Kalavai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA (November 25, 2020) — Established in 1978, the Adiparashakthi Charitable Medical, Educational, and Cultural Trust (ACMEC) operates major educational and cultural centers across the state of Tamil Nadu. Among them is the Adiparashakthi Agricultural and Medical Colleges, where a 1,200-seat auditorium hosts live performances and spiritual gatherings as well as educational events. When the trustees needed a sound system worthy of the impressive hall, systems integrator Theatre Concepts crafted and end-to-end QSC solution comprised of twenty WideLine10 line array loudspeakers supported by ten PLD Series power amplifiers, eight K12.2 and four K8.2 active loudspeakers , and a TouchMix-30 Pro digital mixer for front-of-house. The house, control room, and a rehearsal room are interlinked via the Q-SYS audio ecosystem, including a Core 110f processor and I/O-8 Flex audio input peripheral.
“Picture 1,200 people sitting in one place, with the goal of having a common spiritual moment,” says Theatre Concepts’ Harry Martin, who designed and supervised the installation. “To ensure that everyone has the same experience in terms of sound, the auditorium really needed an excellent line array system.” While line arrays are a go-to solution for ensuring uniform sound levels from the front of a room to the rear, Harry is quick to point out that the side-to-side coverage was just as important in this venue:
“This auditorium is very wide, about 150 feet,” he says. “That’s the first thing that drove us towards the WL2102-w loudspeaker from the WideLine 10 Series, because it has 140 degrees of horizontal dispersion. This helped us eliminate any blank spots from one side of any row to the other. With a point-source system, there’s no way we would have been able to calibrate things so precisely and do such a perfect job of eliminating dead spots.”
Both the compact size and built-in DSP of the PLD Series amplifiers made them an ideal choice to power the WideLine arrays. “We had very little space to put in power amps, just an alcove below the media pit,” explains Harry. “The PLDs are four-channel amps, so for the arrays on either side of the stage, we were able to fit all the power we needed into just one rack. Then there’s all the DSP in there, which is designed to work with the WideLine loudspeakers. The FAST [Flexible Amplifier Summing Technology] distributes all the amps’ power to all the loudspeakers ideally, and the result is excellent sound quality throughout the auditorium.”
Theatre Concepts hung eight WideLine 10 boxes on either side of the stage, but their acoustic analysis discovered a couple of areas that still needed filling out. Their solution began with K.2 Series active loudspeakers at the front of the stage:
“Even with the great performance of the main arrays, we also needed to fill in the first fourteen or so rows of seats,” he describes. “We placed some of the K12.2 as front fills — we call it the ‘lip fill’ because it’s right at the lip of the stage. The remaining K12.2s and K8.2s are stage monitors.”
Another challenge was balancing audio coverage with visual aesthetics, for which more WideLine loudspeakers — in an uncommon location for array loudspeakers — proved useful. “With 140 degrees of coverage, we didn’t want to place the arrays in the very corners,” says Harry. “Yet, moving them too far in towards the center created an obstruction the client was unhappy with. The ceiling is about 42 feet high and the top cabinet needed to be hung four feet down from there. The client felt that the bottom cabinets would interfere too much with the audience’s vision.” Harry and his team placed four more WideLine 10s at the center of the rear of the auditorium, on a delay. This provided two benefits: coverage in the very back plus supplemental fill down the centerline of the room, which allowed him and his team to “position the front arrays so that the client was happy.”
Compared to the sort of mixing board one might expect to see in such a venue, the TouchMix-30 Pro is quite compact. For Harry, the small size still meant big capability: “Many of the cultural and spiritual events there have live music.” he says, “We might have fourteen or more microphones at once, for starters. Also, the client wanted a foolproof system and didn’t want to need a technical expert on the property at all times. When we showed them the TouchMix, with the recall for different scenes and the ‘wizards’ for setting up inputs and such, its ease of operation was one of the tipping points that convinced them to go with QSC for the entire system.”
The final tipping point was Q-Sys, QSC’s scalable, secure architecture for routing audio, video and control over Ethernet. “They wanted recording, monitoring, connection with the rehearsal room, and again, they wanted it foolproof,” Harry continues. “We could provide all that with Q-Sys. First of all, we told them it’s Layer 3. That means it’s compatible with whatever existing network and IT systems they have — and they had a lot already, like lighting control and building automation, all that sort of thing. Other products work on Layer 2, which means you’d need to build a separate network for the audio.” All these QSC attributes were the reason that Theatre Concepts won the job over 12 other bidders.
When officials at Adiparashakthi heard the system for the first time, the results spoke for themselves. “They were extremely happy,” Harry enthuses. “They had already listened to and worked with a lot of other systems on their properties in different locations. They walked around the room, listening carefully, and could not find any dead spots. They were very happy with the quality of the sound. The client ultimately described it as a mind-blowing experience. For me as an integrator, QSC has been my go-to since it was introduced in India about ten years ago. I was a distributor, so I’m familiar with it. I love the design, the reliability, the sound quality, and the support of the QSC team here. It gives me a lot of confidence.”
Founded over five decades ago, QSC is globally-recognized leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of award-winning high-performance loudspeakers, digital mixers, power amplifiers, audio processors, digital cinema solutions, and the Q-SYS™ software-based audio, video and control ecosystem. Offering reliable, scalable and flexible solutions for professional installed, portable, production, corporate and cinema applications, QSC puts customers first with its highly-acclaimed sales, service, and support networks worldwide.
About Theatre Concepts
Based in Tamil Nadu’s capital city of Chennai, Theatre Concepts is the most respected audio/visual systems integrator in southern India, providing end-to-end solutions for the concert, educational, corporate, cinema, and residential markets. In 2018, Theatre Concepts received recognition from Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for executing one of the most prestigious government aided auditoriums in Chennai. Recent projects have included installs for the regional Karpagam Cinemas as well as Chennai’s VGP Marine Kingdom, India’s first largest walk-through aquarium. Learn more at www.theatreconcepts.in.