A QSC Q-Sys Core 250i network audio management system was recently supplied to London-based audio integrators RG Jones Sound Engineering for installation in the renowned Serpentine Gallery’s new art space in Central London, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. A RG Jones team led by Jake Miller installed the QSC Core 250i, along with a QSC TSC-8 touch panel to manage an array of amplifiers driving flat-panel loudspeakers around the outside of the gallery, and several K-Array loudspeakers and subwoofers in the Gallery’s twin central chambers.
“The Core 250i’s onboard DSP was very useful in allowing us to get the best possible sound out of the K-Array and Amina speakers; the KZ10s in particular, due to their very compact dimensions,” explained Jake Miller. “Obviously, in an installation like this, the aesthetics of the system are key; you don’t want lots of equipment visible everywhere, so the speakers had to be very tiny, but that can have a knock-on effect on the sound. This system now sounds great.”
The new Serpentine Sackler Gallery consists of a continuous corridor arranged in a square around two barrel-vaulted powder stores. Arup Associates were engaged to specify the audio systems in the new gallery, the requirements being to provide a PA/VA system for the dissemination of visitor announcements, paging calls, and emergency messages, as well as sound reinforcement for visiting artists and any exhibitions installed at the gallery that incorporate an audio element. RG Jones were then chosen to handle the audio installation.
The TSC-8 touch panel is mounted in a bespoke paging station with a gooseneck announcement microphone, which can be plugged into either of two connection points around the gallery (it currently resides in the administration office). Audio playback in the gallery can now be divided into six zones via Q-Sys if needed, and there are six input points around the gallery to allow the connection of a radio mic for sound reinforcement of exhibition guide commentary or visiting artist speeches as required. A mini-jack input on the custom paging station also allows the connection of an iPod or other audio source for exhibitions that require continuous audio backing or atmospheres.
This was RG Jones’ first installation using Q-Sys. “Arup had suggested it on the list of possible equipment, and although we have tended to use other systems for audio management in the past, we had heard a lot about Q-Sys and become very keen to learn more about what it could do,” continues Jake Miller. “I was interested in using the virtual paging in Q-Sys Manager to create the multiple zones and DSP front end on the paging station, and that proved very easy to do. I also like the QLAN concept of having audio and control capability available on the same standard network cable.”