01 August 2010
Arguably the busiest venue in Western Australia, Mandurah Arts Centre sits approximately one hour’s drive south of Perth. With seating for seven hundred and eighty people, split between balcony and stalls, the citizens are well served by this purpose built, twelve year old performance centre. “We have a very active Local Council,” said Technical Supervisor Troy Williams. “When the place was built they had the foresight to insist the architects pay particular attention to the acoustics, and they have made a splendid job of it.”
Williams has been working at the Centre for eight years in a technical capacity specialising in audio; last year being promoted to Technical Supervisor. “It was one of those promotions of mixed blessing. We finally got to upgrade the audio system, which is my passion, so I ended up overseeing the installation of a brand new PA system just as I was promoted away from operating the faders into a more managerial position.” He confessed he still gets his ears busy when the opportunity arises.
Following an exhaustive Council tendering process Perth based Audio Technik was selected to install the new PA. “The Council had clearly defined their goals in terms of audio performance,” said Martin Gould, head of Audio Technik. “Coverage had to be +/- 3 dB over every seat in the venue. We assessed a d&b audiotechnik Q-Series system would best address the varied needs of the venue. They stage everything here; touring shows, variety acts, speech based seminars in the daytime, cabaret and light pop. In our experience the Q-Series can handle anything you can throw at it, speech intelligibility is excellent, and musical reproduction is flawless whether you’re mixing a string quartet or grunge metal.” Gould was held to his word; Lloyd George Acoustics (LGA) from Perth, an independent acoustic specialist, being called in to test the system after installation. “We achieved +/- 2 dB by their measurements.”
“I have to say Audio Technik triumphed,” concluded Williams. “We have practically no dark days at this venue so his installation guys were up against it to fit the system in the limited hours we had available. LGA signed off on the installation very quickly, and in the months since, I’ve had a steady stream of sound engineers come through the doors; even old school engineers like me, who aren’t too comfortable with digital, and had not one single bad comment. They all love it and find it easy to work with.”