09/05/2018 » Axiom Line Array Conquers Difficult Acoustics for the WI at Bruntingthorpe Hangar


This year the Women's Institute marked its 100th year of inspiring women with a Centenary Annual Council Meeting on March 10th at Hangar 42 of the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire. An unusual venue for a meeting certainly – a 2,600 sq ft aircraft hangar – but one in which the Axiom AX series line array coped well with the unfavourable acoustics, and delivered crystal clear audio to an audience of 1,600 people.

The PA was supplied by Leicester Sound & Lighting, a local company who are not unfamiliar with challenging outdoor and large scale 'shed' type events. LSL's Dave Morrison explains that their standard rig for these kinds of jobs is based on an Axiom AX2010A medium format powered line array, a dual 10-inch two-way design coupled with two 1.4-inch compression drivers in a WTW configuration with onboard Class D amplifiers and DSP. "We are very used to working in tricky spaces, but Hangar 42 at Bruntingthorpe could not have been a more difficult acoustic environment – it's very lively indeed with no soft surfaces at all," he says.

Measuring some 70 metres by 38 metres, the seated audience area was laid out in 15 blocks of 100 covering around 30 metres deep by 40 metres. "We needed to get the PA high and pointing down to focus sound on the audience, contain any overspill beyond the back of the seating area and to avoid reflections coming back off the walls – the main problem was the reverb time, which we measured initially at over 1.5 seconds!" he comments.

"The source material was mostly speech with some music content so we didn't need to use any subs, and we rolled off the mid-highs sharply below 100Hz," he continues. "The AX2010's natural cardioid behaviour certainly  seemed to work well in this venue, with no perceivable low-mid energy behind the PA which really helped the intelligibility out front. At the start of the meeting, the main speaker took the microphone and asked if anyone in the room could not hear clearly. There was a hush, and – heart in mouth – I was very relieved to see not one single hand go up!"

Morrison reports that the PA did exactly what was expected of it, perfectly matching the EASE Focus 3 simulation that was prepared before the event. Coverage was excellent, clarity was superb, and LSL's handling of the audio services prompted a resounding 'thank you' from the WI Federation Secretary Susan Miller, who enthused: "We would like to thank you and your team for your services at our Centenary Annual Council Meeting on Saturday. The sound and visuals were really good and contributed to making the whole day a success."