BCL and Clair Brothers make music at St Peter's Lutheran College
AUSTRALIA: St Peter’s Lutheran College in Brisbane was in need of a new sound system for its performing arts centre. The venue plays host to a range of events, including in-house orchestral concerts, jazz shows, musical productions and rock concerts, and externally organised events, as the college hires it out. As such, a system was required that would provide even coverage and intelligibility throughout the auditorium with clear undistorted headroom, and that would offer longevity and serve as a long-term solution. Meeting these requirements was Clair Brothers’ Cat system, which was purchased from and installed by BCL Production Services.
‘We needed a PA system capable of handling anything from a single lectern mic all the way up to full scale rock concerts, and to that end we tried three different systems,’ recalled Andrew Snook, senior A/V technician at St Peters Lutheran College. ‘The Clair system had everything we needed: full and even coverage, enough output, and of course, great sound.’
‘EASE Acoustic Simulation software was used to design a system for the room followed by a full demonstration to show the client the coverage, clarity and output of the system,’ added BCL’s head sound engineer, Jason Howley.
Clair Brothers Australia provided onsite support. ‘I was onsite for the demos as well as a pair of concerts following the installation as a systems engineer,’ said Wayne Grosser, director of Clair Brothers Australia. ‘Cameron Mercer and myself assisted BCL with the complete install and I did the final system tuning and calibration.’
The system installed comprised four CAT114 installed as the main PA in left and right hangs of two. These were complemented by three CS218 dual 18-inch ground subs, while six 5CX coax speakers were deployed for lip-fill and a pair of kiT12 loudspeakers serve the balcony. Two R2D active loudspeakers were selected for stage side-fills. Powering the setup is a CB-D200:4L and three CB-D80:4L 4-channel amplifiers, each with Lake DSP.
‘The CAT Curve Array Technology was chosen because of its very even coverage throughout the venue seating areas plus the small profile compared to hanging a conventional line array,’ explained Mr Howley. ‘The kiT12s extend intelligibility back to the balcony seating. Even though the main hangs do cover the front rows of seating on the main floor, the 5CX speakers where installed under the front of stage to help bring the image down to stage level.
‘The system is capable of reproducing accurately what is put into it, both at very low volumes to full output,’ Mr Howley continued. ‘The new system has also reduced the spill back onto stage which is allowing the client to have more control over headsets and choir mics which have been troublesome in the past.’
‘The clarity and transient detail available is unlike anything I’ve heard from a PA before, and it works just as well on playback sources as it does on live sources,’ said Mr Snook. ‘The system reminds me more of world-class studio monitors than it does a curve array. My friend and co-worker Sophie Grant summed it up best when she said, “They don’t sound like speakers, they just sound like music”.’
The newly installed system has also won the approval of the college’s music department, as well as some reputable guests. ‘A number of great systems were hung in the space, but only the Clair system provided the clarity, precision and versatility that we were looking for. Wayne Grosser and his crew were able to let us experiment with the system in a variety of musical settings, each time proving this was the right system for our venue and our needs,’ concluded Grantley Sutch, head of bands and brass coordinator at St Peters Lutheran College. ‘Since installing the system, St Peters has been fortunate to have great musicians like James Morrison and David Jones perform in the auditorium, both commenting on the high quality of the PA. We strongly believe that the Clair Brothers system reflects our pursuit of excellence here at St Peters Lutheran College and has transformed our auditorium into one of the best performing venues in Australia.’