The 488-seat Grosvenor Theatre, located in the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver, British Columbia, recently became the first venue in Canada with a d&b audiotechnik R90 touchscreen remote control unit, joined by 10 d&b AL loudspeakers, in a project implemented by ShowTech AVL Systems (Burnaby British Columbia).
“The R90 is mounted on a standard 19-inch 4RU racking plate that we had cut to fit and installed in the equipment rack at front of house,” explains Larry Darling, vice president, ShowTech AVL Systems “With a self-contained computer, the R90 is controlling everything in the d&b system from a non-technical perspective. Production manager/technical director Justin Corrie wanted a simple and reliable device that could be mounted to a backbox and work independently of R1 and be easy to use by inexperienced staff.
“In previous installations we used a Windows Surface tablet which works well, but it’s really a consumer-grade device,” he continues. “It’s an inexpensive solution but they are often mis-used by bored staff, lost and certainly aren’t as rugged as the R90. Unlike tablets that are built for WIFI, the R90 has a dedicated RJ45 input which eliminates the irregularity of wireless and its clamping leavers securely mount it meaning it doesn’t get lost in the technician lounge couch.”
Darling adds that acoustically, the directivity of the d&b Xa-Series 10AL two-way loudspeakers assist in keeping the energy where it is needed by minimizing reflections off the walls of the auditorium. “The small form factor and light weight also enabled us to re-use the existing rigging positions. To lower the image and not interfere with the sight lines, the E6 loudspeakers are used for lip fills. Due to the nature of the programming at the Kay Meek Theatre, the subs had to be flown directly above center stage, so the cardioid Vi-SUB was chosen and is ideal to minimize unwanted energy on the stage area and to minimize feedback.”
The centre has a Dante network so the ShowTech AVL team added a d&b DS10 audio network bridge that was installed in the amp rack. “While our old system had served us well for many years, we had definitely outgrown its ability to support some of our more top end events,” Corrie says. “When we embarked on a renovation project of the building to increase accessibility to our patrons, we also began the process of upgrading the tech systems that had not been changed since we opened in 2004. The PA in the Grosvenor Theatre, where our biggest shows are preformed, was one of these key systems. Our goals for this new system was consistent coverage and maximizing clarity.
“Two of the key restrictions of the new system was to reduce operator complexity and to reuse existing speaker rigging locations (acoustic clouds reduce rigging options). The inclusion of the R90 to control the system was vital to these goals,” he concludes. “We use the R90 for preset recall and system power/mute/input gain. This allows quick simple operation without having to wait for control computers to boot up or having to deal with user security as the system is secure. The greatly enhanced clarity and even coverage has been appreciated by our audience members and since the install has resulted in an increase in positive response from the audiences. The d&b and ShowTech teams were very supportive and accommodating with the design, demo, delivery and installation of the new system. Including a number of custom installation solutions to meet our needs.”
In addition to the 12 10AL loudspeakers, R90, and DS10, four E6 loudspeakers, two 30D amplifiers, and two Vi-SUBs subwoofers are utilized in the system.