Amptec implements Belgium's second Soundscape solution in De Bijloke Music Centre
De Bijloke04-06-2022 / Live /
De Bijloke in Ghent is a colossal 13th Century medieval infirmary which has been beautifully restored and is now one of the most distinctive and intimate concert and congress venues in Europe. The main concert hall was recently renovated from the ground up with acoustic design by renowned acousticians, Arup, that included a state-of-the-art d&b audio system designed and installed by Amptec. This has been so successful that De Bijloke has decided to upgrade the sound system in their smaller hall, the Kraakhuis, to bring it into line with the main concert hall. However, the atypical shape of this smaller room demanded a different approach. After consultation with Amptec, it became clear that a Soundscape system from d&b would offer an excellent solution to the challenges inherent in this space.
Natan Rosseel, Production Manager at De Bijloke, explains: “Kraakhuis actually has decent natural acoustics, but the unusual shape of the room (very wide but not very deep) and the setup with three grandstands has always been a challenge for amplified concerts,” he says. “The wide, main grandstand flanked by the two smaller ones at right angles made it almost impossible to create a nice stereo sound image for the whole audience. Due to the atypical length/width ratio, we always had to compromise with the position of the musicians.”
“For example, although the bass player is standing on the right-hand side of the stage, the sound has to play louder through the speaker on the left to reach the grandstand on that side,” he continues. “Similarly, the piano on the left had to be louder in the speaker on the right etc... This resulted in an unnatural spreading of sound for the main grandstand and the impression for the audience that, although the piano was located on the right, it sounded as though it was on the left. Fortunately, all of this is history now.”
Amptec specified and installed a total of nine ultra-compact 44S point source loudspeakers distributed around the stage supplemented by a 27S cardioid subwoofer. A DS10 audio network bridge and three 10D amplifiers complete the system whilst a DS100 signal engine and software perform the magic that makes Soundscape what it is.
“Kraakhuis isn't a big venue, and its unusual shape means that the audience is practically sitting in the musicians' lap; consequently, the priority was for natural-sounding amplification, as though you were listening to acoustic music,” explains Dieter Claeys, Amptec's sales manager in charge of the project. “The combination of several loudspeakers distributed discreetly around the space and Soundscape's object-based amplification which allows us to place sound objects at will delivers a completely natural-sounding result. Every musician can be heard from where they stand by every member of the audience for an optimal listening experience - in other words, you hear exactly what you see.”
Natan Rosseel is thrilled with the results. “Together with Amptec we found a great solution in the d&b Soundscape system. It enhances the natural way of experiencing music. All the instruments are mimicked in the software for every seat in the hall, so you hear exactly what you see. Soundscape will take our productions and overall listening experience to unforeseen levels.”
See also the main concert hall