The Porter Theatre, located in Nanaimo, BC, has upgraded their in-house speaker system to an Adamson SpekTrix Line Array. With its wide variety of local and international theatrical and music performances, The Port Theatre’s technical requirements were vast.

With an adjustable proscenium opening from 42’ to 48’, and utilizing reversible reflective or absorbing wall panels to adjust its acoustics, The Port Theatre works equally well as a concert hall, theatre, or rock venue. These varying performance requirements created a need for predictable vertical control and extended, well-defined horizontal coverage. The client also expressed the need for intelligibility, musicality, and power to address speech, instrumental augmentation, and full-scale rock reinforcement. The Adamson SpekTrix Line Array met these requirements as well as the theatre’s architectural guidelines.

The theatre seats 769 people, and can add an additional 33 skid mounted seats in the orchestra pit when it is not in use. The theatre has raked orchestra seating on two levels, and a balcony with multiple level loges wrapped around the sides. The configuration for this acoustically elegant theatre was simple: left and right arrays of five SpekTrix, with three SpekTrix WAVEs flown as a stereo pair. The adjustable rigging frame allowed for a single point hang, and the installation went fast and flawless. One Spektrix Sub per side was needed to provide sufficient low-end. These were ground-stacked on movable dollies on each side of the stage, in order to avoid sightline issues, while providing even coverage of the theatre space. Lab.gruppen amplifiers powered the Spektrix and Lake Contour provided processing, allowing FOH engineer Jim Kent, who is also the assistant technical director and head of audio engineer for the theatre, to tune the arrays in minimal time.

“I have had an opportunity to work the SpekTrix system with a wide variety of productions and have been extremely impressed with the fidelity and dynamics of the speaker box. Being able to clearly hear 1 to 2db adjustments on console EQ, 60’ back has allowed me to add my art into all productions that hit our stage,” says Kent.

The system design by Bruce Halliday (technical director for The Port Theatre) was executed by Keith Vanderkley, director of North American sales at Adamson, and fine-tuned by Adamson Europe DV2’s technical director Didier dal Fitto. The use of the Adamson Shooter® Software allowed dal Fitto to build a fast and accurate computer simulation of the venue and facilitated the sharing of the design between continents. Vanderkley and LTS Vancouver, an installation and production company, provided the final tuning and testing of the installation. With the RFP submitted, LeTexier Systems of Burnaby, Vancouver, was selected as the equipment provider.

“The SpekTrix has not only met the design criteria that Jim and I set out, but has surpassed our expectations. The evenness of dispersion and fidelity are remarkable. We’ve listened to a lot of speaker systems. Adamson stood out immediately. We are getting rave reviews from performers, engineers and audience members regularly,” says Halliday.