L-Acoustics audio is helping French theatre stay flexible

L-Acoustics audio is helping French theatre stay flexible
A new theatre at a historic site near Béziers, France has chosen L-Acoustics audio systems to handle the varied neds of its three spaces.

Opened in spring 2021, the Scène de Bayssan theatre site has a rich history going back 5,000 years over successive Greek, Roman and Gallic societies. More recently, the area hosted a circus, a fact that’s reflected in the Scène’s architecture. The new theatre complex features three spaces; the open-air Claude Nougaro amphitheatre which can accommodate 965 people seated or 1462 standing, the 432-seated / 1350 standing Michel Galabru theatre, and a small structure that houses reception facilities.

Scène de Bayssan hosts performing art, art exhibits and cultural events. To support the varied programme, the team chose L-Acoustics K, A and X Series, supplied by L-Acoustics partner, Du Show.

Whilst Scène de Bayssan is a permanent venue, its loudspeaker system needed to be mobile, as it would be used only during the summer months in the Nougaro amphitheatre, year-round in the Galabru theatre, as well as in other venues as required.

Arnaud Delorme, senior application project engineer at L-Acoustics, said: “For this reason a touring system, rather than a fixed installation, was the most logical solution. It allows for the Scène to account for both the structure of each space and also the venue’s diverse programme, which includes classical, pop and jazz concerts, electro music and theatre productions.

“We specified the system alongside Scène de Bayssan’s team and they adapted the design to take into account their specific objectives and constraints, and integrated it themselves.”

The main system for the site includes 16 Kara II cabinets, with six SB18 and four KS28 subs, controlled by an LA12X and seven LA4X amplified controllers. An L-Acoustics P1 processor is used for AVB and as a measurement platform. The main system is complemented by four A10 Wide as fills, and a central A10 Wide. A versatile kit of 12 X15HiQ, 14 X12, 20 X8, two SB18m, four 108P and a further 13 LA4X complements the FOH system.

The typical system configuration for the Claude Nougaro amphitheatre includes left / right hangs of three SB18 atop eight Kara II each, with a central hang of three KS28 subs in cardioid configuration.

Alexandre Pastor, sound and video manager at Scène de Bayssan, said: “KS28 delivers the extreme low end of the system, while SB18s are used to add contour and impact to the Kara II, each of them fulfilling its own role.

“In addition, we use A10 Wide as a central point below the KS28, as a delay for the upper levels of seating and as in-fill. For front-fill, we place X8 across the stage lip. We install the system in the amphitheatre in late spring and then move it to the Galabru theatre in late summer.”

The Galabru theatre accommodates its audience on partially retractable tiers of seats. Its deep, staggered stage area is flanked by storage rooms, offices and dressing rooms. Here the team uses a fixed coaxial system.

Pastor said: “The installation here allows us to meet the requirements of most performances.”

A typical system comprises three X12 clusters in LCR position with two end-fired SB18 subs. In-fill is catered for by two X12 positioned left and right, and four X8 are used for front-fill.

“We also use four X8 mounted on the truss for delay and two X8 are used for monitoring in the control room,” he added.

The P1 processor allows the team to convert different signal formats to AVB and then send the signal digitally to the amps. Pastor noted that P1 helps process the sound system more precisely, and it also has an important role when hosting several FOH consoles in the control room. “P1’s different inputs and its routing allows us to switch immediately from one console to the other without interruption when different artists follow one another,” he said.

Once the system was fully integrated, L-Acoustics provided training to Scène de Bayssan’s technical team, enabling them to be fully autonomous from design to rigging and system measurement for any given event.

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