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France’s Théâtre National Populaire modernised with Yamaha

A Yamaha digital audio system provides flexible networked audio to the two performance spaces on opposite sides of the street, its first major technical upgrade in 40 years.

One of France’s most culturally important theatres, the Théâtre National Populaire (TNP) has recently added a Yamaha digital audio system its two performance spaces, as part of a major refurbishment. The Grand Théâtre and Petit Théâtre are capable of seating 667 and 252 respectively, and include rehearsal rooms and other facilities. Vénissieux-based Scenetec was contracted to design and install the new technical infrastructure in both venues. “Before the refurbishment, the auditoriums were more-or-less still as they had been in the 1970s, so it was the ideal opportunity to completely update the technical specification to modern standards,” said Laurent Dureux (pictured, left, with Scenetec’s Patrice Chaumet and Yamaha’s Stéphane Brocard), TNP head of sound. Dureux worked closely with TNP technical director Jean-Michel Dubois, Scenetec and Yamaha Commercial Audio France to specify an Ethersound-based system for the Petit Théâtre, which features a Yamaha DM2000 digital mixing console and DME64N/DME24N digital mixing engines for signal routing and processing. A larger-scale version of the system was installed in the Grand Théâtre, where either the DM2000 or a PM5D can be used, depending on the complexity of the production. The opportunity was also taken to link the networks in the two venues, despite them being on opposite sides of the street, providing the most flexible solution possible. “We had no experience of networked audio, so Yamaha Commercial Audio and Scenetec worked closely with us to deliver an exceptionally convenient solution,” said Dureux. “Although it’s a digital system, it is straightforward to input or output analogue signals as required. It allows us to do exactly what we want, even with the most difficult performances.”