Holon Theatre installs Israel’s first ever d&b system with ArrayProcessing.

The Holon Theatre of Performing Arts in the city of Holon near Tel Aviv is one of Israel’s largest and most important performance venues. Following a multimillion dollar renovation that saw the aging municipal building undergo a complete facelift inside and out, plus the renovation of the building’s three performance spaces, it was decided that the loudspeaker system in the main hall should also be upgraded to reflect the high standards of the newly refurbished venue. Holon Theatre’s technical staff called upon award winning AV consultant, Harel Tabibi, to design the new solution. The result was the installation of a d&b Y-Series system, and the first use of the patented ArrayProccessing technology in Israel.

Leading Israeli systems integration company, Barkai Benni Brookstein Ltd., won the tender for the installation into the eight hundred capacity main hall. Barkai’s VP of Technology, Shy Kadmon, explained they were awarded the tender on the basis of their choice of d&b. “Harel offered three different sound designs from three different manufacturers which all went out to tender. Holon is one of the biggest and most successful multipurpose halls in Israel; performances range from music of all types, to theatre, musical theatre, stand-up and more. The brief was for a high end system that would negate the need for visiting sound engineers and rental companies to bring in their own systems. We felt that the d&b Y-Series solution offered the highest quality-to-value ratio and was definitely best suited to the task – it was a no compromise solution that ticked all the boxes required by the theatre in terms of performance, and we were able to bring it in at the specified budget.”

The specification was built on two L/R hangs of eight installation dedicated Yi8 compact line array elements per side, supplemented by four Bi6 subwoofers per side with one wall mounted Ti10P point source cabinet under each array for downfill. Six lightweight 4S loudspeakers in custom brackets recessed into the front of the stage handle frontfill for the front row. The original specification also allowed for a further six 5S loudspeakers to act as delays throughout the last quarter of the hall, but ultimately, Harel Tabibi decided that this would be an ideal opportunity to deploy ArrayProcessing instead.

“It was the perfect opportunity to upgrade the system and make a great design even better,” remarked Tabibi. “The ArrayProcessing algorithms noticeably improve the sonic performance of a d&b line array as the system is constantly making adjustments that would be impossible to achieve mechanically. The result is better, more consistent sound throughout the whole listening area – improved linearity, improved intelligibility, improved coverage. Pretty much improved everything, in fact…

“What I really like is that, in this instance, the technology paid for itself,” continued Tabibi. “The enhanced performance meant that I was able to dispense with the rear delays and all associated costs; amplification, cabling, installation etc, for a better result with more options than I would have had originally for the same price.”

Tabibi refers to the fact that he has been able to create system presets for different scenarios such as rock and roll, musical theatre, and stand-up, that the operator can recall at the touch of a button via a Crestron controller. The first step was to tailor the response of the system to the venue using the d&b ArrayCalc simulation software. This was then loaded into the d&b 30D amplifiers, where the presets were created using the graphical user interface generated from the ArrayCalc data, by the d&b R1 Remote control software. R1 presents the whole system graphically to enable full system configuration. From there, the presets are simply recalled by the operator via a Crestron control interface at the FoH position - no need to delve into complex configuration settings, thereby keeping things simple and easy to use for everyone, no matter how technically experienced.

“I chose the d&b Y-Series in the first place because it is a high quality system that is both loud enough for rock and roll and still delivers all the detail and clarity required for speech reinforcement for one man shows and non musical theatre,” continued Tabibi. “ArrayProcessing has taken what is already a world class system to yet another level. Plus, the ability to recall the presets quickly and easily with zero compromise in sound quality is such an advantage for a multipurpose setup like this. I believe that today, Holon Theatre has one of the best systems in Israel.”

“Although the installation itself was relatively straightforward, we were up against serious time pressure in that we had to work to an extremely tight schedule, and we could only be onsite overnight between shows,” explained Kadmon. “Although we know Harel who is very experienced and extremely professional, this was actually our first d&b installation and Harel’s first time using ArrayProcessing, so we were both delighted to have such amazing support from d&b. Stefan Goertz and Lukasz Tobola both came over to oversee the installation, provide help and advice, and importantly, to commission it.”

Tabibi is in full agreement. “Holon isn’t the biggest system in the world, even though it’s the first one in Israel to use ArrayProcessing, but they still came just to make sure that everything went according to plan and that we had all the support we needed. It’s details like these that really make you appreciate working with certain manufacturers. We’re all delighted with the system. Barkai did an excellent job with the installation, and Holon Theatre management and visiting engineers have had nothing but praise for the sound quality. It is now definitely a reference system in Israel.”

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