ACS System for G Live
RK Sound Engineering have recently completed the installation of an ACS acoustic enhancement system for G Live a new multi-purpose venue situated in Guildford town centre.
For most of us in the industry the concept of commissioning a sound system brings thoughts of a slightly stressful experience where we try to convince a consultant that we have done a wonderful job.
In July 2011, I was part of a commissioning process that was a very different experience.
G Live is a new multi-purpose hall for Guildford and R K Sound Engineering installed an Acoustic Control System (ACS) to the specification of Peter Mapp Associates. An ACS system allows the venue's staff to select different acoustic properties for the hall by means of a simple remote control unit - this allows the venue operator to book a wide variety of performance types in the knowledge that the acoustics of the venue can be easily changed to suit the performance.
After all the initial commissioning and setting of presets the day had come to try the hall with a 60 piece orchestra and an audience.
First job was to see how the hall acoustics changed with an orchestra on stage. An impulse response was taken with the natural acoustics and then at the acoustic pre-set most suitable for a symphony orchestra. Later these could be compared with the measurements taken in an empty hall.
The orchestra then played some of their repertoire while various ears belonging to musicians, acousticians and management sampled the fare throughout the auditorium. So far so good.
While the orchestra disappeared for a short break the audience of about 400 filed into the lower section of the auditorium seating; the entire hall seats just over 1000. This enabled us to take some measurements to see the effect of the audience on the room acoustics. When the orchestra returned we could take some further measurements with both the audience and the orchestra in situ.
And then the music. We had a chance to hear the orchestra playing some Beethoven, Elgarâ€™s Cello Concerto, Stravinskyâ€™s Firebird, John Williamâ€™s Star Wars and the ever popular, Pomp and Circumstance. We finished with a vocalist leading Land of Hope and Glory accompanied by the audience; very â€śLast Night of the Promsâ€ť.
The local authority are keen to use the hall for classical music as well as other popular entertainment and they already have a variety of major orchestras, brass bands and choirs booked for the coming season. Therefore it is important that the hall acoustics can deal with a wide variety of acoustic expectations. The ACS system with its pre-settable configuration augments the natural acoustics for a variety of performance requirements thus maximising the potential of the venue.
The comments from the conductor and orchestra were very complimentary about the assisted acoustics. Their verdict was reinforced by a show of hands from the audience.
What was intended to be an open rehearsal by the orchestra had become an orchestral performance with additional witty introductions from the conductor. The audienceâ€™s enjoyment of the experience was made abundantly clear at the end.
System commissioning does not come any more rewarding than this!
Managing Director, RK Sound Engineering