Sapphire Sound recently installed d&b audiotechnik xS-Series point source loudspeakers to provide sound reinforcement for the main floor and lobbies of Jack Singer Concert Hall, a lynchpin of Arts Commons that’s located in the cultural district in downtown Calgary, Canada.
The Jack Singer lobby areas can be used in conjunction with the concert hall or on their own in hosting a range of events, offering a total capacity of up to 1,000. “As far as our challenges were concerned, the main section, closest to the hall of the lobby has a two-and-a-half story high ceiling, but the rear of the lobby is split into two floors that can sometimes even be hosting separate events simultaneously,” says Jack Jamieson, head sound technician at the venue.
“There are also a lot of glass surfaces throughout the lobby placed for aesthetics that can make it very reflective,” he continues. “To solve this, we used two of the d&b 24S loudspeakers as our primary coverage for the large section, and installed three of the 5S, individually addressable, on each level at the rear of the lobby to allow us to control both the level and the content of the smaller speakers. The large speakers are aimed in and down towards the carpeted lobby floor to avoid unwanted reflections and help isolate the system acoustically from the concert hall. There are also three sets of heavy double doors on each side that are kept closed between the concert hall and the lobby when there is a lobby-only event occurring.”
The main floor lobby system is covered with a pair of 24S loudspeakers in stereo, with three 5S speakers — each with individual addresses — centered under each archway to cover the rear area when needed. Three more of 5S loudspeakers set up the same way to cover the upper lobby when it’s in use. Each of these eight cabinets has its own channel of amplification supplied by two D20 amplifiers.
“Arts Commons was initially looking at a d&b V or Y-Series, but I suggested 24S due to the fact that for the majority of events, subwoofers would not be required, and with 24S going all the way down to 55 Hz, it would enable relatively full range sound even without the VG SUBs deployed,” notes Ben Burrell of Sapphire Sound, which is also located in Calgary.
Meanwhile, 17 d&b M4 wedges and four VG SUBS driven by D Series amplifiers were brought in to revitalize the stage monitoring rig in the concert hall. “The M4 wedge has become the first or second choice product listed on most touring riders that we see,” Jamieson notes. “Accordingly, I had a demo of the product brought in, and all stakeholders agreed that it was one of the best wedge monitors we had ever heard or measured. Further, it was capable of more volume than the largest and loudest cabinet from our previous system, and only a half-inch wider than our smaller cabinet, and lighter than either of them. It was a unanimous choice from all of us.”
He concludes that Arts Commons management is satisfied with the results of the project, particularly the intelligibility and musicality provided by the new lobby system: “Ben is correct about the low frequency capability of the 24S. We have so far only needed to deploy the extra subwoofers twice since installation, and in both cases, it was for EDM style musical content.”