When Oakham School, a historic independent co-educational school that dates back to the 16th century, wanted a new sound system for its Queen Elizabeth Theatre they approached Pearce Hire, from whom it had rented gear in the past, for advice.
That was six months ago, and the result has been the installation of an RCF compact HDL 6-A by the Peterborough based company in this 220-seat drama theatre, complete with fixed raked seating.
Powered by a 1400W 2-channel class-D amplifier this compact, active line array, packed with RCF’s purpose designed transducers, was a logical recommendation, meeting all requirements for vocal intelligibility and with a high dynamic for live and recorded music.
Said Andy Howling, who heads up Installation and Sales at Pearce Hire, “The previous system sounded tired, coverage was poor and it was no longer fit for purpose. They needed to upgrade.”
Theatre technician Phil Norton agreed. “It was time to replace our current system and we wanted something that would be suitable for big musicals and a system that would reflect the excellent standard of our theatre productions.”
“I have done a lot of touring and worked with both the HDL 10-A and HDL 20-A in places like Motherwell and Stamford Corn Exchange. We needed a punchy system and I wanted a line array. I’ve always had a good experience with Pearce and they knew I liked the HDL range. Given the constraints on space and the need for it to be flown high in view of the pros arch, they proposed the HDL 6-A as a budget conscious option.”
Andy Howling takes up the story. “Although the HDL 6-A had already been specified when I arrived, I have worked with RCF previously and it was great to be working again with such a key loudspeaker manufacturer. This fitted the bill nicely given the space and budget parameters.”
The installation is based around six HDL 6-A elements in two Left/Right hangs while a further centre cluster comprises two HDL 6-A and a pair of active HDL 12-AS flyable subwoofers.
With its 100° coverage pattern, the design fills the space perfectly, since the awkwardly-shaped room is wider than it is long.
Indeed the facility required industry-leading technology, since students learn all aspects of theatre work, including dance, as well as design, lighting, sound, stage management, wardrobe, make-up and front of house.
Each year Oakham School supports students through the audition process for the National Youth Theatre, universities or specialist drama schools, such as RADA, LAMDA and Guildhall and enjoys great success in this area.
Phil Norton says the new system has certainly justified his faith in RCF’s popular line array platform. “We’ve now run several productions on the new system, and it’s made a massive difference. We now have even distribution and the HDL 6-A delivers the same sound to every seat.”