Located 100km south of Barcelona, in the heart of Tarragona, the Sala Highland Irish Bar is in the process of doubling in size. Meanwhile, in the Barcelona suburb of Hospitalet del Llobregat, popular indie rock venue Sala Mandra will shortly relocate to an expanded facility further down the street, which will not only give them an enlarged performance space, but allow them to have their own recording studio upstairs.
Packed with memorabilia in a converted Tarragona cinema, and already staging a package of entertainment ranging from club nights to sport (via the drop down projection screen), Highland owner Iñaki Iuain was unhappy with the existing sound system when he took over the venue. Expressing his desire for a line array system, he immediately asked local contractor Rafael Porta from dB Lumen to set up a comparitive test of some of the leading systems.
This included a QSC ILA Line Array System which was evaluated against other familiar brands — and it was the flexibility of the former which proved conclusive.
Porta has thus installed a system based around two hangs of four WL2082-i enclosures, using QSC’s flying bars, with three AD-S82H enclosures providing delays further down the room. The system is powered by a combination of six QSC RMX-1450 and a pair of RMX-2450 power amplifiers; control presets, system management and routing ar assigned respectively to a QSC DSP-322ua — capable of storing up to eight signal flow configurations with nearly unlimited snapshot parameter recall — and DSP-30 system manager.Article continues below
“This is a highly practical solution,” believes Porta. “The dimensions of the WL2082-i are perfect for this venue and the 140 degrees horizontal dispersion pattern provides even coverage,” said Porta. His company has programmed a number of different presets into the DSP — and since Highland commences trading at 4pm, with background music from an MP3 server, and continues until 3am, when the music is full-on, these represent the volume levels and EQ patterns for the different times of the day.
Rafael Porta reports that Iñaki Iuain is so delighted with the impact of the QSC system in his downstairs room that he is now developing a dedicated live venue on the first floor (the venue’s original projection room) which will open as a live cabaret supper club this Autumn, with its own separate entrance.
This will put Highland immediately onto the touring circuit, with bands carrying their own control and backline, expecting to patch into a recognisable PA system.
Thus Rafael Porta has designed a similar QSC WL-2082i line array configuration to that downstairs.
Back in Barcelona, it was QSC’s WideLine-10 which this time had to show its merits alongside longer-established line array brands at Sala Mandra. During an AB comparison, it punched far above its weight and was immediately given the nod by co-owners Ula Batallé, David Lafuente and Paco Venegas.
Having taken delivery of a WideLine WL2102 (four hangs per side) and three groundstacked WL218sw (2 x 18) subs — installed by ArtMedia — the venue is already preparing to move 200m further down the Avinguda Carrilet.
WideLine-10 is a three-transducer system and its 140° horizontal coverage pattern represents the widest of any line array system currently available — making it perfect for this application.
When the system, which is driven by eight PowerLight PL230 amplifiers and controlled by a QSC BASIS 922dz, is relocated it is expected to move onto a CobraNet network.
Headroom has already been built into the system, since the BASIS platform meets the control, monitoring, signal transport and processing needs of amplification and loudspeaker systems over Ethernet. Amplifier and loudspeaker control, monitoring and protection, configurable DSP, and CobraNet audio transport are seamlessly integrated into BASIS’s economical 1RU platform.
Explains QSC Spain’s Mauri Costa, “The idea is that the studio upstairs will be able to record the shows straight off the newly-specified digital live mixing console via CobraNet.” He anticipated that the WideLine system would be boosted by two additional enclosures to provide additional frontfills for the 800-capacity audience.
Summing up, he added, “In a highly competitive market customers are quickly realising that the combination of power, transparency, coverage, compact dimensions and a seductive price is the sensible way to go.
“Touring productions are already familiar with the QSC pedigree for reliable, high-powered amplification and digital transport — and that confidence is now being transferred to loudspeakers; system techs touring these venues are generally delighted to see QSC line array systems hanging from the flying grids.”