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Trøndelag Teater Celebrates 200 Years With New Sound System

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First opened in 1816, Trondheim’s Trøndelag Teater is the oldest Scandinavian stage in continuous use. A major 1990s rebuilding project saw the original auditorium, the Gamle Scene (The Old Stage), incorporated into a modern complex which added three further stages of different sizes. This year, Trondheim Lyd supplied, installed and commissioned a new audio system in the Gamle Scene, replacing an existing point-source PA.

The new system comprises five Alcons QR24 and QM24 modular, pro-ribbon column arrays per side, powered by two Alcons Sentinel 10 amplified loudspeaker controllers. Combining a natural, dynamic sound reproduction with very high peak power handling, the modular, scalable Q-series delivers superb intelligibility and throw in even the most acoustically challenging environments.

“When we were choosing a new sound system, it was of course very important that it sounded great,” says Jomar Johansen, Head of Production at Trøndelag Teater. “The room has a unique acoustic quality, while the other main factor was that we needed a system that could adapt to the style and be a modern part of a listed baroque stage from 1816, which is also used without speech amplification.”

“We use headset microphones for many of our productions and we don’t want to spend a lot of time dealing with feedback issues,” added the theater’s Erlend Aune. “We needed a system that was loud and clear but, at the same time, very clean. We have productions featuring both live bands and prerecorded playback, so the system had to sound great through the entire frequency spectrum, with enough headroom for speech on top of the music.”

By using only two RBN high-frequency drivers, which are each 12 inches long, the QR24’s active frontal radiation is close to 90%. This results in sharply controlled vertical dispersion, which delivers SPL-independent intelligibility over distance, without the necessity of DSP-based beam shaping. This was key to achieving seamless sound throughout the auditorium, while the shallow form factor and ACO color option allowed for unobtrusive installation.

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“The layout of the room is acoustically challenging, and being able to effectively steer the sound around the balcony front without losing the high frequencies, is not something all systems can do,” said Erlend. “The arrangement of an array of five Q-series per side avoids throwing high frequencies at the walls and balcony front, providing a complete array that doesn’t reflect too much sound back to the stage.”

The room is 200 years old, he added, stating that “It was also very important that the system looks nice. The Q-series is a slim, subtle design that blends very well into the décor. Everyone is really happy with the look of it and we are very happy with the way it sounds!”

The Alcons system was installed in time for the production of Begynnelser (Beginnings), a complex production in which music, text, film and theatrical performance art are juxtaposed in a narrative that examines activity in the brain at the moment of death. The show’s sound design was by the theater’s Eskil Næss.

“Begynnelser featured the band Motorpsycho and it needed a system that could make the actors’ headset microphones really cut through the sound of the band,” said Erlend. “It was the original intention that they would play with a drummer, which would have given us a hard time with the actors’ dialog, as it was quite pretty low-volume dialogs on stage. So, the coverage and clear, distinct HF delivery of the Q-series made it ideal. All in all, it has been a very good choice for Gamle Scene.”

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