Barcelona venue boosts its profile with expanded QSC System...
Installed with a powerful QSC WideLine system last year, Barcelona’s temple for indie bands, Salamandra, was facing the prospect of moving from its long-standing premises in the city suburb of Hospitalet del Llobregat into enlarged premises 250m further along the Avinguda Carrilet.
This would not only provide a 1,000-capacity live and dance venue but also a recording studio and editing suite upstairs, under the supervision of one of the owners, chief sound engineer Ula Batallé.
The new venue is now open — but meanwhile, Batallé, and his partners and co-owners David Lafuente and Paco Venegas, are continuing to trade for the remaining few months in the old 600-capacity club until the lease expires, effectively giving them a Room One and Two.
QSC’s WideLine-10 line array had already shown its merits when it was demoed first time around. Winning a shoot-out, it punched far above its weight and immediately won the approval of visiting bands and sound engineers.
But a bigger venue meant an expanded system — and Salamandra has extended the original four hangs of WL2102 and two groundstacked WL218sw subs per side.
This time, the installers from ArtMedia have provided them with two hangs of six WL2012 and a pair of WL218sw subs per side — controlled from the FOH mixing position via a custom QSCreator GUI operating on an Ethernet LAN; all signals are sent to the rack on AES/EBU, guaranteeing workflow with the studio upstairs.
The amplifier complement has also been upgraded — from the old QSC PL230 at the original venue to the new high-power Class D, DataPort-equipped PL380.
This provides massive headroom, higher definition and plenty of raw power, with unmatched efficiency and extremely low and stable power demand.
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. The system is so powerful that DJs love to record their sessions there.
In fact, the system was chosen for its versatility — promoting guitar bands is just one of Salamandra’s activities. The venue also has an agreement with the local town hall whereby it operates as an educational establishment, covering a curriculum from gospel choir training to avant garde dance and flamenco lessons. Salamandra also runs technical courses for sound engineers.
A further pre-requisite was that it needed to be able to cater for hard dance music covering a wide dynamic range, as the highly-specified control booth, which runs the length of the venue’s balcony, testifies.
With so many different requirements, purpose-specific pre-set parameters and loudspeaker settings have been programmed into a QSC 922dz Basis DSP interface operating on QSControl.net, which meets all the control, monitoring, signal transport and processing requirements over CobraNet. The DSP is fed by AES-EBU from the digital mixing desk.
Musicians’ and DJs’ reference sound has also been given high priority. While the turntablists’ monitor sound is provided by a pair of QSC’s versatile and portable HPR-122is, up on stage a further eight of the self-powered trapezoidal enclosures are used for conventional foldback, along with an HPR-151i sub. Monitor engineers can additionally send their stage mixes to further HPR-152is and MD-152s, powered by QSC PL236, which are used for drum and side fills.
Ula Batallé and his team are delighted with the new set-up. The new WideLine-10 more than matches up to expectations while, with full Pro Tools capability, Salamandra is now not only able to record concerts for broadcast and web streaming, but also live albums.