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New South Wales, Australia – July 2022 – The Showroom at Twin Towns Resorts is a legendary venue in the town of Tweed Heads, New South Wales; aptly named because the venue lies on the border with Queensland’s Gold Coast suburb of Coolangatta, where revellers can celebrate the turn of the New Year twice in one night, simply by crossing the street to a new time zone. For decades, the 1,000-capacity Showroom’s ideal location has made it a mainstay in the region’s live scene for vacationers from around Australia who come to enjoy the climate and the nightlife. The club’s entertainment program in a typical week may include a stand-up comic, an annual general meeting, a tribute band, or a heavy metal show.
While The Showroom’s location may be ideal, the sound system was not. Over the years, visiting mix engineers regularly mentioned the challenge of getting great sound at the rear of the venue. So, when the pandemic hit, Twin Towns’ Operations and Production Manager, Lachlan Donaldson, astutely harnessed the club’s downtime to upgrade its audio technology. With a reduced promotional and marketing budget after cancelling all the club’s entertainment and rebooking the acts for later dates, Donaldson believed they could allocate funds towards acquiring a new front-of-house PA system. The system would need to be rider-friendly and solve the coverage issues for the 1,000-capacity venue. Additionally, it would need to be flexible enough to address the venue’s changing seating options, which include a large flat-floor, standing-only configuration, or an alternative that includes both raised and raked seating. This versatile PA would also need to meet the demanding program requirements of the various acts that frequent the venue.
“I had two convincing arguments for the board,” explains Donaldson. “First, a new PA will attract better quality acts. The second point is an OH&S argument and probably the one that stuck with the board the most. If we install a PA with broad industry acceptance, we won’t have bands unloading their production gear, which greatly reduces our chances of a workplace accident on our premises.” Donaldson’s pitch appealed to the board’s instinct to minimise workplace risk, and the green light was given for the upgrade, paving the way for the club to maintain its status as a viable, high-quality entertainment venue.
Sydney and Brisbane-based audio-visual company Norwest, part of the NW Group, was invited by Donaldson to submit a loudspeaker design for The Showroom. NW Group CFO, Graeme Whitehouse, explains that they submitted two L-Acoustics system designs, and the one that The Showroom retained was based on the newly released K3.
Donaldson worked with the venue’s board to calculate the advantages of a K3 system. “If a venue were wondering if they could afford a model like the K3, I would say, break it down: work out the cost of the PA per show over a minimum 10-year period. Work out how much you’re saving by not hiring gear every week. Work out how much you can hire the new system for certain shows or corporate events. You quickly realise that the capital cost becomes very bearable,” Donaldson explains.
Donaldson considers the project a long-term investment. “The K3 will become the new standard, and we wanted to be at the forefront of that. We want to be breaking boundaries,” he continues. Donaldson then worked with Norwest to ensure the club’s investment translated to excellent technical quality that harnessed the power of K3.
A pre-installation Soundvision plot for The Showroom illustrated the overall system response, giving even coverage throughout with ±3.5dB of variation across all audience seating. This effectively solved the back-of-the-room problem, ensuring the audio experience there was as dynamic and pristine as the front. Panflex variable horizontal directivity, along with A10i out-fills, were the solutions used to precisely control the coverage to match the geometry of the venue.
The installation consists of an array of six L-Acoustics K3 on either side of the club’s stage. Under the stage, four KS28 subwoofers provide low-end rumble. Out-fill and side-fill are handled by L-Acoustics A10i boxes that also utilise Panflex technology to match dispersion to the room’s geometry. Two A10i provide centre fill, while a single A10i on each side compliments coverage for far left and right seats. Two arrays of two A10i each cover the small rear seating area at the back of the venue, allowing it to be disabled when not in use. Stage front-fill uses the low-profile L-Acoustics 5XT coaxial point source speakers and provides complimentary coverage for the front rows of the audience. LA12X and LA4X amplified controllers drive the whole system.
Earlier this year, directors of the Twin Towns board attended a sold-out ‘Two Amigos’ show led by legendary Australian rock musician Glenn Shorrock and singer-songwriter Brian Cadd. The system was deemed a worthy investment for the board members, as well as for musicians, the technical crew, and the resort’s management.
Donaldson believes that being the first L-Acoustics K3 install in Australia will elevate Twin Town’s Showroom for years to come: “I don’t think there’s ever an excuse for using subpar gear in the music world because when people are paying for a live music experience, you have to deliver that to the best of your ability. Otherwise, you’re not doing those paying patrons justice.”
Learn more about Norwest and the NW Group at www.nwgroup.com.au. Find detailed info on L’Acoustics in Australia at www.jands.com.au/brands/l-acoustics. Check out the Twin Town’s Showroom venue at www.twintowns.com.au/showroom.
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