BELGIUM: The newly-completed, multifunctionalSiltcomplex—an architecturally sophisticated ‘landscaper’ completed earlier this year—forms a dominant, wood-latticed landmark on the Belgian coast, overlooking the North Sea at Middelkerke.

Essentially a multipurpose event venue, built and operated by Middelkerke’s municipality as part of its restoration programme for the area, it also hosts a restaurant, hotel and casino run by different operators. All are set within an artificial dune, each with spectacular views across the beach and sea.

For advice on sound reinforcement in the Event Hall, the City Council brought in Stephan Bohez of SBE—a loyal partner of Martin Audio for the past 25 years, who also co-owns StarTechnics with partner, Danny Debock. Stated Bohez, who has staged events for the client over a number of years, “They already knew the quality of our service and the fact we are always ready to solve any kind of programme,” he said. “I was asked what they would need for an event hall that could perform a number of functions—not merely operate as a concert hall, but something that would work in 90% of cases.”

Awarded the contract, StarTechnics report that the design went through many iterations “as they were initially unsure in what direction they would be going with the venue, whether concerts, seminars, conferences, awards shows or banquets.” Eventually they decided on WPM as being the best solution to cater for dynamic events.

His solution was to equip this empty white box with a modular set-up that could be brought in and reconfigured at will. The only items permanently rigged would be eight elements of Martin Audio’s small footprint, scalable Wavefront Precision WPM a side, with four SXP218 (2 x 18” active subwoofers) which can be deployed and designed as required.

Complementing this is a delay of four TORUS T820 8” constant curvature speakers, providing defined 100° by 20° coverage pattern in the meeting areas at the mezzanine level, while four auxiliary CDD-LIVE 12 can be used as infills or outfills as required. Martin Audio’s ADORN 5.25” ACS-55T ceiling speakers are set underneath the mezzanine to provide main system delays, or for independent use when this space is separated from the main hall—providing immense versatility.

The mezzanine area space can also become a dedicated single room hall, whose orientation is then rotated through 90°. In this set up two further delayed TORUS T820 are rigged under which is a Martin Audio SX115 subwoofer. This small, dedicated area has already hosted DJ-run events and a live concert.

The entire set-up is run by a pair of Martin Audio iKON iK81 DSP amps supporting VU-NET, in 2-box resolution. These take care of all the processing other than the CDD-LIVE 12, which is under the management of a dedicated DX4.0 processor.

Stephan Bohez was assisted in the installation by Jimmy Koninckx, Audio Solutions Advisorat FACE, Martin Audio’s Belgian distributor who supplied the equipment. He ensured the order was fulfilled and later provided technical support, including optimisation and programming.

“Most of the work was in getting the delays set correctly,” he said, “but we are fortunate in that TORUS sounds similar to the WPM.”

Further adjustments, such as system presets will wait until a routine trading pattern has been established. “We want to see what settings are likely to be most common,” says the installer.

Following the opening, Stephan Bohez has been retained as onsite technician and sound engineer. Meanwhile, the operators are said to be delighted with the quality of the sound system, and the flexibility it affords, which can be tailored to each event. And with a heavy programme of events in prospect, they have already safely overcome the first hurdle.

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