Lykkberg's Culture House Regenerates With Vi6
--LydRommet place Soundcraft’s digital engine at the core of a Harman Pro solution in £3 million conversion
Originally acquired by the City of Fredrikstad in 1931, the Lykkeberg Kulturhus House has only recently been converted from its cinema origins to become a multi-cultural venue for the community at a cost of NOK 35 million (around £3 million).
As a result of the progressive digital audio distribution backbone designed by integrators LydRommet, using the Harman HiQnet control and communications platform, this waterfront city in the south of Norway can now stage a wide variety of performances from theatre, classical orchestras and rock concerts to civic meetings.
LydRommet has devised an advanced, and economical audio transport system culminating at the new digital Soundcraft Vi6’s console, incorporating a 64-channel Stagebox and local rack.
Owned by the Fredrikstad Kommune, the completely refurbished venue is divided between the large auditorium (Blå Grotte) and smaller studio space (Speilet).
At the stage end of the main auditorium, a 16-channel AKG WMS 4000 wireless system with antenna distribution is integrated into the comprehensive HiQnet environment via a HUB 4000 Q. The mic lines on stage are patched up to the Vi6, with 64 mic inputs, 24 analogue and eight digital AES/EBU outputs.
The AES/EBU signal then passes via a BSS Soundweb London BLU-80 and BLU 32 processor, to the inputs on the eight Crown I-Tech 4000, 6000 and 8000 amplifiers. These power the JBL VRX 932 and VRX 918 subs which form the main PA, and SRX712M and VRX928’s which provide the frontfills. Six additional Crown™ XTI4000 amplifiers run the four JBL-VRX915M and four SRX712M monitors.
The big advantage, believes LydRommet’s Flemming Bjerke, is the MADI interface. The Vi6’s Stagebox connects to the local rack via CAT5 cable, which carries the 64 inputs and 32 outputs via the MADI protocol, along with the control data. “Next to the mixer you have enough inputs and outputs in the local rack to connect external analogue or digital equipment as required.”
Designed by LydRommet’s Espen Andersen the project installation was overseen by Flemming. “Having won the tender, we decided to put in a HiQnet backbone for the benefit of the customer. The consultant’s tender specified a digital board and a digital system controller but we chose to take it up a level.”
Soundcraft Vi6’s are proving highly popular with Norway’s sound professionals. They can already be found with the Norwegian National Theatre, in Jacob Kulturkirke (a church that has been converted into a concert environment), as well as touring companies such as LydTeamet in Bodø and Christiania Lyd in Oslo. “This console here in Fredrikstad is now the fifth and we are delighted with the way it has been received,” said Flemming.
Vistonics™ is the key to its success, he believes. “The feedback we get from customers is always about the quality of the sound — the best they have ever heard in a digital console — as well as the speed of understanding the desk and its intuitive interface. We did a festival and invited sound engineers who had never seen it … by the second night everyone was using it.”
Among the converts is Lykkeberg’s head of sound, Morten Melsom who runs all his effects inline and is particularly impressed with the BSS EQ and Lexicon reverb FX, controllable via the desk's Vistonics™ II touch screens. A sound engineer for 20 years, he says the Vi6 has all the attributes of an analogue board. “I have used digital desks before but this is the best — within an hour I knew my way around it. It’s a very fast and very quiet desk — everything is within reach and the possibilities are huge. With 32 input faders on two layers I can easily jump between both, and since I am used to working with snapshots I also use this facility a lot on the Vi6.”
Over in the second room (Speilet) a dbx DriveRack 4800 digital processor and Crown CT amplifiers drive a VRX 928 three box hang per side, with all the processing parameters stored in the DriveRack.
Summarised Flemming Bjerke, “The client is delighted with the quality of the install, and by using the Vi6 MADI link the cabling infrastructure is easy to install and it covers a lot of lines.
“We want to encourage Incoming productions to use the house system — and as a result of this installation they no longer need to carry their own mixing board and multicore.”
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