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New AMG Leeds venue raises the bar

test 4 November 2008

UK: Academy Music Group’s latest £4.5m live music venue, Leeds Academy, opened in October 2008 with a sell-out performance by local heroes, Kaiser Chiefs (pictured), writes Nigel Lord. The promoter/developer again appointed Adlib Audio to complete the sound reinforcement work at the venue; after examining the options and seeking the opinions of touring engineers, d&b enclosures were chosen for the installation.

Leeds Academy follows the opening of Sheffield Academy earlier in the year, opened by the Steel City’s own superstars, the Human League.

Using d&b ArrayCalc software it became clear that the balcony’s front edge would reflect sound back to stage so the decision was made to split the hangs and provide three J-series cabinets per side upstairs and five further cabinets (a combination of J12s and J8s) per side downstairs. Additionally, eight J sub cabinets – four per side – are located under the stage. The system is powered by d&b d12 amplifiers and controlled by ROPE software.

All main room delay, infill and peripheral speakers are a combination of Adlib’s AA1214i, AA81i and AA61i cabinets plus AA215i and 218i subs. All the speakes are Crown powered and processed via Soundweb BLU 160 network. After gaining a positive response in Sheffield, AMG again chose a Soundcraft Vi6 desk for front of house and on stage. BSS graphics have been installed on all monitor outputs and across front of house to provide a familiar format for engineers new to digital consoles.

AMG’s second venue at Leeds Academy – Underground – is a 400-capacity room used primarily as a club space. This dictated the choice of a Turbosound system with four main stacks located in each corner of the room, each comprising a TA880H Aspect mid/high plus TA880L and TSW218 cabinets. The layout of the room lent itself to being configured as a 5.1 surround system using a pair of Turbosound NuQ12s used to provide a centre channel output. This is controlled via four BSS 366 minidrives and a Soundweb BLU 160 for matrix switching.

Currently the leading UK venue owner and operator, AMG believes it must stay abreast of developments in installation technology if it is to maintain its position as market leader_ "We pride ourselves on a quality service with only the very best in-house equipment," says AMG’s group operations manager, Richard Maides. "Our aim for this project was to invest in the right technical areas, reflecting the demand for production complete rooms. Since launching our Academy in Sheffield earlier this year, feedback from the touring industry has been extremely positive, thus it was an obvious decision for AMG to take that investment forward in Leeds."


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