Noble Redux

Noble Redux
  • LONDON, ENGLAND-Built as a theater in the early 19th century, the historic Coronet Theater in South London's Elephant and Castle district underwent its first transformation in 1910 when it became a popular cinema. It has recently taken on a third life with a multi-million-pound refurbishment to create a new live music and club venue that has quickly become a prime nightlife destination. The 2,200-capacity Art Deco building now hosts regular live music gigs and club nights, with an upgraded sound system that features a newly-installed Electro-Voice XLC line-array sound reinforcement system.

The Art Deco Coronet Theater in London features Electro-Voice XLC line-arrays at the left and right of the proscenium arch stage, and a Midas H3000 mixing console at the front-of-house position.
The team behind the Coronet re-launch included Simon Parkes, who worked to restore the derelict Brixton Academy in the 1980s. For this project, he put live music at the core of the Coronet's new business plan, and wanted to establish the venue as a main stop for international touring acts. So far, the club has hosted Franz Ferdinand, The Orb, and Macy Gray, and is nurturing a commitment to showcasing new bands and avant-garde events.

Bernard Mani of Systems Etc has had a long relationship with the Coronet venue, bringing in PA systems on both a short-term basis and long-term. When the venue began planning for a permanent sound system, it enlisted Mani once again for the task. He elected to install an Electro-Voice XLC compact line-array, with X-Line sub-bass reinforcement, and the new EV NetMax system control, all supplied by Shuttlesound. Front-of-house control and monitor systems were also provided, featuring Midas Heritage consoles. Mani chose the industry-standard 48-channel Midas H3000 mixing console.
"The original point system that was there before was a rather conventional system, so we had to fix the new points," explained Mani. "It's a lovely old matchbox theater setup, but it is quite hard in smaller venues to cover both the dancefloor and quite a steep balcony from a two-point source line array system. It took very extensive rigging work to get the curl in the hang."

The solution features line-array hangs at the left and right of the proscenium arch stage. Each array includes two XLC118 subwoofers at the top, above eight XLC127+ cabinets. Beneath the stage, there are four X-Subs together with another eight XLC118 subs.

Explaining why he relied on the XLC array for the Coronet, Mani said, "It's the same system that we use for all our touring work, and a lot of the festivals that we do." Such festivals include the Evolution Festival, which is the U.K.'s largest free festival.

The system is controlled by the first EV NetMax N8000 processors installed in the U.K., which gained notoriety previously in Europe with its use at several stadiums that hosted the World Cup this summer. "The main reason we chose the NetMax," said Mani, "is that it allowed us to control the whole system from one unit without the need of lots of peripheral units; it gave us the whole sound system control on a single page of a laptop, so you can control it from the front-of-house position without having to see the amplifiers."

The EV NetMax N8000 is especially suitable for live music work. An extremely flexible audio control processor, it has probably the widest audio dynamic range of any system control devices on the market, together with superior A/D and D/A conversion technology and wideband electronics. Presented in a compact 2RU configuration, the N8000 can be configured in a number of ways; as a high-performance controller with built-in scheduler and fault logging, or as part of a matrix operated with hardware running EV's IRIS-Net software, such as the RL Series remote amplifiers. Furthermore, it's easy for the controllers to handle. "It's a very straightforward piece of software to use," commented Mani.

Overall, in working to refurbish the historic theater, Mani was part of the new wave for its future. "It's always nice to work on a big, traditional theater, with high ceilings and all, rather than the usual modern nightclub layout-it's quite grand in scale," Mani concluded. "It's a more modern and up-to-date system, and it satisfies all the big bands' riders."

Mary Bakija is a writer and editor with more than 15 years of storytelling experience. Bakija is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Library and Information Science to help others find and tell important stories that might otherwise be lost, and to ensure those stories are preserved for future generations to see.