Adlib Installs L-Acoustics System for Scarborough Open Air Theatre

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Adlib’s sales and installation division supplied an L-ACOUSTICS KARA sound system to Scarborough Open Air Theatre, North Yorkshire, UK, which featured concerts by JLS, John Barrowman, Olly Murs, Alexandra Burke, Russell Watson and many more in its 2012 Summer Season.

Liverpool based Adlib were contacted by Scarborough based P&L Sound & Lighting to present a joint proposal to supply and service the venue with audio equipment, which was put out for tender by Scarborough Borough Council.

Once their bid was successful, the two companies also collaborated closely with L-ACOUSTICS and the Council to ensure that all their sonic requirements were met.

The 6500 capacity Open Air Theatre in Northstead Manor Gardens is the largest such venue in Europe. It was originally built in 1932, and reopened in 2010 after a £3.5 Million refurbishment which includes a full stage and roof system. This year, they decided to make further investments in the sound system to ensure that the Theatre can offer top quality production values and attract leading international artists.

Adlib’s Installations and Sales’ Project Managers John Hughes and Roger Kirby worked with P&L’s Phil Laycock and L-ACOUSTICS’ Application Engineer Chris Vass on the design, which required several site visits along with detailed on-site noise propagation measurements.

From here, they designed the sound system.

Once this received the green light, all equipment including a comprehensive rigging package and necessary cabling infrastructure had to be supplied, installed and commissioned in under 3 weeks.

The system was optimised to cater for a variety of performance genres from rock bands to opera shows and classical recitals to the spoken word, plus a host of community events. During the Olympics and other major sporting moments, there were large screen relays, so it had to be flexible and sound good for multiple applications.

Nine KARA boxes together with four SB18 subs per side were flown as left and right PA hangs – supported by dedicated PA towers, plus three ground-stacked SB28 subs per side. This was completed with four L-ACOUSTICS KIVA loudspeakers as in-fills, positioned towards the front edge of the stage.

Six L-ACOUSTICS LA8 amplifiers powered the above loudspeakers. Comprehensive onboard processing and equalization was accessed utilising a Laptop PC running L-ACOUSTICS’ LA Network Manager Software application.

All elements of this equipment have been purchased by Scarborough Borough Council.

Adlib Solutions in conjunction with P&L Sound & Lighting also supply additional equipment including consoles and monitor packages on an ‘as and when’ required basis according to the individual event.

L-ACOUSTICS KARA was specified for a number of reasons including its format and low frequency extension capabilities from a compact and light weight series of enclosures.

Another was the uniformity of the loudspeakers’ spectral response when delivering at the variety of sound pressure levels required in this particular application.

The “stunning” directivity and control in both horizontal and vertical planes was another asset.

In summary, this was a sound solution offering both operating engineers and the audience an amazing listening experience with the very recognisable L-ACOUSTICS ‘sonic signature’ expressed across their extensive range of loudspeakers.

“Of a number of options initially discussed,” explains John Hughes, “KARA was considered the best system for the job”.

With residential areas in close proximity, controlling the noise was another important factor, so the system had to be very focusable, and the team worked with the Councils’ Environmental Health officers on this aspect.

Being located by the sea brought its own challenges, with the damp atmosphere and high salinity. Special protective covers were manufactured for the speakers and supplied by P&L as the system stays in place until the season ends in September, when they will go into storage until the next year.

Adlib conducted a week of training with P&L so their engineers – who are engaged in on-going maintenance and running of the system – could acquaint themselves with the KARA system and its philosophies.

Phil Laycock, SOAT’s in-house Production Manager comments, “As the main contractor for the Scarborough Open Air theatre it was great to work with Adlib. From the first point of contact through to the system integration and final completion, they were there for us with great communication and back up, and we also sub-hired additional sound and lighting for some of the summer shows.

The team and equipment were all excellent and we look forward to working with them again in the 2013 season".

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