Cambridge Junction

ProjectCambridge JunctionLocationCambridge, EnglandManufacturersd&b audiotechnikInstallerAutograph SoundSubmitted byd&b audiotechnik

Cambridge Junction, a prominent live music and arts venue, has undergone a significant sound upgrade with a new d&b audiotechnik loudspeaker system. The system, designed and installed by Autograph Sound and centered around d&b’s XSL loudspeakers, enhances the venue’s performance capabilities, overcomes previous challenges and ushers in a new era of audio excellence.

The challenge was to replace the audio system at this renowned music and arts venue. The new system would have to deliver flawless performance and overcome the inherent problems of the unusually shaped main auditorium. It also had to provide greater headroom, a more comfortable and controlled stage sound level, fit into the existing infrastructure and be flexible enough to cope with the venue’s wide range of content.

The implementation of d&b’s XSL system has transformed the venue’s audio experience. By utilising the cardioid performance of the XSL, onstage bleed was drastically reduced, allowing for lower stage volumes and improved monitor clarity. The system’s full-bandwidth control ensures even sound distribution throughout the room, enhancing the audience experience for performances ranging from live music to comedy and club nights.

The installation process presented a number of challenges, including outdated PA systems and the unique shape of the main performance space. However, through careful planning and expertise, Autograph Sound overcame these obstacles. The d&b XSL system was seamlessly integrated into the venue’s infrastructure, delivering optimum performance whilst retaining the existing hanging positions and loudspeaker infrastructure.

The conversion originally planned to replace the mixing consoles in this well-known venue. However, that plan was extended to include the PA system in the larger space, J1, which is used for live music and DJs – and later in J2, the theatre space.

In J1, the characteristics of the fully cardioid XSL system have drastically reduced on-stage bleed. The room has an unusual shape, and the new PA has enabled a significant reduction in stage volume, which means that the stage monitor setup no longer has to ‘fight’ the PA. Many smaller live music venues have precisely this problem with level, so the inherent full-broadband control of the XSL system has again proved itself an ideal solution.

For J2, with its program including theatre, comedy and spoken word through to live music and club nights, the system had to be flexible to deal with the demands of various auditorium formats, depending on the style of show. Four E8 loudspeakers were installed. These are rigged and aimed to provide full coverage to the tiered theatre seating and balconies – so, for incidental music, announcements, smaller comedy gigs or spoken word, this PA is sufficient and requires no setup time from the in-house crew.

The ground-stacked PA is used for live music gigs and larger comedy gigs where extra headroom and level is required. This is configured as two V-GSUB per side with V7P on top, and then two KSL-GSUB stacked side-by-side beneath the raised stage for gigs where extra low-end reinforcement is required.
The ground-stacked PA is powered from a portable rack which houses a DS10 Audio Network Bridge and two D40 amplifiers.

This project is an example of excellence in performance venue enhancement. The adoption of d&b’s XSL not only solved existing challenges but also future-proofed the venue, ensuring unparalleled sound quality for years to come. The new XLS system reflects Cambridge Junction’s commitment to innovation and quality, combined with environmental sustainability, as the new system produces higher output with lower power consumption.

Thanks to d&b and Autograph, the new system guarantees that this popular venue – called “a jewel in the east of England’s crown” by The Guardian newspaper – will continue to shine into the future, for artists and audiences alike.