An L-Acoustics Kara system was installed by integrator con-sol at the new HOTA amphitheatre in Australia's Gold Coast, and has delivered 'superb quality sound', according to FOH engineer Geoff McGowan.
HOTA, previously known as The Arts Centre Gold Coast, revealed the new $37.5 million dollar outdoor amphitheatre earlier this year. Actor and musician Tim Minchin, launched the outdoor programme with an exclusive performance on March 17 2018.
Director and musician Laurie Anderson became HOTA's first international artist-in-residence and has already appeared on stage with her performance Stories In The Dark.
A key challenge during the amphitheatre's construction was that a noise management plan would have to be implemented to avoid causing disturbance to nearby residences.
HOTA'S technical supervisor and head technician, Richard Muecke, said: “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."
Con-sol's MD Bill Karaitiana and the technical team were responsible for delivering the Kara system.
The system 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.
“Given that no loudspeaker from any manufacturer had been heard at the site prior to the shootout, the modelling provided by Soundvision is testament to its predictive abilities,” said Muecke. “The results matched the Soundvision model precisely and we now use the programme extensively to incorporate different sound designs as specified on an event needs basis. This has included supplementing the system with additional components such as L-Acoustics ARCS, SB28 and KS28 cabinets as out fill and low frequency extensions.”
FOH engineer Geoff McGowan commented on the KARA system after a performance by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at HOTA: “The Kara system installed at HOTA on the Gold Coast has blown me away. The clarity and articulation were superb and perfectly translated both the full power and minute subtleties of the orchestra's dynamics in full flight. This allowed the pure emotion of the performance to easily translate to the audience, and with such a high level of transparency that the system became invisible.”
Muecke concluded: “All-in-all we are thrilled, not only with our Kara system, but also in being able to offer L-Acoustics products throughout the venue. HOTA has a demanding and wide range of event programming that incorporates everything from orchestral to rock and pop performances. The Kara system has been able to deliver superb quality sound reinforcement to critical acclaim and praise from both the audiences and the performers.”