The Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (often referred to as Sciences Po) – a highly selective French university with seven campuses across the country – has installed an Alcons Audio system into the new Grand Auditorium at its Reims site.
Founded in 1872, Sciences Po is an influential academic institution for the social sciences with 13000 students. The Reims campus recently completed a €75m expansion, a major part of which is the new 650-seat, multi-function Grand Auditorium, which hosts conferences, lectures, presentations by guest speakers, live music and movies in 5.1 surround sound.
A 5.1 Alcons system was supplied by Paris-based systems integrator Audiolead and installed by Videlio of Reims. It features a left-right system of three RR12 point source array modules per side, with a pair of QB363 modular low-frequency array columns beneath the stage and a centre cluster comprising two CRA24 Cinemarray scaleable, medium-format line source screen units. The system is completed by eight CCS8 medium-format surround loudspeakers and is controlled and powered by three Sentinel3 and a Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
“The system needed to deliver cinema sound and live reinforcement for presentations and classical/jazz concerts equally well,” said Audiolead’s Bruno Ghidionesco. “We set up comparative listening tests for the client and they chose Alcons, thanks to the HiFi quality that the system delivers in all situations.”
He continued: “Because it is a new venue the acoustics are excellent but, even after the Alcons system was installed, the client was surprised at the audio quality delivered by the pro-ribbon technology.”
Ghidionesco reported that Sciences Po technical manager Vincent Watel is more than satisfied with the system, saying that everyone who uses the auditorium has been impressed by the coverage, natural sound quality and complete lack of distortion. Even at high volume levels, the sound is clear and there is no feedback from either gooseneck or musicians’ microphones.
“Sciences Po is an example of an installation where it is important to address the technical disparities between the uses of a system,” commented Alcons co-founder Tom Back. “For example, there are differences in the frequencies at which the subs should take over, whether there is any overlap between them and the main array modules and, of course, whether the screen is in use or not.
“Because we have systems that address the specific needs of both live and cinema sound in our ‘toolbox’, we can offer a dedicated package that does justice to both applications.”