EDITORS CHOICE 09.05.18

Top end audio for culture and events space

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Photo by Heike Rost

Culture and event space kING landed ASC and Graner+Partner the 2018 InAVation Award for Leisure and Entertainment. Boasting the first Meyer Sound Constellation system in Germany and quickly considered one of Europe’s most highly regarded concert spaces… there’s no mystery as to why.

Ingelheim has an architecturally and technologically outstanding new venue in the form of kING, a culture and convention centre that puts the relatively small German town on the map when it comes to classical performance spaces. 

The space is operated by IKuM (Ingelheimer Kultur and Marketing).  The client was the WBI -  Wohnungsbaugesellschaft  Ingelheim  am Rhein, a housing association, which, early on in planning  phases, brought German consultant Graner+Partner engineers in to design all the media and event equipment. 
“The media and acoustic equipment in our building allows us to offer a highly diverse range of top-quality events.”

Being involved with the project at an early stage allowed Graner+Partner to work with the architects, Lieb+Lieb  Architekten  (design)  and Architekturbuero Schwinde (construction), to help plan architectural room acoustics before building started. 

After a tender process, Graner+Partner awarded the project to integrator Amptown System Company (ASC), who was on board in the early stages before some of the building facades were even complete. This early start allowed ASC to implement a highly complex cable infrastructure throughout the 2,000 sq m event area that includes a foyer, the 545 sq m Great Hall and five conference rooms.
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Flexibility was central to the design of the 900-seater seat Great Hall, the focal point of the venue. At the core of the installed AV systems is a Dante-based audio network and a  32x32 Crestron DigitalMedia matrix which allows flexible switching and routing of a range of signals. Floor and wall terminal boxes offer lots of connection options that can all be managed by the central control system. 

Removable partition walls allow the two rooms to separate the Great Hall to provide more conference rooms when required.

IMG_3651The Meyer Sound loudspeaker system is based on MINA line arrays (nine units each side) and four Meyer Sound 900-LFC subwoofers. Six UP-4XP speakers provide front fill, while two UPQ-2P and a UPA-1P speaker form the centre system. Supporting systems are used as near and balcony fills. 

That desire for flexibility extended to the audio system, which had to suit a variety of needs, ranging from meetings and conventions to musicals, cabaret, dance, film screenings and pop, rock and jazz concerts. However, that flexibility was not to impede the acoustic quality of the hall’s primary purpose: classical music concerts featuring full symphony orchestras. 

Physical ways to change the acoustics – such as swivelling, movable walls and acoustic panels - where considered but the final answer was a Meyer Sound Constellation Acoustic System.

Graner+Partner and ASC worked with John Pellowe -  a Grammy award winning classical music recording and live sound engineer who joined Meyer Sound as a consultant engineer for Constellation – to install and tune the system. Fine tuning was carried out during final rehearsals with the Mainz State Orchestra and the team managed to fulfil special requirements from the conductor, such as adjusting the balance between various groups of instruments on stage. 

IMG_8874Thirty-two microphones are arranged above the stage and around the hall to record audio and channel them into digital signal processors. This allows the acoustic field to be calculated and reproduced by approximately 180 Meyer Sound loudspeakers – 24 Stella-4C installation loudspeakers, 76 MM-4XP self-powered miniature wide-range loudspeakers, 36 UPM-1XP wide-coverage loudspeakers and 21 UP-4XP compact loudspeakers. ASC managed to make the speakers invisible, installing them behind an acoustically transparent fabric cladding and in the ceiling.  

Another 24 Meyer Sound MM-10XP miniature subwoofers were used to reproduce low frequencies. 

The resulting system is complex, powerful and can deliver a huge range of acoustic scenarios and 3D surround effects. But Graner+Partner also specified it had to be easy to use. ASC programmed a number of presets, using a Crestron media control system, to cover a lot of control tasks as well as individual graphical operating interfaces on touchpanels and iPads. 

Technology in the Great Hall is operated and managed from a control room at the rear of the hall that houses a Yamaha CL5 audio mixing desk, an image mixer and intercom. More in depth control is accessed via KVM consoles and touch panels and kit is supplied to facilitate video and audio recording. An H.64 stream can be used in a number of ways including being sent to YouTube. The room also houses a 4K Barco laser projector to deliver visual content when required. 

ASC also equipped the five meeting rooms with AV systems, opting for Meyer Sound again for audio systems. 

A Bosch voice alarm system and digital signage installation using Samsung displays, runs throughout the building. Live streams from the Great Hall, recorded via a dome camera, can be relayed to the screens.
IMG_8846 Response from the client, performers and concert-goers has been overwhelminglypositive. Michael Sinn, managing director of IKuM, wraps up: “The media and acoustic equipment in our building allows us to offer a highly diverse range of top-quality events. As well as the high cultural benchmark we set ourselves, this is of course a key commercial factor. 

“To use as operators, the way the whole system handles is extremely important, in addition to having the kind of technical equipment which is as flexible as possible. Similarly important are that conversations and preparations for events can be done quickly, and that the sound and video equipment can be operated quickly, safely and intuitively.” 

Tech-Spec
Audio

Bosch voice alarm system
Meyer Sound line arrays, subs, loudspeakers and Constellation system
Yamaha CL5 mixing desk

Video
Apple iPads
Barco 4K laser projector
Crestron 32 x 32 DM matrix, control system
Samsung LCD displays