Joining the management team late in the building process immediately presented Head of Sound for Hyogo Performing Arts Center Mr Akihiro Kaneko with a couple of challenges.
“Hyogo Performing Arts Center which is due to open on the 22nd October 2005, has three performance halls: a 2,000 seat Grand Hall for classical, opera and ballet; a Theater Hall that accommodates 800 for drama, musicals and traditional arts performances; a small chamber style Recital Hall seating 400; as well as a rehearsal room. The intention is for the Performing Arts Center to provide the citizens of Hyogo with a foundation facility; one that can be used to present all types of musical and stage performances.” With this in mind Mr Motoo Komada of Nagata Acoustics Inc. was commissioned to provide the acoustic design and consultation services.
Naturally the large flagship Grand Hall received most attention in the original design brief, “The main requirement was for the natural acoustic of the room to have a relatively long reverberation tail, and in this instance 2.1 seconds in order to create an ideal environment for unamplified sound. For sound reinforcement it was also stipulated that the audio system should only be installed within the confines of the proscenium, and that this system should cover all stalls and balcony areas.”
“I immediately organised a sound comparison test amongst several leading manufacturers.” As a result of this the Grand Hall is installed with a d&b audiotechnik C4 system, the Theater Hall with L’Acoustics, and the Recital Hall again with d&b as a mobile system. Mr. Kaneko added, “The problem was fitting the main hall system; space within the proscenium did not allow for any realistic pro audio cabinet, even something relatively compact like the C4. But its performance in providing a narrow and well controlled directivity was essential to avoid exciting a room with an already lively natural acoustic.”
Mr Kaneko continued, “After consultation d&b audiotechnik Japan and the Otaritec Corporation proposed that we should use the skeletal form of the C4 loudspeaker, which we approved. The Ch4 is a stripped down version of the mid/high cabinet, no enclosure but the same horn structure; it still performs to the same specification as the C4 loudspeaker.” The permanent installed system is powered by ninety-three E-PAC amplifiers, which are all remotely controlled by the d&b Remote network using ROPE C. For special requirements there is also a mobile Q-Series system available to meet the specific requirements of various stage performances that can be used in either a stacked or flown arrangement.
Boris Rehders from d&b’s central application support in Germany produced the detailed original EASE model from the architectural plans. He and Ralf Zuleeg optimized the positions and configuration of the loudspeaker systems in the model prior to their installation, and Ralf who has recently returned from making the final adjustments to the system commented “The main auditorium is a
beautiful room with a marvellous acoustic for orchestral music, tuning the PA proved relatively easy once the loudspeakers were correctly positioned. From that point of view the Otaritec Corporation and the company that installed the PA system on behalf of lead contractor Panasonic (Matsushita Electric Industrial, Ltd), did a fantastic job. They are a very precise and professional
organisation, which certainly made my job much easier. A little adjustment to the normal factory pre-set EQ of the low/mid was all that was required. For me, this hall is yet further evidence that amplified music reproduction and a relatively long reverberation tail do not have to be a contradiction, as long as both parts are perfectly matched.”