The Gold Coast has done much more than rename its cultural precinct. Nestled between parklands, a lake, and Surfer’s Paradise, the venue formerly known as The Arts Centre Gold Coast, now known as HOTA (Home of the Arts), unveiled its new $37.5m outdoor amphitheatre earlier this year.
With aspirations to present art experiences of national and international scale, HOTA’s new outdoor stage required a sound system that could deliver top audio quality for a wide range of events. An L-Acoustics Kara system provided by Gold Coast L-Acoustics sales and installation specialist/integrator con-sol has drawn rave reviews from performers and audiences alike.
Underlining the importance of HOTA, internationally acclaimed comedian, actor and musician Tim Minchin launched its ambitious outdoor cultural programme on 17 March 2018 with his only homecoming performance of the year.
As with many large-scale projects, one of the main challenges for HOTA’s outdoor stage was the large number of stakeholders involved. These included architects, builders and engineers, consultants and sub-contractors as well as HOTA itself.
“With so many interested parties, it was important for me to drive and influence the technical aspects of the project at both the design and construction phases from the perspective of the end user,” explains Richard Muecke, HOTA technical supervisor and head technician.
The other main challenge was that the outdoor stage had been constructed within an urban residential area. A noise management plan would need to be implemented to provide a great experience for performers and audience alike, without disturbing the neighbours.
“While a benchmark system had been proposed, in the interest of accountability and transparency, a loudspeaker shootout was organised, from which the L-Acoustic Kara was ultimately selected to best suit the operational requirements of the outdoor stage,” explains Muecke.
The system itself is a flown stereo system comprising two main arrays of 14 Kara each, and two sub arrays of five SB18 subs, hanging directly behind the main arrays. Four X8 full range cabinets provide additional coverage at the front of the stage.
Depending on the demands of the event, an additional 12 112P compact loudspeakers and four discreet SB15P subwoofers can also be deployed. The entire system is driven by eleven LA4X amplified controllers, and was designed with extensive use of L-Acoustics’ Soundvision 3D modelling software.