Nottingham, UK – The regeneration project at Nottingham's Island Quarter is turning a 36-acre former industrial site into a mixed-use space with multi-functional public spaces as well as areas to live, work and relax. As one of the first examples of what the new district will bring to the city, the Canal Turn performance space has set a high bar for what people can expect with a stage that can handle everything from solo artists to full festivals, thanks to its Electro-Voice X2 line array system driven and controlled by Dynacord amplifiers and electronics.
Canal Turn is set to be the cultural centerpiece of the Island Quarter development, with plans in place for the venue to host everything from world-class music and live theatre to locally created art and open-air public speaking. The job of creating the solution for this space fell to local AV installers Music Gear Installations, part of the MGD Group. A versatile, yet powerful sound system has been one of the keys to enabling this aspiration, with the combined strengths of Electro-Voice and Dynacord an obvious choice.
"We've pushed the boundaries of technology a bit and everything is built around being futureproof," explains Mick Whittemore, from Music Gear Installations. "The idea was the owner could put anyone on – we had to get to a certain level for the tribute acts and mid-level touring bands, but also have the infrastructure to enable major acts to play there. It needs to handle literally anything from a solo acoustic performer who can simply plug and play (with their own mixing desk if required) to a potential full on music festival."
To achieve this, Music Gear Installations enlisted the help of Bosch consultant Neal Allen, who suggested a solution he knows well from his time as a touring FOH engineer, the X2 line array systems for live sound applications from the X-Line Advance line array family. "I know the product really well," says Allen. "The owners liked the heritage of where I had been with it and what I had done with it. When they heard it, they really liked the sound of it too."
The open-air stage at Canal Turn is covered by six X2-212/90 line-array elements per side with two X12-128 subwoofers delivering the low frequencies. "X2 provides the detail this kind of project needs," states Allen. "It's a nice sounding box that can do multiple styles of music. They can run it full range, which sometimes they do when they are just doing the screen and it will cope well with whatever they need it to do." On stage, artists are supported by eight Electro-Voice MFX-15MC multi-functional coax monitors.
The system is powered by Dynacord amplifiers, with IPX units handling the MFX stage monitors and TGX models responsible for the main PA. An MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine delivers the routing and mixing capabilities while SONICUE Sound System Software provides precise and user-friendly control and configuration for the solution.
"It was simple to tune the system with SONICUE and the latest upgrade version has also made it very user-friendly for the venue staff and students, especially for general system operation," says Allen. "They only use the parts of SONICUE that they need – such as presets and level changes – which means that the system can be just as easily run by a sound engineer or by students on a day-to-day basis."
Reflecting on the overall project and the futureproof solution he has delivered, Whittemore is very pleased with the results. "The whole feel of the place is great and they have some really big plans," he reflects. "We've made a futureproof venue that integrates well into the surrounding environment and the plans for this area. Most importantly, everybody is pleased with the way it sounds."
"This was a future-proof selection that I was more than happy to recommend," concluded Ben Hicklin, project manager from Canal Turn. "I've been delighted with the results. Everything I have been promised has been delivered, together with the added bonus of working with local specialists."