Once the largest cinema in England, Troxy is bristling with new technology, having transformed its capability to deliver stunning sound with a new in-house JBL sound system, the first of its kind in the UK.

The project was a complete reinvention of Troxy’s audio capabilities. Its roster is one of the most diverse of any UK venue, welcoming the world’s leading touring artists from classical and cabaret music through to rock and roll, dancehall and everything in between. The new system needed to perform as proficiently with live as well as recorded music and cater to awards, corporate and performance events. In addition, it was required to offer broadcast quality sound for events including the BAFTA Games Awards and Channel 4 News.

The system has been specified in collaboration with integration partner, SSE Audio Group, who ensured the system worked functionally as well as sonically.
The centrepiece of the integrated HARMAN high-grade sound reinforcement system is the new JBL VTX A12 dual 12-inch line-array loudspeaker, benefitting from three newly designed drivers.

The A12 benefits from JBL’s patented differential drive, radiation boundary integrator, and polymer annular ring radiator high frequency drivers. The main system comprises 24 VTX A12, flown as two hangs of 12. Low-end extension is provided by 12 VTX G28 dual 18-inch subwoofers. Front fill comes in the form of four elements of VTX A8, the new dual 8-inch line array cabinet from the VTX A Series range, with the advantage of being a smaller, biamped box. A further four A8 are installed as new under-balcony fills, using the same high-performance ring radiating HF driver as A12, ensuring seamless sonic crossover between the main and fill systems.

The venue has also taken delivery of two Soundcraft Vi3000 mixing consoles with matching Vi Stageboxes, in a split rack, which forms the backbone of a new stage line system, along with a new Soundcraft Si Performer 1.

Troxy is already receiving great feedback about the new system which was selected after a testing phase with both audience members and tour managers alike.

Although Troxy is acoustically fairly forgiving, particularly given when it was built, JBL VTX A8 and A12 gave the installers the opportunity to optimise it fully in a way that no other system would have been capable. They identified two areas that they wanted to improve. Firstly, they wanted the sound to reach the very last row of the upper circle without hitting the bar just above it. This was partly to make it easier for customers to order drinks, but also to reduce rear wall reflections, which could reduce intelligibility. Thanks to the highly granular array frame hanging system, they were able to refine the array shape and pick a point to within 0.4 of a degree. The outcome of this is that when seated on the back row you feel fully engaged with the direct sound, as soon as you move off axis, the sound level drops away substantially. At a throw length of 30+ metres, this is a considerable achievement.
Secondly, the technical team identified that a considerable amount of sound from the performers reflected off the balcony front and back onto stage. This meant the artists couldn’t hear themselves and asked for the monitors to be turned up, this is not good news for many reasons. Typically, you can’t put larger angles in the middle of a line array to avoid such obstacles because when you do, the array behaviour starts to break down and delivers all sorts of unwanted artefacts. However, there are several innovative technologies in JBL’s A-series that allow for next-generation standards of inter-box coupling. Because of these capabilities, you can set larger angles into the array without suffering the downsides in the same way that you would on a more conventional system. As a result, the integrators were able to effectively focus the energy away from the balcony front and halve the reflected energy on stage in several critical locations.

As an art deco gem and home to the largest Wurlitzer cinema organ in Europe, Troxy needed a flexible sound system that could help it maintain a leading position on the touring circuit, while also attracting a range of events requiring sound excellence.

The diverse range of events hosted at Troxy was at the forefront of the system design. For example, the small footprint and high channel count of the Soundcraft Si Performer 1 console are perfect for the many corporate shows which demand that tech is kept as invisible as possible, finding its main use in the ‘cupboard’ mixing booth under the staircase.

A full JBL monitor and fills package has been provided as part of the upgrade, which includes JBL VTX M22 stage monitors and VTX F35, F15 and F18S point source boxes for sidefills and drum fills. The team utilise JBL’s Performance Manager software enabling them to recall various presets, created in the commissioning stage, in order to facilitate the most commonly used configurations. Further to this, the team at SSE Audio Group, installed the system at carefully selected locations throughout the building making it accessible for staff at the venue.

The system was selected after an extensive specification and shoot out process with the leading audio brands lasting over 12 months. After this research phase, Troxy selected HARMAN and UK distribution partner, Sound Technology Ltd, to undertake this major investment, with SSE Audio managing the specification and installation process. A personable approach to the project by all the key players in the team led to the decision to make a significant investment in the new JBL VTX A12 line-array. The system was a clear choice to give the best sound to Troxy’s wide range of prestigious live music events, high profile awards ceremonies, corporate events and private parties. It had its first full use in March 2019 at a Mayday Parade concert and an Illuminaughty DJ club night, where its stunning quality was evident.