Alcons cabinets support revolutionary production

For a recent production of Soldaat van Oranje sound designer, Jeroen ten Brinke has employed nearly 100 Alcons Audio pro-ribbon LR14 array cabinets. The production is housed in a converted aircraft hangar at a former military aerodrome in Valkenburg, near Leiden, the Netherlands.

Soldaat van Oranje (De Musical), based on the book by Erik Hazelhoff Roelfsema (himself a Word War II hero) and the film of the same name, has already seen more than 200,000 visitors pass through its doors. It tells the story of a group of Dutch students in the Second World War, each of whom follows a different path during the conflict, either as a collaborator or as part of the resistance under Nazi occupation.

The raked audience seating sits on a large revolving turntable in the middle of the hangar, with the perimeter divided up into a number of different stage sets, including a lifelike sea. A turntable measuring over 30 metres in diameter allows the seating to revolve from scene-to-scene and 180 degree video projection, and the actors walking between the sets maintains continuity as the 1100-strong audience revolves.

“It was a project that couldn’t be done ‘by the book’, because there is no book for this,” said ten Brinke. “Surround sound was essential and my first idea was to place all speakers on the revolving turntable. However, because of the weight and the momentum when turning the wheel, that wasn’t feasible.”

The solution was a huge surround system fed via an optical cable, fitted on a drum system that turns through a total of 7,000 degrees to avoid the possibility of breakage. Amsterdam-based Focus Advanced Event Technologies handled supply and installation and chose Meyer Sound’s D-Mitri for audio processing and distribution. An LCS Cue-Console was the choice for the Front of House position.

Each scene features an L-C-R array of Alcons LR14 pro ribbon loudspeakers, plus a 15” sub, 14 arrays in all, with additional fill and delay cabinets. The LR14s are driven by 30 ALC4 amplified loudspeaker controllers. A huge, 144 x 144 matrix routes audio from the actors and a hidden band to the main loudspeaker system and three delay arrays of three further LR14s each.

The system is configured so that, as the seating revolves, the right-hand array from the previous scene becomes the left array of the next one.

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