Burton Town Hall has recently upgraded the sound in the Main Hall of its Civic Function Suite with a Community loudspeaker system, designed and installed by leading commercial and industrial sound specialists, PAS Sound Engineering.
Centrally situated in the heart of the UK’s Midlands, Burton Town Hall is an elegant Victorian hall built in 1894. A multi-purpose venue, Burton Town Hall plays host to a variety of events and provides an eye-catching backdrop for exhibitions, festivals, trade fairs, shows, parties and weddings. Excellent acoustics also make it an ideal concert hall with a seating capacity of 557. The main hall, with its stage and balcony, forms the heart of the Civic Function Suite, which also consists of the Dove Room, Lingen Room, Trent and Rangemore Bars, Green Room and a catering kitchen.
Bernie Boardman, PAS Sound’s Installations Manager, met with Ian Boam, Facilities Manager and Lynne Allman, Venue Manager, to be briefed on the requirements for the Town Hall. “As any contractor knows, having a helpful client and a clearly defined specification goes a long way towards enabling a good job,” said Boardman. “Not only were Ian and Lynne very clear about what was required, but they closed the hall so we could complete the installation without interruption.”
“There were two key elements for this installation,” Boardman continued. ”The first was that previous systems in the venue had caused noise pollution issues in the surrounding area, so containment and control were essential. The second element was that the system and its installation had to be sympathetic to the architecture and structure of the building.”
The main equipment, Community, Symetrix and Formula Sound, was all sourced from distributor CUK Audio and Boardman worked closely with CUK’s Stuart Cunningham on the system design.
The selection of ENTASYS 200 column-array systems met the hall’s aesthetic requirements and its optimally focused wide horizontal and narrow vertical dispersion ensured maximum sound level where required with minimal spill. “Simply adding a limiter isn’t the answer,” explained Boardman. “If the sound level on the floor isn’t high enough, the user frequently hits the noise level cut-off, which leads to very unsatisfactory performance. With ENTASYS we are able to achieve excellent levels across the hall, giving the performance the venue needs and leaving the noise limiter to do its proper job of just being a safeguard. In addition, and to avoid the common but unpleasant cut when the SPL threshold is exceeded, we supplied a Formula Sound Guardian and integrated it with the Symetrix Radius so that the processor noticeably reduces the level but doesn’t completely cut the sound.”
The loudspeaker system comprises two Community ENTASYS 212s at either side of the stage, two ENTASYS 206s on delay for rear of the room and two ENTASYS 212s for the balcony. The ENTASYS loudspeakers are supplemented by six Community VLF212 subwoofers in two three-box arrays, using the VLF-SAB array bracket, at either side of the stage. Community’s S4 Subwoofer Steering Simulation Software was used to configure the arrays. The loudspeakers are driven by three Powersoft M28Q 4-channel amplifiers.
Processing and control for the system is handled by a Symetrix Radius 12x8 processor with Dante networking, a Symetrix xOut12 Dante output expander and three Symetrix ARC-2e remote control panels. PAS incorporated the hall’s existing Soundcraft FX16 mixer into the system and supplied additional TOA radio mics.
“With careful and considerate installation, this is an excellent system which has received a lot of praise for performance, aesthetics and ease of use. It equally meets the venue’s specified requirements when the system is used for independent events and by DJs in the venue.”
Councilor Peters, the Council’s portfolio holder for Service Commissioning, said “The sound system installed in the Function Suite is a significant investment. The Council continues to offer a popular community venue while ensuring residents in the area are not inconvenienced by any background noise from events. Residents have advised us the new sound system is absolutely wonderful. It has given us peace of mind and made a big impact and improvement on their lives. Our staff, Ian Boam and Lynne Allman, listened to the concerns of residents, elected members and the police to find a solution and PAS took those concerns and delivered a system that sounds impressive and yet is unobtrusive in the grade II listed building.”