The Smith Auditorium, a 600-seat theatre at the North Sydney campus of the Shore School in Australia that opening in the mid-1990s, has been equipped with a new main sound reinforcement system incorporating Adamson CS7 line arrays and CS118 subwoofers in a project directed by integration firm Forefront Productions (based in Warners Bay, New South Wales).
Forefront had provided the system in support of the school’s annual musical production, and it worked out so well that it was permanently installed. “We had the opportunity to trial the complete system in our theatre for a period of about a month,” says Nicholas Wright, technology services for Shore School. “That included the rehearsal and performance periods of our senior school musical. It was so beneficial to hear the system being used as it is intended rather than just demoing with recorded music. Having our musical mixed by an external contractor also gave us another professional opinion when deciding if CS7 was the right product for us.”
The CS-Series offers both onboard amplification and signal processing, and it uses the company’s new AI Software, which combines the Blueprint design and coverage prediction software with live processing to help optimize performance. The series includes multiple models of both point and line source loudspeakers, all equipped with AVB connections running on the Milan protocol, meaning that when the school wishes to, it can connect the entire PA to a network backbone. Through ongoing firmware updates, users are afforded upgrades when new and improved system presets are released and new functions such as array processing are implemented.
“Working in IT, I am fully onboard with the concept of continuous software and firmware updates and improvements,” Wright notes. “Though I haven’t seen anything like it in other loudspeaker systems – even other active systems – so the opportunity to invest in a system with that kind of future-proof technology and the opportunity for continuous improvement was a no-brainer.”
Acting as a combination of school lecture theatre, assembly venue and performance space, the main duties of the PA are to amplify the spoken word. However, regular musical performances, musicals, and external hire mean it needs to do more.
“Whether it’s through school events, assemblies or musicals, the PA fits our purpose perfectly,” says Wright. “The venue is also hired out for external events which include concerts and dance performances, demanding more low-end and higher SPL, but the CS7 main modules and CS118 subs handle it easily. The sound quality of the CS7 line array is incredible, especially when it comes to vocal clarity. For such a small system, it covers our 600-seat theatre perfectly with plenty of headroom.
“One major consideration when having a system designed was the weight capacity of the structure and rigging equipment already in the venue,” he continues. “I was blown away at how lightweight the CS boxes are whilst still being so capable. It turns out our larger Adamson system with subs flown still weighed 100 kg less than our previous line array without its subs.”
He also offers compliments to the integrator, concluding, “Forefront have been such a pleasure to deal with. Nick and Matt have always been on call to answer any questions or concerns and have been in contact throughout the whole process to make sure we’re happy with the product and service.”