GRADE II ASSEMBLY OPENS WITH MARTIN AUDIO W8LM LIN
A famous Grade II-listed building in Leamington Spa has reopened as a vibrant multi-purpose venue, featuring Martin Audio line array reinforcement, following a £3.2m investment.
Dating back to 1926, when it served as the ballroom for the old Bath Hotel, the building still contains the original stained glass windows and the silver and gold leaf detail has all been reinstated.
With Leamington Sight & Sound (LSS) providing all the technical infrastructure (and acting as main A/V contractors), The Assembly has undergone a major transformation, with celebrity interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen helping to turn the former Gala Bingo site into a 1,000 capacity entertainments venue.
Given a brief to provide an infrastructure that would make The Assembly Warwickshire's premier music venue, LSS managing director Ian Potter and his installation manager Colin Bannister began the task of specifying the best solution. Due to the operational needs of the venue, we needed an extremely versatile system, to cover from speech only to full music production.
'It came down to a choice of two line array systems but the client chose Martin Audio based upon our recommendation after trials,' said Potter. Aside from the performance of Martin Audio's W8LM Mini Line Array it was the support from the company's national sales manager Simon Bull - and the use of Martin Audio's DISPLAY™ predictive software - that tipped the scales.
'Simon gave us a lot of assistance - modelling the venue to ensure the optimum specification.'
Since coverage needs to extend to the balcony, two hangs of five W8LM's have been installed on each side of the proscenium arch, with a W8LMD Downfill box at the base. This allows the two top enclosures to fire into the balcony, while at the base the W8LMD provides excellent nearfield coverage.
Four S218X subs are recessed under the stage in two stacked pairs - while up on stage ten of Martin Audio's new low-profile LE1500's provide the best reference monitoring a musician can get. 'We have also supplied a pair of F215's for either drum- or side-fill,' continues Ian Potter.
The monitor system revolves around three biamped feeds with the remainder run passively. To ensure it is fully-optimised LSS have used end-to-end Martin Audio control, including amplification and a pair of dedicated DX1 system processors.
Up on stage the ten LE1500s are powered by Martin MA1.6s with the stage fills assigned to an MA900 (in bridged mode).
At front-of-house four MA2.8s amplifiers run the mid tops, with an MA12K handling the subs.
Colin Bannister explains that although a three-way system, the Martin Audio rig is actually driven five-way. 'The top two boxes left and right on both sides we run hotter to achieve an additional +6dB for the balcony. In fact the W8LM gives us an incredible amount of controllability.'
The two DX1's are assigned to left and right, configured to run 5.1 - allowing for a possible delay.
The delivery of this project represents nearly two years' development time. Colin Bannister recalls that when he first went on site and conducted RT60 measurements it revealed a 5.4sec reverberation time - due largely to the plaster-domed ceiling. 'But the acoustics have changed as the infrastructure developed and it's now down to less than a second. We still get secondary reflections because of the arches but we cannot make this building acoustically better - merely provide compensation.'
The Martin Audio rig is part of a highly-specified package that includes main system control, and digital FOH and monitor consoles. For lighting, LSS have also installed an Avolites Pearl Expert and DMX lines with RDM capability, and Cat5 cable.
Aside from its multipurpose usage, the venue will be available for private hire and also includes a 1950s American style diner 'Docker's', which will operate independently to the music venue.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes Jerry Gilbert
Martin Audio JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312 Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669 Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140
Pics: The Assembly's new flown Martin Audio W8LM/LMD system