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deSingel, the home of arts and culture in Antwerp

installationnews BELGIUM Adamson systems double for deSingel

After a successful installation in the Red Hall, the investment in an Adamson Metrix system for deSingel’s Blue Hall venue completes the first phase of the International Arts Campus’s audio equipment upgrade, writes Marc Maes

AN ADAMSONsystem comprising a Metrix sub, three Metrix and two Metrix Waves flown per side and one MDC2 sub per side has been installed in deSingel’s 900-capacity Blue Hall. The decision to invest in the Metrix system was taken following a similar successful project in the venue’s 800-seater Red Hall. Built in 1980, deSingel is a striking collection of box-like structures which together form Antwerp’s International Arts Campus – the principal home to cultural happenings in the city. “The big problem with the system [in the Red Hall] was the speaker dimensions,” explains Bart Van Gyseghem, chief sound engineer at deSingel. “People commented on the speakers because they caused ‘visual pollution’ on the stage. The process to replace the speakers was ignited some three years ago – during that period we had the opportunity to test various sound systems for dance, theatre and classical music.”

The deSingel audio team was persuaded by a demo version of Adamson’s Metrix system used during the Nachten festival. “The reactions were unanimously positive and the big difference is that we were at the controls ourselves. You must ‘feel’ a system react; with Metrix it was pristine and sharp,” explains Van Gyseghem. The Blue Hall was initially designed for non-amplified instruments, but has increasingly hosted more amplified concerts starting with its 2011 season, he adds. “Initially we wanted to have a multipurpose mobile system, but it turns out that the Adamson rig is being used in 95% of the events in the Blue Hall. The Metrix configuration is part of the hall’s in-house equipment. To increase efficiency the speakers are hidden in the ceiling in the case of non-amplified concerts.” The Red Hall, meanwhile,

features a Metrix system comprising two Subs, four Metrix and two Metrix Waves

flown per side with one MDC2 Sub per side plus one centre Metrix cluster. It was chosen to replace the three Meyer MSL3 speakers on either side of the stage. Limitations in the venue’s roof construction urged the installation of a ‘light’ version of the Metrix array configuration, though Van Gyseghem is convinced that two extra cabinets would enhance the line array’s qualities even more. “The system doesn’t really behave as a line array set-up, yet it offers the qualities of an array system like dispersion and coverage, much better than a conventional system would,” he comments. “The implementation of the Adamson system in deSingel was in close collaboration with the venue’s tech team,” adds Ludovic Van de Goor, technical director of Adamson distributor Inytium. “For instance, we modified the ventilation system inside the Lab.gruppen amplifiers to reduce noise.” The Adamson Metrix

configurations in both venues are completed with two DiGiCo SD8 and one SD9 consoles. “We realised that the Adamson/ DiGiCo combination was not a standard on theatre and ballet production riders – they mostly want Yamaha for theatre tours – but we wanted to think ahead and therefore we think we have made the right choice,” advocates Van Gyseghem. “And, coincidence or not – since we’re offering the Metrix system I have the impression that I see it on more and more riders. Once production engineers have heard the system, they are rapidly convinced of the quality.” “Many Belgian audio companies use the Adamson/ Lab.gruppen/DiGiCo triumvirate,” echoes Van de Goor. “In this case, deSingel wanted to have quality audio without compromise.” “I would like to have some

extra speakers in the Red Hall, and we plan to expand the centre cluster with two extra Metrix cabinets to optimise overall

coverage but we all agree that our decision to invest in Adamson Metrix was the best ever,” concludes Van Gyseghem. n

Ludovic van de Goor and Bart Van Gyseghem

August 2012 l 43

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