Opera house chooses d&b to transform their audio system.

Founded in 1998, the imposing Madlenianum Opera & Theatre occupies the unique status of being the first privately owned opera house and theatre in Belgrade, and indeed in the whole of south-east Europe.  The venue offers several different spaces dedicated to the realisation of artistic creation, the most impressive of which is the Great Hall which opened its doors to the public in April 2005 following extensive building and renovation works.

With a capacity of five hundred and four seats, the Great Hall has been designed to the highest standards of comfort and technology for a contemporary theatre. Serbian pro AV and lighting specialists, AVL Projekt, have been Madlenianum’s technology partner from the beginning, having installed the first audio system in the Great Hall in 2005 then upgrading it in 2012. However, as the venue’s needs are constantly changing and technology continues to improve, the decision was made to replace the old system altogether in order to better match the demanding requirements of international calibre artists and diverse performance genres.

The new system has already delivered stunning results:

Even the owner of the theatre approached me after the first show and asked, ‘Are you sure you’ve only changed the sound system? It feels like a different theatre!’ None of us expected such a huge transformation, but we’re thrilled with the difference it’s made at every level. It’s raised our game even higher, for both performers and audience members.Marko Vujic, Madlenianum’s technical director

After a rigorous selection process, including a full system demo, the decision was made to award the new project – system design, installation, configuration, and commissioning – to AVL. AVL Projekt proposed a full d&b audio system based on the ultra-compact T-Series supplemented by Yi cardioid subwoofers and MAX2 stage monitors.

Slobodan ‘Bob’ Veckalov, MD of AVL Projekt, noted that d&b ArrayCalc simulation played an essential role in the Madlenianum’s final decision to purchase a d&b system and award the full contract to AVL Projekt.

We did all of the initial design and planning using ArrayCalc – in fact, we presented several options all based on the investor’s requests,” he says. “This was a great advantage for us during the tender process as none of the other bidders was able to offer anything similar.Slobodan ‘Bob’ Veckalov, MD of AVL Projekt

AVL Projekt installed two hangs of eight Ti10L compact line array elements with two Yi-SUB cardioid subwoofers flown behind the T-Series hangs. The cardioid characteristics of the subs mean that low frequencies are only directed forwards towards the audience with little or no rear and side projection. The result is significantly improved efficiency and a virtually silent stage which is far more comfortable for the performers. AVL Projekt also supplied a number of MAX2 stage monitors for optimised control of the performance on stage. The MAX2s offer a variety of deployment possibilities from use as an individual stage monitor, as a standalone full range system or – when combined with d&b subwoofers – as a drum fill. The precise tone reproduction and capacity to generate high SPLs means that they are equally at home on an opera stage as they are during a pop-rock concert demanding much higher levels on stage.

We have delivered a state-of-the-art sound system that allows for faithful sound reproduction and controlled, uniform sound distribution throughout the entire auditorium. All listeners in the Great Hall, regardless of where they may be seated, from the first row to the last row, whether in the stalls or on the balcony, receive the same sound image with the same sound pressure. The results are stunning.Slobodan ‘Bob’ Veckalov

However, the installation was not without its challenges: “When we put the original system in nearly fifteen years ago, the rigging points were not the same at all. We were obliged to drill holes in the ceiling to access the mounting points for the hoists carrying the loudspeakers. We also had to be very careful when positioning the loudspeakers to avoid any unwanted reflections from the balcony.”

The final word goes to the Madlenianum’s technical director, Marko Vujic, who is very proud of the new system. “I didn’t realise that the difference between systems could be so enormous,” he declares. “All of our technicians and sound engineers said the same thing – we knew that d&b was reputed to be a high-quality brand, but this has far surpassed our expectations.

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