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EAVP installs NEXO sound reinforcement system for St Hilda’s

Elite Audio Visual Productions has recently completed the installation of a Nexo Geo S sound reinforcement system in the Joy Shepherd Performing Arts theatre at St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls. EAVP were engaged to recommend, supply, and install an appropriate sound reinforcement system that would meet the varied needs of the venue. In addition to serving as the school’s main auditorium for internal events and productions, the theatre is regularly hired by external clients for dance shows, concerts, church services and more. It has built a reputation as being one of the most desirable and in-demand theatres in Perth, thanks to its location, pleasing aesthetic, versatility, and technical flexibility. The previous system had begun to develop several problems and did not provide the even coverage and power needed for the theatre. This was beginning to have a negative impact on external hires, as suitable PA systems had to be hired in for each event, resulting in loss of revenue and time.

The Venue and previous system

The Joy Shepherd Performing Arts Centre (first opened in 2012) is a 900 seat theatre, with 613 seats in the stalls and 287 seats in the dress circle. When EAVP first inspected the theatre, there were two existing sound systems in place. The first was the permanently installed column array system with additional centre cluster. Secondly, there was a temporary system set up on stage consisting of two double 15” boxes. The installed system had developed several problems over the years and never provided full or even coverage of the space. The secondary PA placed on stage had been put there as a band-aid solution to the issues with the installed system. One of the main draw-backs of the existing system was the poor coverage of two key areas – the dress circle, and the seats below. The sound in these areas was muffled and missing much of the upper frequencies. The original system had no subwoofers, resulting in little to no low end power.

System design and quotations

Following initial discussions with theatre manager David Spooner, it was clear that a line array system would best suit the needs of the venue. The brief was for a system that could meet the following criteria;
Flown from the roof so as not to take up stage or floor space.
Able to handle anything from school assemblies to rock concerts.
Excellent coverage of the entire auditorium.
Exceptional sound quality.
Visually unobtrusive.
A reliable brand with easy access to spares and support.

St Hilda’s approached EAVP in the knowledge that they would be able to assist us in finding a system that would suit all our requirements. A system was required to provide sound reinforcement for a wide spectrum of both school and external community events. From presentations and assemblies, through classical ensembles and musicals all the way to dance productions and rock gigs.

The next step involved taking accurate measurements of the entire theatre so that acoustic modelling could be done based on the venues actual layout. By using acoustic modelling software, it was possible to virtually test out different models and configurations of PA systems in a 3D model of the room to work out how to get the best coverage and output level. It became apparent that in addition to the two main PA hangs, the system would need to include front fill speakers around the front of the orchestra pit and delay speakers above the dress circle in order to achieve optimum coverage.

Following acoustic modelling, two separate proposals and quotations were put forward for similar spec but different branded solutions. Each was a complete system package including all components, amplifiers, racks, cabling, installation, and commissioning.

The client decided to move forward with our proposal for a Nexo Geo S12 line array, consisting of six 12 inch Geo S12 top boxes and two 18 inch LS18 subs per side, with three ID24’s for front fill and four ID24’s as delays above the balcony.

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