L-Acoustics transforms historic hall into music venue

posted on Saturday, 7th October 2023 by Steve May

Events  Pro AV  Live Music 

In the heart of Yorkshire stands The Piece Hall, a testament to the region's storied past, its architectural grandeur, and, more recently, a spectacular canvas for a series of contemporary music concerts.

As part of the Live at The Piece Hall summer series featuring headliners like The Lumineers, Limp Bizkit, UB40 ft. Ali Campbell, The Charlatans, and Johnny Marr, the challenge was clear: to fill the open-air courtyard of this historic venue with outstanding sound quality, all while respecting the surrounding town's tranquillity. The chosen solution? L-Acoustics' K Series.

The Piece Hall is Yorkshire's most significant secular building, a Georgian cloth hall constructed in 1779. Its architecture has borne witness to centuries of history, blending commerce and culture seamlessly. Today, it stands as a symbol of the region's rich heritage and continues to inspire awe with its captivating site-specific performances and modern music concerts.

The grandeur of The Piece Hall presented unique acoustic challenges. The stage, nestled in the corner of the courtyard, meant that sound needed to be delivered with precision to a packed audience, all while minimising unwanted spill behind the stage. Moreover, the venue is located in a town centre, calling for a noise containment strategy to maintain neighbourly peace.

This is where Hull-based L-Acoustics Certified Partner, HPSS Ltd, entered the picture. With a longstanding relationship with The Piece Hall dating back to 2017, HPSS had a track record of delivering top-tier sound experiences. The challenge this year was to design a sound system that met the venue's specific needs while offering uncompromising sound quality.

L-Acoustics' K Series was the chosen solution. Why? Because it not only elevates sound quality but also ensures comprehensive coverage of the entire audience area while containing noise spill to the surroundings. Hugh Jones, Managing Director and Sound Engineer at HPSS, notes, "L-Acoustics instils confidence, both for its superior sound quality, and also for its user-friendliness."

To achieve this, HPSS Project Manager and Sound Engineer Iain Firth turned to Soundvision, L-Acoustics' 3D audio modelling software. The goal was clear: deliver premium audio quality and maintain neighbourly peace. The configuration involved a left/right array of 12 L-Acoustics K2 speakers per side, complemented by 18 units of KS28 subwoofers to provide an expansive low-frequency experience. Centre-flown L-Acoustics Kara II speakers handled front fills, while additional Kara II units provided out-fill.

For the artists on stage, 12 X15 HiQ speakers, along with two KS21 compact subwoofers, served as the monitor system. Side-fill came courtesy of four ARCS speakers on top of two SB28 units per side. Powering this sonic marvel were 19 LA12X and four LA4X amplified controllers.

With a tight schedule, including sound checks starting at 4pm and the show kicking off two hours later, having a reliable sound system was paramount. Not only did it need to deliver exceptional sound, but it also needed to instil confidence in visiting sound engineers and comfortably accommodate artists' own engineers. 

Martin Clarke, Production Manager at The Piece Hall, proudly reflects on the summer gigs: "The feedback from engineers, artists, audiences, and our neighbours has been excellent. This is testament to an excellent product and first-class design." The partnership between The Piece Hall and HPSS continues to flourish, creating sound experiences that leave a lasting impression.

A bit about L-Acoustics...

L-Acoustics is renowned for developing innovative sound systems and technologies that elevate the listening experience. L-Acoustics sound systems can be heard around the globe in venues like the Hollywood Bowl and the Philharmonie de Paris, at the world's top-grossing festivals such as Coachella and Tomorrowland, international special events like the World Expo 2020 and World Cup 2022, and on tour with world-class artists

L-Acoustics

Tel: +33 (0) 1 69 63 69 63

Website: www.l-acoustics.com

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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