Iconic Dutch Theatre upgrades with d&b.

The International Theatre Amsterdam (ITA), formerly the Stadsschouwburg, has in it’s many forms been one of the leading theatres for performing arts in the Netherlands since 1638. Today, the 750-seat hall welcomes both Dutch as well as international artists and directors through it’s doors on Leidseplein. In addition, an ambitious schedule of 600 performances and social programmes across 100 international stages positions the ITA prominently on the global theatre landscape.

It was the Stadsschouwburg’s longstanding relationship and eventual merger in 2018 with house company ‘Toneelgroup’ that paved the way for a multitude of renovations and upgrades, creating the contemporary theatre and cultural meeting place now known as the ITA.

The decision was made to upgrade the ITA's existing d&b C- and Q-Series installation, helping them to realize their needs for improved coverage, flexibility and control. All important factors for a venue with aspirations of delivering an even more extensive and varied program.

We already had d&b in-house and were very satisfied with it, but we were looking for more control and flexibility coverage-wise.Erwin Sterk, Head of Sound at the ITA

Dutch d&b distributor Amptec were enlisted to co-design the new system, drawing on the latest technologies available to them.

Amptec supplied a system based on the d&b A-Series in combination with Y-SUBs as well as Y point sources to complement the existing 5S front fills and E3 delays. The theatre also opted for an R90 touchscreen remote control for ease-of-use, as well as a DS100 signal engine, meaning the ITA can expand to a Soundscape system in the future.

“The theatre is often used as a flat floor space so the main request for our PA design was to keep the view to the stage unobstructed by loudspeakers. The idea was to fly the whole PA, including the SUBs with minimal visibility. In ArrayCalc it became quite obvious that the A-series would provide maximum control and coverage in relation to footprint” says Fred den Dulk, Commercial Project Manager at Amptec.

The d&b A-Series is particularly suited to mid-sized venues with a need for varied audio coverage and fits the requirements of the ITA perfectly. The augmented array enables the venue to utilize different splay angle configurations, resulting in optimal audio coverage as needed.

The theatre is not only used for live performances but also community events, making it crucial that non-technical staff can operate the system. Amptec installed an R90 touchscreen remote control panel so that preset system configurations and other predefined functions could be quickly accessed at the touch of a button.

“The reason we suggested an R90 was to have an easy way of configuring the PA setup. We created customized presets for the R90 to simplify integrating the digital format converter and audio router with the desired PA setup.

“The DS100 can be used as an insert on the converter and also be recalled by the R90. For special projects the DS100 can be used as a matrix to allow the theatre to create localization by creating delay via matrix cross points. It also means the ITA can easily expand their system to Soundscape in the future” den Dulk elaborates.

That flexibility and scope for expansion within the new system have not gone unnoticed to the team at the ITA.

The d&b workflow with R1 and the DS100 allows us to store our productions and recall them when they are revived in the coming seasons. The new system is really transparent and multifunctional, which is so important as we host such a broad spectrum of performances.Erwin Sterk

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