d&b in Athens for state of the art Badminton Theatre

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Originally built to host the badminton competition at the 2004 Olympics, the Badminton Theatre has been metamorphosed into the most state of the art theatre in Greece. Situated in a park in the centre of Athens, the transformation took place in the remarkably short time of eight months with teams of contractors working three shifts 24/7 to complete the project in time for its grand opening in January 2007.

The company managing the project, Arts, Dance and Music Productions Ltd, (ADaM) spared no expense when it came to the theatre's technical equipment and called in leading Athens based pro audio and lighting specialists Telmaco to advise on the sound and lighting installations. "The Badminton management demanded a high class sound reinforcement system," said Thanassis Drossos, Telmaco's Audio Projects Engineer who was responsible for the design of the sound system. "I arranged for their Technical Director, Renos Papapaschos, to accompany me to d&b audiotechnik's headquarters in Backnang, Germany to enable him to judge the quality of the d&b product," he continued.

Along with d&b's Head of Education and Application Support, Ralf Zuleeg, Drossos demonstrated the various options using d&b products and converted a somewhat sceptical Papapaschos to a very enthusiastic d&b fan! "From then on, cooperation between Telmaco, the theatre and d&b was extremely close," said Drossos. A combination of factors helped the decision to install d&b audiotechnik''s recently launched J-Series line array system, namely its versatility, clarity of sound, the remote control capabilities and especially the system check facility that allows the sound engineer to confirm that all the drivers are operating, critical in a line array. "The fact that the whole system is powered by only one type of amplifier, d&b's D12, was a big plus since it could be driven digitally at 24bit/96 KHz by the Midas XL8 desk I'd specified," said Drossos. "This coupled with the prestige that accompanies having d&b's latest top of the range system were influencing factors."

Designed as a spacious centre for performing arts, international conferences and cultural events, this full proscenium theatre can accommodate up to two thousand five hundred people all with unobstructed sightlines. It has a stage measuring some thirty metres wide by eighteen metres deep with a height of sixteen metres, and therefore required a sound system capable of doing it justice. With a reverberation time in the building of just one second, Telmaco chose to install left and right line arrays consisting of J-SUBs, J8 and J12 loudspeakers. The centre cluster comprises d&b Qi1 loudspeakers with left and right stacks for image shift comprising Qi1s, Qi-SUBs and QiCSA-SUBs cardioid mode. "I used E3s for front fills and Qi7s with hook clamps for the stage area music fold back monitors," said Drossos. "And, shortly after the installation the theatre bought further Qi7s to form a surround effects system." Telmaco carried out the installation of the AV network, d&b sound system, and theatre lighting.

"The system has been a complete success and we're justifiably proud of it. Acceptance of the system is universal by audiences, performers and the Greek pro audio community. It's rare in the pro audio business that a system gets such a unanimous vote of confidence," concluded a delighted Drossos. Since its grand opening in January with a presentation of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake, the theatre has produced a varied program including Australian dance company Tap Dogs, TV shows, music concerts with Greek artists, and latterly, Jesus Christ Super Star.

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