The notion of “dinner and a show” is one of those classic combinations—like peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, or Batman and Robin, our culture has become accustomed to pairing the two together. Creating that perfect experience goes way beyond the talent though—the show could be a spectacle, but if you can’t hear the actors or singers over the sound of the chefs in the kitchen or the chatter from the table next to you, it can ruin your whole night. So, when LotoQuebec, the government agency that operates gaming, wanted to renovate the Cabaret Theatre in the Montreal Casino, they wanted to be sure that the sound system could support the excitement of the shows it would host.
Montreal Casino hired Trizart Alliance and Solotech to design and install a new sound system at its Cabaret Theatre, which included the largest Meyer Sound Constellation system install in Canada. The casino management wanted to completely refurbish the old theater, updating the seating and staging into a more modern performance venue. To help with this, LotoQuebec hired AV consultant Trizart Alliance to help with the design of the AV system, including rigging, stage automation, sound, lighting, video, projection, multimedia, stage masking, electrical, and low voltage (fiber optic and network infrastructure) services. Integrator Solotech was also brought in to help with the installation of the new sound system.
Trizart Alliance’s Luc Gélinas opted for a Meyer Constellation loudspeaker system because it would allow the sound engineers working at the venue to easily switch acoustic settings between events. The space can hold anything from dinner shows, to comedy performances, rock and roll, or even corporate events.
“Montreal Casino wants to hold several different shows throughout the day, so we had to design something that could modify the acoustics based on each event,” Gélinas explained.
Working in the original space created some challenges for Gélinas and Solotech though. “We had to design with the specific floor, ceiling, and wall layout,” Gélinas said. “We ended up putting speakers in tight spaces, especially under the balcony. We had to design everything very carefully.”
The acoustics in the room were also challenging. “The venue is not that big, and we had to install a pretty big system in a small room. One of the issues was finding a place for all the equipment in that space,” added Solotech’s senior sales integration representative, Mathieu Tallion.
Fortunately, Solotech headquarters in Montreal has a custom woodshop, “and we do a lot of customized projects to integrate a system perfectly,” Tallion said.
In the theater space, the main PA system includes 20 Meyer Sound Melodie loudspeakers, eight 700HP subs, and UPM-1P speakers, all controlled by Calisto processors. The Constellation system, the largest so far installed in Canada, includes 245 various self-powered 48VDC loudspeakers (Stela 4, Stella 4C, UP4XP, UPM-1XP, and MM10XP), along with 44 microphones by Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Shure, AKG, DPA, and Neumann. Everything is driven by Meyer Sound Dimitri components on an AVB network. Sound is mixed to the speaker system through a DiGiCo SD10 console.
Gélinas also designed the lighting and video displays for the venue. “We had to recycle some custom 72-inch diameter RGB LED fixtures that were part of the original design,” Gélinas said. “We also have digital mapping on the ceiling.”
The video system includes a Barco FSN switcher, Barco HDX projector, SVSi IP TV network encoder/decoder, and a Crestron matrix and control system. Lighting includes products from MA Lighting, ETC, Luminex, Chroma, Martin Lighting, and Theatrix.
Since the Cabaret Theatre opened last summer, Gélinas said the response has been very positive—it has allowed the casino to create the exact atmosphere desired for each event, even if there is only an hour between shows to set up.
Kelleigh Welch is managing editor at SCN. Follow her on Twitter @kelleighwelch.