy to run a gig on the PA as it was." Daniel Maddison.

Since reopening, the theatre has hosted two mainstage productions, a host of corporate events, and a touring production of Belvoir Theatre’s Barbara and The Camp Dogs that featured a four-piece rock band and a cast wearing wireless lavalier microphones in their hairlines.

The Belvoir touring party were very complimentary about the sound system. The gain before feedback we achieved was excellent, and the sound design of their show allowed us to fully exploit the infrastructure of the venue and the capabilities of the PA.Daniel Maddison

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