The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton recently acquired a new state-of-the-art audio system, designed and installed by Jason Raboin. The hall had become increasingly busy with a variety of programming, from rock concerts to theatrical productions, literary arts to dance, youth programs to indie music, which would all benefit from an enhanced system.
Two challenges were identified for the project: firstly, the speakers needed to provide consistent coverage throughout the entire theater without interfering with sightlines to the stage opening, or distracting from the architectural beauty of the 125-year old opera house; and secondly, the limited rigging options within the historic performing arts center demanded compact, lightweight loudspeakers as part of a visually unobtrusive sound system.
The installation centered around four Fulcrum Acoustic CX1595 speakers powered by Ashly nXp amplifiers. The speaker’s lightweight, compact, visually unobtrusive design provides consistent coverage throughout the entire theater without interfering with sightlines to the stage opening, or distracting from the architectural beauty of the 125-year old opera house. Two compact, portable Fulcrum Acoustic Sub215 subwoofers provided concert-level low frequency for the historic theater while minimizing visual intrusion.
As a touring sound engineer (Joan Baez, Modest Mouse, Lake Street Dive), Raboin had worked on a variety of audio systems in the field. Raboin claims, “I have not heard anything that sounds better than Fulcrum Acoustics speakers. When you combine their fidelity with their lightweight and compact size, they really were the only choice for this installation. It was hard to believe that such a compact system would be able to cover the venue at the desired SPL, but the system exceeded our expectations and the theater’s design goals.”
At mix position, a Yamaha Ql1 mixing console was chosen for its compact footprint as well as its ability to handle the wide variety of programming in the theater.
The new audio system was designed to handle all but the most complex audio needs. The system had its debut performance with “Django in June” on June 17th and 18th. As Andrew Lawrence remarked, “Django in June was so happy to offer the inaugural performance on the Academy of Music’s new sound system this past weekend. I enjoyed both performances immensely and thought the sound was impeccable.