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SCT: Adlib Supplies L-Acoustics to New Glasgow Concert Hall

Following a competitive tender, Adlib was recently appointed by Glasgow City Council to supply a new loudspeaker system to the Royal Scottish National Symphony Orchestra’s new home, the RSNO centre.

The impressive new venue forms part of the Royal Concert Hall complex in the heart of Glasgow’s vibrant city centre.

The new auditorium was developed by the Council’s in-house design team led by architect Kerr Robertson. It is adjacent to the main Concert Hall (home of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra) which opened in 1990 as part of the city’s year as European Capital of Culture.

The overall complex features a 600-seater auditorium, a rehearsal space and learning centre, a recital hall and performance space that will be also used for classical and choral recording as well as for folk and other amplified music events.

Following a detailed site survey and subsequent acoustic modelling of the new room, Adlib proposed the introduction of an L-Acoustics KIVA system complimented by SB15m and SB18i low end speakers, with additional L-Acoustics XT Series speakers as infills where additional sound coverage was required.

On appointment, Adlib liaised with the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s in-house technical managers and also with ARUP.

The space is flexible with automated retractable seating, so the KIVA was chosen as an elegant, very lightweight modular line source solution offering great acoustic performance, intricate clarity and rich detail.

Another benefit of using KIVA is that it can also have inter-cabinet angles altered to suit current and future tiered seating arrangements.

Adlib Glasgow Royal Concert HallThe flown system features 11x KIVA speakers a side with two SB18i flown subs a side, plus two SB15M ultra-compact bass extensions sitting at the top each KIVA array.

For stage and lip fills, four 8XTs can be deployed and two 12XTs were specified for covering the ‘platform’ area which can include additional seats in the choir stalls position behind the stage, or they can be used as general left and right stage fills.

The KIVA system is driven by a combination of LA8 and LA4X amplifiers all featuring comprehensive on-board signal processing. A DiGiCo SD8/24 console is an integral part of the package along with D2 DiGiCo stage boxes.

This choice of control surface is perfect for the job in hand and also maintains brand continuity with other DiGiCo consoles used in the main GRCH venues. The SD8/24’s relatively low cost coupled with its versatility ticked all necessary boxes for this application.

The system was completed with the addition of a BSS London Architect network which includes a BLU-160 signal processor and all necessary cabling, power distribution racks & packaging, plus a small analogue A+H MixWizard desk. This is for use as a plug-in-and-go system for straightforward presentations utilising one or two mics for commentary during smaller orchestral recitals.

The recital hall has an impressive acoustic response which is very flexible due to a series of fully automated acoustic dampening and reflectors that can be deployed to suit each event in a matter of minutes.

This production infrastructure was designed by ARUP, and all acoustic dampening and rigging solutions were supplied and installed by Centre Stage Engineering.

The consideration of acoustics at the design stage is crucial for the schedule of classical music recitals. It is also of huge benefit to live amplified events, as controlled acoustics will ensure functionality as a top quality performance space explained Adlib’s Roger Kirby who designed the sound system and co-ordinated the installation.

Once all the kit was onsite, Adlib engineers ensured the installation operation ran like clockwork – with everything completed in a tidy eight days! It was a very efficient process and a great tribute to the meticulous and detailed prep undertaken beforehand.

Adlib fully tuned and commissioned the system in a number of configurations, establishing system ‘presets’ to suit the different audience configurations, which can be easily selected by technical staff running day-to-day events.

Adlib’s main challenge was the short installation window, which entailed multiple late-night shifts as the building was already handed over to the orchestra by the time their crew were on site, so all work was dovetailed around busy rehearsal schedules.

Adlib worked closely with Graeme Ironside and Nick Milnes from Glasgow Life, the organisation that manages all the council’s cultural and sporting related activities, and directly with Iain Stirton of Carillion Plc, the building’s appointed Construction Company.

“Working with Adlib was a pleasure” states Nick, “Everything was organised and efficient on site and the resulting sound system design is fantastic and is being enjoyed by all using it and listening to it”.

It has worked very well for the first events including the ‘Under the Skin of Tchaikovsky’ which was presented by Sandy Burnett and other shows including the popular ‘Celtic Connections’ events.