ASHEVILLE, NC (2.25.21)—The Kelowna Community Theatre (KCT) is an 853-seat theatre in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. It is home to the Kelowna Community Concert Society and also home to the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Professional Audio company, Gearforce of British Columbia, was recently asked to recommend a new line array system for the theatre that would, from a sound perspective, do the room justice. “Many of our touring acts have been through the room with rider-requested d&b systems so we are very familiar with what the room had to offer, what we would have to augment, etc.,” states Robert Nevalainen of Gearforce. The d&b Y-Series with ArrayProcessing and the cardioid V-GSubs was the only choice for a new system at the Theatre.”
“In my initial discussions with John Adams, the theatre’s lead audio technician, I explained to him the d&b philosophy of “democracy for listeners”, a system designed so that every ticket holder, indiscriminately, gets as equal an audio experience as possible,” says Nevalainen. “A major concern was ensuring room acoustic issues were addressed and overcome.”
“d&b was chosen over other systems for a number of reasons,” added Nevalainen. “Being able to deploy cardioid subs in a small space that can have a lot of low frequency return to the stage is a very important consideration. ArrayProcessing allowed us to address certain areas of the room that may be problematic and deal with them on the more individual basis,” adds Nevalainen. “There isn’t a system available that provides a more even front to back and lateral coverage. We try and use ArrayProcessing whenever possible as it gives the greatest advantage in all situations. A well deployed d&b system sounds very good, but it enters greatness when ArrayProcessing is available!”
ArrayProcessing is a unique d&b technology which contributes to the “democracy for listeners” philosophy. It optimizes tonal balance and level distribution of a d&b line array system over the entire coverage area to provide a consistent listening experience for each audience member, regardless of where they are seated.
Also contributing to that philosophy is the well-behaved directivity that is fundamental to the Y-Series cabinet design. Both Y8 and Y12 loudspeakers, which only differ in horizontal dispersion of 80 and 120 degrees, deliver horizontal directivity control down to 500Hz –exceptional performance for a compact 2-way dual 8” cabinet.
“All of the major manufactures considered probably fall into the same price range, within a few percent,” Nevalainen states. “Then it becomes a decision of what audio benefits each system provides. I feel that d&b’s common voicing, cardioid sub architecture and complete predictability with ArrayProcessing made it an easy choice. It’s a choice that a building like the KCT can feel great about from an investment perspective for many years to come.”
As the theatre’s lighting director, Rusty Gahr exclaimed “the coverage is 10x better than that of our old system… the bass response is much more even and defined.”
“The auditorium was built in 1962, without a whole lot of concern for room acoustics,” notes Adams. “Sound treatment has been applied to the walls in the back half of the room, which helps to lessen some reflections. The ceiling is about 25 feet high at the front row of seats and at the back, where the mix position is located, it is only 11 feet high, which makes for a challenging sound system design. Dakota Poncilius from Gearforce did an awesome job of tuning in the system for ultimate coverage. One of the characteristics of the d&b system that stands out to me is how great it sounds at all SPL levels.”
System highlights include 12 x Yi8 and 4 x Yi12 install variant loudspeakers for mains, 6 x V-GSUBs, 2 x Y10P point source for in fills, 6 x E8 loudspeakers for front fills, 5 x 30D and 1 x 10D power amplifiers.