Bose’s European distribution centre is located in Tongeren near Belgium’s eastern border. The city of Tongeren and Bose have enjoyed a close relationship for many years; indeed Bose has equipped the 600-capacity theatre located in the city’s De Velinx cultural centre with a Bose RoomMatch system and an Apex IX2 48 system management device. The theatre now serves as Bose’s training venue.
“We’ve been promoting our pro portfolio quite aggressively over the last couple of years with a range of products dedicated to the theatre market,” explained Bose’s Gino Moerman. “In order to guarantee optimum quality of their installations, all EMEA support engineers and all Bose distributors are trained in De Velinx.”
The system installed into De Velinx is a Bose RoomMatch system, selected as a result of the unusual egg-shaped theatre space (max width 40m, depth 25m and an 18m-wide stage) which would have have resulted in uneven dispersion patterns if using conventional line array or point-source systems. RoomMatch speakers exist in 42 different dispersion patterns allowing for optimum adaptation to the size and shape of the room. The main L/R system comprises four RoomMatch units with dispersion patterns varying between 120⁰ to 70⁰, supplemented by two flown RMS125 bass speakers. The dispersion of the central cluster units ranges from 120⁰ to 90⁰ with a total dispersion of 60⁰. The system is completed with two side fills to address the front rows and four double 18-inch subs under the stage.
All the speakers are powered by Bose PowerMatch PM8500 8-channel amplifiers with onboard DSP. System tuning was achieved through Bose’s ControlSpace ESP networkable DSP. However, as Moerman explains, the company specifically didn’t want visiting engineers to have access to the ControlSpace device as since too many of the parameters are freely accessible. This meant that the company needed an alternative solution.
“We went for Apex’s IX2 48 system management device thanks to its crystal clear sound, a very intuitive GUI and optimized integration of SMAART,” confirmed Moerman. “It was also strongly recommended to us by well-known Belgian sound engineer, Eric Loots, who knows the unit well as he owns one himself.”
The X² is one of my go-to tools for system alignment,” explained Loots. “First and foremost, it’s a fantastic-sounding machine and secondly it’s really simple to use. Simplicity was an important aspect for Bose as the technicians from the venue had to be able to operate it as well as visiting sound engineers. The user interface is very clear and has lots of nice features such as the ability to import your SMAART graphs into the EQ window which saves a lot of swapping between programs and/or laptops.
“The IX2 serves as overall system processor,” continued Loots. “All level, delay and EQ correction is done in the IX2 so the Bose DSP amps are used for speaker processing only. The reason for this is to give visiting engineers a clear overview of the adjustments made to the system and so that they have total control of their own show.”
Moerman agrees. “It’s an ideal solution for us. All of the important parameters such as individual levels, parametric EQ, time delays for L-C-R, fills and subs are freely accessible and can be stored in the internal presets, and multiple presets are programmed for both analogue and digital (AES3) inputs. There are also presets for a number of standard system configurations such L/R or L/C/R that can be used as a starting point or to reset the system in readiness for a new show.”
“As a highly popular venue, De Velinx sees different guest engineers coming in almost every week, so it was imperative that the system management be easy to use, even for engineers unfamiliar with the device,” continued Moerman. “Apex’s intuitive Intelliware software makes the system really easy to configure and use, and Apex themselves are always on hand to offer first class support if necessary – all of this along with Eric’s recommendation made it a pretty easy choice for us.”