Wolverhampton – The Halls

ProjectWolverhampton - The HallsLocationWolverhampton, UKArchitectSpace and PlaceLighting DesignerSatori StudiosInstallerSolotechAcousticianSolotechSubmitted bySolotech

The audio systems for each area within Zenon were designed using Funktion-One loudspeakers. The terrace features some of Funktion-One’s most compact products; 10 x F81.2 tops and 4x SB10 subs deliver exceptional audio, creating an immersive experience while being compact enough to deliver a discreet solution.

In the main restaurant area, Em-Tec installed 10x F81.2s and 4x SB10s. Like all Funktion-One loudspeakers, the F81.2 delivers clarity, intelligibility and very low distortion. 

The members-only lounge is a private area for the owners to host events. Em-Tec used 8x F101.2 tops and 3x BR118 subs. 

Em-Tec designed a four-point Evolution X system for Zenon’s club space, along with BR218s and BR118s subs, and F101.2s and F81.2s for side fills in the booth seating areas.

Processing comes from NST Audio and amplification from Full Fat Audio (FFA).

For the Civic Hall, 12 x d&b V-Series per side make up the main L-R hangs with KSL-GSUB and SL-GSUB ground stacked on stage to provide the LF response. Throughout the venue additional speakers have been added to provide coverage to the areas obscured from the footprint of the main hangs.

The main L-R hangs feature d&b’s ArrayProcessing, with a dedicated amplifier channel for each cabinet in the hang. This allows the frequency response of each box to be optimised ensuring the array as a whole works more effectively as a single entity.

In terms of the performance of the system, a maximum SPL of 104 dB was specified, while the finished solution can actually deliver 106 dB thereby giving plenty of headroom for the visiting engineers.

Included with the system is a control and monitors package At FOH Solotech specified a DiGiCo SD12, with a DiGiCo SDTen at the other end of the snake for monitor mixes. On stage a package of M4 wedge monitors with D40 amplification can be configured for six separate monitor mixes.

Although smaller, the Wulfrun Hall audio system has the same design requirement: 104dB at the FOH position.

Main hangs comprise 8 x d&b audiotechnnik V-Series line array cabinets Sub Bass is from 8 x KSL-Subs in four ground stacks of two cabinets, evenly spaced in front of the stage, with the entire system powered by 9 x D40 amplifiers.

The control package features the ultra-compact DiGiCo SD11 at FOH with a DiGico SD9 for monitors.

Included in the project were two bar areas within the Halls, the VIP Lounge and the main bar. For both areas Solotech installed d&b 8s loudspeakers to provide background music, relay the main venue music or be a stand-alone venue as required. Volume level and input selection is via a wall controller linked to the main Q-Sys core of the venue.

Solotech were contracted to supply a full stage lighting package for both venues to be fitted to lighting grids supplied by a third-party contractor. The design included an Avolites Saphire Touch lighting console for the Civic Hall and the more compact Avolites Tiger for the Wulfrun Hall. A variety of fixtures from Robe, Elation Unique and Martin were supplied for both rooms.
What were the main challenges during the installation and how did you overcome them? *
As a Grade II listed building, Solotech faced a familiar challenge. They had to produce solutions that respected the building infrastructure yet met the technical requirements of a leading music venue attracting major artists.

There was also a time element to the project. AEG and The Halls had a very specific schedule that they needed to hit as they wanted legendary Brit rock band, Blur, to open the venue. Performances from Leftfield, the Script, James Bay and the Vamps quickly followed, testimony to the calibre of artist the Halls continues to attract.

The Halls is an iconic venue that had laid dormant for nearly ten years. When it finally reopened in May it was a special moment.

CEO of AEG Presents Steve Homer was delighted: “Having hosted artists from The Clash, Bowie and Nirvana to the Manic Street Preachers and Morrissey, it’s incredible to be able to bring such an iconic venue back to life. I’m a local lad from Stourbridge so this is all the more special.”

Solotech’s Dan Seal agreed, “This has been a complex install that has required us to integrate alongside other contractors and I’m really pleased with how it has turned out. We’ve designed the solution to work aesthetically, respecting the heritage of building. The d&b systems in both rooms sound great, are rider friendly and will serve the Halls for many years to come.”

“It’s been a pleasure to work with AEG and the venue’s technical staff to bring this project to fruition and we look forward to working with them on future projects.”