WAVEFRONTS AT THE WATERSIDE
Northern Light provides £35m Aylesbury theatre with purpose-designed Martin Audio system
When Northern Light won a competitive tender to provide an advanced technical infrastructure for the new £35 million Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, the company set out to design a fully-integrated system that was versatile, reconfigurable and provided the facility to carry out remote system diagnostics over a LAN via the resident PC.
Working to a specification devised by Carr & Angier Theatre Consultants, evenly dispersed sound was of paramount importance, since there are three audience tiers (including fixed-seating balcony and upper balcony levels), and optional ground floor seating wagons to enable the 1200-seat auditorium to convert into a larger 1800-capacity standing space.
Thus Northern Light project manager Simon Cooper decided to base his sound reinforcement solution around Martin Audio's purpose-designed Wavefront theatre systems.
For the primary system, he chose 14 purpose designed WT3 Arrayable 3-way compact theatre enclosures. These are designed in three vertical pairs on either side of the proscenium arch, focused onto each balcony, with a single enclosure at the base. The proscenium system is complemented by a centre cluster of seven W3P arrayable compact enclosures to provide true L/C/R imaging, while two WS18X subs, either side of the stage, add LF extension.
Providing stage fills are Martin Audio WT15's, while high up the building four WT2's and a pair of S18(F) subs are mounted on the second lighting bridge to form the delay system for the second balcony. Finally, under-balcony support is provided by Martin Audio's C6.8T ceiling speakers - six on each level.
Driving the main PA system are dedicated Martin Audio amplifiers, situated in a rack room close to the proscenium arch in order to reduce cable runs. These consist of 13 x MA5.2K, 2 x MA12K and 1 x MA1.3s, while the Martin Audio ceiling speakers reside on a separate circuit.
Explaining his choice of system Simon Cooper stated that he had previous experience of seeing WT3's designed in a similar configuration - and his concept received the full support of Martin Audio's Peter Child, who assisted with the design.
In addition to the sound, the Northern Light project manager realised that with Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), the UK's largest theatre group, running the venue, visual reinforcement would also need to be world class, since the Aylesbury Waterside would be a circuit venue for the nation's UK's top touring productions.
In each instance, he evolved a solution to match challenges which included networking through two lighting bridges and a forestage, plus servicing ancillary areas such as a second, 225-capacity studio/function space, a foyer and a number of dressing rooms requiring show calls. All this is within an extraordinarily high, seven-storey building - measuring 25.27m from stage level to fly tower - with an orchestra pit and motorised floor.
The Northern Light team worked closely alongside main contractors, Willmott Dixon, and electrical contractors, Darke & Taylor, who provided the cabling.
The building's architectural design - a strikingly curved façade with timber-finned interior - was created by the Arts Team at RHWL.
Thus the integration company has succeeded in delivering a production infrastructure which will enable the client, Aylesbury Vale District Council, to decommission its old Civic Hall in favour of this magnificent multi-cultural arts centre, and kick start the new development in the town centre.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669
Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140