Category Archives: Company News

Venue Cymru completes major system upgrade

  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems
  • Venue Cymru – Pro Audio Systems

Occupying an enviable location on the promenade in Llandudno, North Wales, Venue Cymru is the region’s leading entertainment venue. Boasting a 1,450-seat proscenium arch theatre with one of the largest stages in the UK, a conference and events centre, an arena, and an atrium hall as well as bars and restaurants, Venue Cymru is a versatile space capable of receiving virtually any touring production, plus exhibitions, events and conferences. Sales and integration specialists, Pro Audio Systems, have recently completed a major system upgrade for the theatre based on EM Acoustics’ HALO-C compact line array system to bring the PA system into line with current-day expectations.

Venue Cymru’s head of sound, Bryn Rosenwould, explained that the existing sound system, which dated from the theatre’s inauguration in 1994, was starting to fall short of the increasingly high expectations of both visiting productions and audiences. It was clearly time for a change, and so Rosenwould and his team, after extensive research including several listening tests, narrowed the choices down to five potential systems from different manufacturers including EM Acoustics. The project went out to tender and was won by Bradford-based Pro Audio Systems. Project manager Lee Unsworth takes up the story:

“The venue required a fuller spectrum of sound than the existing system could provide, with high end clarity, speech intelligibility and low-end punch being identified as key requirements. We know and love EM Acoustics products, so given the requirements of this project, of all the options on the tender, EM was our first choice. Top of the priority list was, of course, sound quality; EM Acoustics boxes all sound very musical and incredibly natural. With correct system design and speaker placement, we had no problem in meeting all the audio requirements. The central array of eight HALO-C cabinets flown in front of the proscenium arch meant that, for the first time, the venue had full coverage of both stalls and balcony enabling a true LCR mix.”

“Secondly, we needed to stay within a fairly tight budget which meant utilising the existing infrastructure,” continued Unsworth. “The passive crossover design of the EMS Series that we used for all the delays meant we could re-use the existing cable infrastructure without compromising on quality but keeping installation costs to a minimum. Key to this project was the ability to accurately predict the system’s coverage pattern to ensure full coverage of all audience areas - something that had been lacking in the past. We measured up the space and produced an EASE model to interrogate the system design. The results led to some changes being made to the initial specification, but we were able to make the changes and still stay within budget.”

Venue Cymru’s Bryn Rosenwould concurred: “It’s true that as a council-run theatre, budget was an issue, which meant that from the outset, EM Acoustics was well placed relative to other brands,” he said. “However, we have an excellent L’Acoustics system in our arena, so as a venue we are very familiar with high quality PA systems and how a decent PA should perform in our auditorium. I wasn’t familiar with EM Acoustics, and when Dave Kelland came to demo the HALO-C and several EMS Series models, it was a revelation for me. The sound quality surpassed what I was expecting and left me in no doubt that this was the right choice for us and not just the “cheaper option”. On the contrary, this was a very high quality system.”

“HALO-C sounded amazing,” he continued. “It’s excellent throw and crystal-clear intelligibility were just what we were looking for, and it has a certain warmth and punch that I like very much.” Rosenwould was also impressed by the voicing of the cabinets which sound the same regardless of the product range; it’s just the application that differs. “The EMS-126s and EMS-129s do an excellent job,” he stated. “I was concerned that budget considerations meant that we wouldn’t be able to have enough speakers to adequately handle the L/R mix, but I needn’t have worried – their coverage and signal dispersion is fantastic.”

Once the system was installed, Unsworth and his team spent a full day measuring system response to verify system performance, adjusting splay angles on the array and the direction/tilt of the EMS Series delay cabinets to ensure that every seat in the house benefited from a similar sonic experience. “Working with the EM product was really easy as it all sounds great straight out of the box. The EQs we applied were simply to compensate for HF losses through the air and low-mid build-up in the room – we weren’t fighting the system to make it linear. Also, it was our first time working properly with EM’s DQ10D Dante-enabled amplifiers. Their excellent DSP capacity gave us everything we needed to optimise the system in no time, and the Dante connectivity means that the system is future-proofed for years to come.”

Rosenwould was delighted with both the system and the service he received from PA Systems. “Nothing was too much trouble for them and I was very impressed with Brian [Lumb]’s attention to detail. I know that if ever I have a problem, they’ll be back in a flash to rectify it – but they did such an excellent job with the installation and commissioning that there won’t be any problems! I’m delighted with the new PA system and will be recommending both EM Acoustics and Pro Audio Systems to all our visiting companies and touring shows.”

Unsworth and Lumb were equally pleased with the outcome: “On final listening to the system, Bryn was over the moon with the results. It actually brought a tear to his eye, and we can’t ask for more than that!”

EM Acoustics provides the Big Picture for IWM North with Pro Audio Systems

  • Imperial War Museum North
  • Imperial War Museum North
  • Imperial War Museum North
  • Imperial War Museum North
  • Imperial War Museum North
  • Imperial War Museum North

 

The multi-award winning Imperial War Museum North opened at Trafford Park in Manchester in 2002 and has since welcomed more than four million visitors. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, the striking building is now an iconic feature of the city's skyline. Its exhibitions tell the story of how war has affected the lives of British and Commonwealth citizens since 1914.

IWM North recently called on Pro Audio Systems in Bradford to upgrade the audio system of one of the museum’s star attractions, the Big Picture Show, which uses surround sound, projected digital moving images and photographs to create a fully immersive sensory experience that brings to life people’s experiences of war.

After several A/B comparisons which designated EM Acoustics as both the top-performing and best value solution, Pro Audio Systems supplied a system based on 24 EMS-81X 2-way passive speakers supplemented by four MSE-218 subs. James Byrom of the AV infrastructure team at IWM North takes up the story: “The Big Picture Show is the museum’s core visitor offer. Having recently upgraded to the latest HD technology for video, we needed to make sure that the audio was up to the same standard. We essentially replaced the existing EAW system with like for like – a necessity given the awkward physical spaces available in which to house the loudspeakers – but a modern-day version using up-to-date technology. We’ve also gained in sound quality. We find that the EMS-81X is a much smoother-sounding box than the one it is replacing which needed a lot of control in the upper-mid range to get it to sound good. However, the 81X is much smoother between the 8” and the 1” – whatever EM have done on the crossover board, they’ve made a good job of it!”

The audio system is used to play back 32 separate audio tracks for 24 different screens, each of which has its own dedicated projector. When it’s not in use for the Big Picture Show, it duals as a handy fill system for the venue’s larger Meyer system that is dedicated as a L/R system for corporate events on the main stage.

Byrom and the team are very pleased with the performance of the new system. “Intelligibility has definitely been improved,” he remarked. “I think that’s partly due to the crossover in the 81X which has resulted in a much smoother-sounding box than the one we had previously, which was quite harsh. In the reverberant space that we have here, the audio would bounce around all over the place and was actually quite difficult to listen to. However, the EMS-81X is much easier on the ear which enables you to better digest the audio information, so it’s much more intelligible.”

Byrom was also keen to note that Pro Audio Systems have delivered excellent service throughout. “PAS’s Lee Unsworth came over the other day with SMAART and some measurement mics and noted that we are losing a little in the HF on the speakers that are behind hessian on the walls, so we’ve applied a 3dB boost to the HF from 3kHz to compensate,” explained Byrom. “Other than that, we’ve not had to apply any EQ which leaves it wide open for corporate events, meaning that when we can plug other sources into the system we’re starting with a reasonably blank canvas.”

“Overall, we’re very impressed with the quality of the EM boxes. The system is sounding so much smoother than it used to. The output from the subs is greater – much more heavy-duty – and as for HF and vocal clarity, I really think the top boxes are magic! The sound is excellent throughout, and so is the price point. Pro Audio Systems have done a great job for us, as they always do, both in supplying the right system for our needs and for the flexible, personal service they provide. We couldn’t ask for more really!”

Roland and Pro Audio Systems ‘Pro Partnership’!

Impeccable experiences with Sound and Vision, it’s what we do and what we love! We’re very happy to announce our Roland Pro A/V ‘Pro Partner’ agreement, enabling us to supply their excellent range of ‘complex-made simple’ Audio and Video products.

Roland’s excellent range of Pro A/V gear includes Digital Mixing Consoles and a comprehensive offering of Vision Mixers/Switchers for every budget and application. They also have some first-class products for A/V infrastructure which we’ve fully put through their paces and come up with some fantastic results, safe to say, the results were astounding!

Pro Audio’s Asher Dowson was particularly impressed with their Flagship digital mixing console, the M-5000, ‘We’re often asked by those looking for a new console about three things – how it sounds, how well it integrates with different audio protocols and how easily it can be configured for different shows. Roland’s console has got it covered and then some – sublime audio fidelity, option cards for pretty much every audio network protocol out there and 128 streams of audio which you can configure any which way you like! It’s a very easy board to get to know too, so we knew it was something special and had to get behind it.’

Have you had a look at Roland’s product portfolio? We’d love to chat further about how they can improve your event production – and if you’d like, we can arrange a hands-on demo so you can truly see for yourself what they’re capable of.

Bradford’s Alhambra Studio Theatre Upgrades Subs With PAS

The Studio, part of central Bradford’s magnificent Alhambra Theatre complex, is a flexible, multi-purpose space that can accommodate audiences of up to 300. Bradford Theatres also use it regularly for workshops, educational activities and rehearsals and it also hosts small scale theatre, cabaret, rehearsals, meetings, conferences and exhibitions, many of which use the in-house hospitality…
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