Audiotek at Pavilion Theatre, Dublin

Audiotek at Pavilion Theatre, Dublin

Pavilion Theatre – Dublin

Where: Pavilion Theatre first opened its doors in 1903 and has undergone many transformations throughout the years. Located in the picturesque seaside town of Dún Laoghaire (just south of Dublin), the current Pavilion Theatre was built in 2000 as a municipal theatre, with a maximum capacity of 324 seats. It has since grown and established itself as a thriving cultural centre entertaining thousands of visitors every year. 

The challenge: Update and enhance the audio system for the benefit of audiences, performers, and crew. The system needed to seamlessly switch between a wide variety of performance types, delivering consistent sound quality to every corner of the venue.

What we did: System design and installation working alongside L-Acoustics.

Project Overview

Pavilion Theatre runs a packed schedule of performances including everything from spoken word to ballet, orchestra, live music and even as a cinema! As a result, the demands on the audio system are pretty intense. Accommodating (and satisfying) crew, performers and audiences is no easy task. The ability to quickly transition from one performance type to another was critical as the existing system was extremely labour intensive and tricky to balance. Pavilion  Theatre wanted to take a big step forward from their existing system.

“We wanted a system that is always installed so we no longer needed to spend time on stage setting up and breaking down the system every time we needed to switch out. We also needed a system that was easily configured so we could respond to the requests of production crew more effectively.”  Ronan Fingleton, Technical Director, Pavilion Theatre.

The ambitious scope of the project demanded a response that was equal to the ambitious goals of the Pavilion team. It required a lot of time, attention to detail and creative thinking to develop a system that lived up to the expectations of the Pavilion team.

“We’re an ambitious venue, and we needed to find a company that understood that and were able to meet and exceed our vision. Audiotek and L’Acoustics were the only companies who put the time and effort into the sort of detail that I was looking for. From the very start Audiotek were very much ‘on it’ as in really understating what we wanted and then figuring out the details and logistics of actually doing it.” Ronan Fingleton, Technical Director, Pavilion Theatre.

Audiotek Project Manager, Ashley Attwood worked alongside the Pavilion team we pulled together a top-level conceptual schematic of what a system might look like. That helped shape our understanding of what the system needs were, and what could work. When we had that nailed down, we moved onto the system design. The system needs to last, so a key aspect of design was not only what do they need today, but would they need down the line.

The System:

The main system is a left centre right array, flown about the Pros (as in a proscenium arch). The design keeps the bulk of the system discreetly out of the way but has the coverage and power to cover the whole audience.

Working with L-Acoustics we took 24 reference measurements across the listening area to measure the coverage. As a result, the design was reinforced around the building with various fills to ensure that coverage was reaching into the many complex nooks and crannies around the audience space. The challenge was making sure that the same high-quality sound was replicated into all those different areas and not just the main seating area. We discreetly added additional delay speakers tucked away in corners which were all aligned and coherent to the main system, so everyone gets the best quality audio.

“We want everybody in the room, whether you’re in the nosebleeds or whether you are the first row, to have the same experience. The net result is a more immersive experience for the audience … no matter where they sit.” Tom Lareuf, Applications Engineer, L-Acoustics.

“Previously we were running analogue, but now we’re running through the Dante System into the Q-Sys. It was a big step up and we were able to integrate lots of other aspects into the design, such as multi-track recording, and camera loops. It opens up a new world for us and it’s a great improvement.

We have eight brand new X 12 monitors on stage. A lot of bands that come nowadays, want a lot of level on stage and with the previous system, I always spent a lot of time on stage having to EQ the monitors. I only had half the time to spend on the front of house. Now to set up, I just bring up the levels on stage and then I have more time to spend on front of house.

So, it’s made my job nicer and actually easier to do. The main difference I’ve noticed is the quality and clarity of the boxes themselves. With the L’Acoustics, it’s a lovely warm, almost hi-fi sound and we can create a great audio image. Having the L’Acoustics brand is a great statement for the theatre, and I think overall it’s going to bring in a higher calibre of acts.” Ben Keighley, Senior Technician & FOH Engineer, Pavilion Theatre.

“We’re very happy with the system and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to put it in very discreetly. There’s a huge amount of PA there, but it’s not something that’s screaming out at you and getting in the way. And it’s particularly important for theatre and dance and opera and those kinds of shows that you’re not distracting from the audience’s experience.

I think that we’ve achieved that and it’s there when you need it, but otherwise, it just disappears into the background and I’m very happy with that.” Ronan Fingleton, Technical Director, Pavilion Theatre.

System List

LA4X CE – Amplified controller with FC 4 x 1000 W/8Ohms. Ethernet network. AES/EBU. CE version.
LA12X CE – Amplified controller 4 x 2600 W/4 Ohms CE mains connector.
A10i WIDE – 2-way passive constant curvature WST® 30° enclosure: 10” LF + 2.5” HF diaphragm (installation version).
KS28 Flyable Subwoofer 2 x 18”
A10i WIDE-SCREEN – acoustically transparent front screen for A10i Wide
A10i WIDE-SCREEN-LIFT – Acoustically transparent front screen for A10i Wide with A10i-Lift
5XT- 2-way passive coaxial enclosure: 5” LF + 1” HF Diaphragm
LA4X CE – Amplified controller with PDF 4 x f1000 W/8 Ohms. Ethernet network. AES/EBU. CE version.