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Meyer Sound Constellation Provides Flexible Acoustics for Nokia Concert Hall at Estonia's Solaris Centre
Located in Estonia's bustling capital of Tallinn, the Solaris Cultural and Leisure Centre—a gleaming new arts, retail, and cinema complex—catches the eye with glass walls and roof that admit sunlight for eco-friendly illumination and heating. The centre's primary venue, the 1,829-seat Nokia Concert Hall, similarly entices audiences with Meyer Sound's Constellation acoustic system and sound reinforcement loudspeakers.
The Nokia Concert Hall was envisioned from the outset as a multi-use venue for hosting a broad range of events, spanning everything from plays, corporate presentations, and rock concerts to opera, chamber music, and symphony orchestras. Since the wide range of events requires different acoustical characteristics, the hall relies on the flexible active acoustics of Constellation to provide acoustical environments ideal for each production. Operators may select one of the five pre-programmed Constellation presets to create frequency-balanced, natural reverberation with decay times spaced between one second (off) for amplified concerts and two seconds for choral and organ music performances.
The variable acoustics have greatly expanded the hall's programming and audience. "I think it is fair to say that Constellation is so flexible that it benefits almost every event we've had here since we opened," states Aivar Sirelpuu, general manager for the Nokia Concert Hall.
Linda Madalik, the acoustical consultant for the concert hall, concurs: "The sound in the Nokia Concert Hall is very natural. There are no zones of poor acoustic quality anywhere in the audience seating area. The acoustical conditions on stage are also perfect."
The installed system comprises Constellation and VRAS processors, 72 precision-calibrated omnidirectional and cardioid microphones, and 274 discreet loudspeakers, with Meyer Sound models that include Stella-4C, Stella-8C, UP-4XP, UPM-1P, and UPJunior VariO loudspeakers, and UMS-1P subwoofers. A Lemur touch-screen controller serves as the control interface for selecting the appropriate setting from the presets.
For amplified events, the hall is ready with a Meyer Sound reinforcement system that works hand-in-glove with the hall's acoustics. Anchored by a total of 30 MICA and M'elodie line array loudspeakers in a LCR configuration, the system also includes M1D line array and UPA-1P loudspeakers, 700-HP subwoofers, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system.
"During our first two months of operation, we have hosted plays and ballet, conferences, jazz, musical theatre, as well as choral, symphony, pop, and rock concerts," says Priit Rebane of the Baltic Development Group (BDG), the managing partner of the Solaris Centre. "The Meyer Sound systems have worked well on all of them. We have found Constellation to be a great tool not only for acoustic performances, but it also works in combination with the main reinforcement system to enhance jazz and musical shows."
Although Constellation is normally turned off for high-volume rock music, an intermediate Constellation setting is often applied at minimally amplified concerts to add a "live" feel to the hall. This was the case for a concert by noted jazz singer Nino Katamadze.
"Nokia Concert Hall has been one of the best venues we have ever had the pleasure to perform at," Katamadze says. "We were amazed by the quality of the light and sound systems. The acoustics were sensational. We can't wait to perform there again!"
In addition to Constellation, the Solaris Centre also features Meyer Sound's Cinema Experience in nine of its movie theatres. The principal designer of all audio systems at Solaris Centre was San Francisco-based Dave Dennison, with installation by Tallinn-based Eventech under the direction of managing director Tonu Susi. Principal architect was Raivo Puusepp Architects of Estonia.
Note: Meyer Sound's "Cinema Experience" line of products has been renamed to "EXP" in Dec, 2010