Matching a range of needs, d&b goes to Joe's Pub
The Public Theater in New York City has been a symbol of culture and community since its opening in the 1950s. The theater has facilitated a variety of performances throughout the years, and is committed to nurturing both artists and audience. From the world premiere of Hair, to the annual, and beloved, free Shakespeare in the Park, The Public Theater constantly searches for new, creative opportunities to fulfill its mission. In 1998, the non-profit organization in the heart of the East Village opened the two hundred seat live performance venue known as Joe's Pub.
Joe's Pub at The Public is one of New York City's most celebrated venues for emerging and established performance artists. Named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp, Joe's Pub plays a vital role in The Public's mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. To celebrate its fifteenth anniversary, Joe's Pub recently invested in a new sound system. While the interior was renovated a few years ago, Joe's Pub waited on audio, taking time to find a system capable of addressing the somewhat complicated needs of the venue. Director Shanta Thake expands, "Our venue space is very unusual. With the stage positioned in the corner of a large bar, and the sound mixer located in the balcony, there are so many nooks and crannies to address. With over three hundred and sixty days of performances per year, big name productions, and a variety of performance styles, we needed a system that could be ready for anything. When Acme Professional introduced us to d&b audiotechnik, our sound guy's eyes just lit up. I took that as a good sign!"
"It's a fact that d&b has a few systems now, including the White range used at Joe's Pub, that will be a game changer for the US market," says Tom Clark of Acme Professional, the audio consultants engaged for the Joe's Pub project. Clark has used d&b for many projects recently, including other events for The Public Theater. "It was important to understand that Joe's Pub wanted to buy a system, not rent it. Our goal was to offer them security in a system that would last and one that would function well with their extreme versatility as a venue. Plus, with the busy performance schedule at Joe's Pub, we only had one day to install; in that respect, d&b rigs easily and sounds great with little adjustment."
Due to the unique acoustic 'nooks and crannies' of Joe's Pub, as Thake so vividly described them, Acme's design solution pulled from various d&b systems to create custom coverage for the venue. Above center stage hang three 10A d&b loudspeakers with a single 10AL-D loudspeaker hung above. In a rather unconventional design, the single 10AL-D is to address some seating in the back of the room. It avoids the balcony, where the audio mix is located with it's own E8 mix fill loudspeaker, and helps target an area of the venue where the center cluster needs some extra support. The design also used a set of four floor understage 18S-SUBs to provide the low end; while on each side of the stage, a single 12S-D, a two way point source loudspeaker with ninety degree rotatable HF horn, provides 110 h x 55 v degree coverage. Clark explains, "The fact that all these loudspeakers are passive boxes meant the number of d&b amplifiers required to drive the system is minimal. Due to the location of everything within Joe's Pub, the design was a bit tricky, so we had to get creative. That said, d&b was an easy choice due the options in coverage and size of loudspeaker, especially since all systems work together seamlessly."
"It's always a goal to cater to the people who will have to use our sound systems every day, especially at Joe's Pub where they pretty much have a show every single day," concluded Michael Eisenberg, d&b audiotechnik Regional Manager for the Northeast United States who supported Acme Professional. "Design was the biggest challenge on this project, but Tom was able to find a solution so the center cluster could carry audio for the whole room. Like most New Yorkers, I have attended a few shows at Joe's Pub throughout the years. It's a high energy venue, and fun to be in the audience. I can say with confidence that the new sound system makes a big difference."
"We love it. We wanted to provide the best possible experience for every seat in the house, and feel confident that we have the best sound in New York for a venue our size," added Thake, "Now, we most certainly can say both."
Photographs courtesy of Aislinn Weidele, Paul Wagtouic and Bernie DeChant.