The beautiful sound of the Belle Époque

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Beautiful, elaborate, ornate, the Timisoara National Theatre in Romania is one of those European jewels of which we have been denied for so long. As a venue it stands within the Palace of Culture, an arts centre conceived in the Viennese style by architects Hellmer and Felmer, and was opened in 1875 at the height of the Belle Époque. The horseshoe auditorium conforms to the traditional three balcony format, and the stage these days welcomes classical theatre, musical drama, childrens’ theatre, and some challenging contemporary works. It has most recently welcomed a small German intrusion, not that this was challenging, but was apparently one that has been on its wish list for some time.

“The main problem of the venue in reference to the acoustics is related to the length of the balconies,” said the National Theatre’s Technical Manager. He has a point, the auditorium seats six hundred people and is relatively shallow; the balconies are deep and steep. “This makes it difficult for the sound to reach the last rows of the stalls, and it decreases the SPLs and intelligibility for the balconies and boxes themselves.” Not such an uncommon problem, and fortunately he is well travelled, “I’ve known about d&b audiotechnik for quite some time, and I’ve always been pleasantly impressed by the neutral sound. Also in terms of SPL and intelligibility their loudspeakers meet all our requirements. It is my observation that d&b systems make it relatively easy to put all these characteristics into effect so I was glad to hear last year that d&b audiotechnik is now available on the Romanian market through dB Technolight.

The venue manger contacted Technical Support at dB Technolight who recommended the T-Series system, “The T-Series was an ideal choice. My EASE modeling showed that there was no way any simple left/right system could adequately cover all the seats, but T-Series could deliver a very even coverage in terms of level and frequency range across almost ninety five percent of the audience. It is also a small and unobtrusive line array; a vital factor for such a beautiful theatre. To cover the other five percent was easy; the d&b E-Series loudspeaker range offers small cabinets with a wide variety of dispersion patterns to fill the gaps without intrusion to the main system. Sonically they are extremely well matched.”

The Theatre Manager had one other concern, “Due to the many different styles of presentation we stage and the frequent use of the orchestra pit it was desirable for subwoofers to be flown. So we now have a permanently installed Ti-Series left and right with flown T-SUBs delivering an average 105 - 107dB SPL covering the full range. The dB Technolight team fitted the whole system in just one day and the d&b R70 Ethernet to CAN interface and Wi-Fi router for independent cable free connection were also configured very quickly. The acoustic accuracy and superior performance of this system is perfect.”

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