Job Description

Malmesbury Assembly Room 

Lighting & Audio Upgrade

Enlightened was approached by Malmesbury Town Council with a view to developing the best possible budgetary technical proposal to upgrade the audio system and theatrical & multi-use lighting for the Malmesbury Town Hall’s Assembly Room.

The Assembly Room is the second largest room in Malmesbury Town Hall and is much utilised for a variety of events, ceremonies and shows. The Assembly room hosts regular popular cinema screenings, theatrical performances, lectures and live rock music events. 

One of the oldest market towns in Wiltshire Malmesbury’s occupies a significant place in British history as it was both strategically and economically vitally important to the Anglo Saxon kingdom of Wessex on the border of Mercia. The town's importance after the Norman conquest is further illustrated by it listings preeminence at the top of Wiltshire's entry in the Domesday book.

The elegant period Town Hall undertook significant internal renovation in the early 2000’s remodelling internal connections with additions of free-floating staircases, a mezzanine landing and connecting extensions. The Assembly room gained cinema screening projection and audio capabilities at this time. The Assembly room has however much expanded its use since this upgrade regularly hosting theatrical performances, lectures and live rock music. 

The Assembly Room had until now relied on hiring in performance lighting, dimmers and control as well as performance audio for bands and vocal reinforcement. They had at the earlier renovation invested in installing speakers, projector and screens for their popular Cinema Club. This system, however, could not be utilised easily for alternate audio needs as control and amplification were specifically dedicated to cinematic playback. To maximise their budget and meet the venues flexibility of use, we specified an audio solution that seamlessly integrated into the existing cinema system, negating the need to buy further speakers and amplifiers.

For immediate user-friendly ease of use, we specified a lighting control system that did not require a stand-alone lighting control console but one that could be intuitively controlled via dedicated touch screen wall panels that allow multiple recallable lighting states to be rapidly selected and easily programmed and configured. The STICK DE3 is capable of controlling up to 1012 DMX channels and has an easily scrollable colour wheel that allows instant manual control of scene recall, as well as colour and dimming modification of the recalled scene.  We also linked this to a WiFi network, so a mobile app can be used to remote control the STICK.

To facilitate seamless switching between the touch panel station and external lighting desk, we installed a DMX merger to ensure that any visiting performer can easily connect to the system without any need for switching or patching of cables.

We supplied and installed a comprehensive selection of the latest in industry respected LED fixtures that afford many advantages for the Assembly Room over traditional tungsten, halogen or discharge theatre lights. The LED fixtures specified provide greater flexibility as all except the LED profiles are fully RGB colour controllable via the control panel making them infinitely more suited to being intuitively creatively utilised by technically less initiated users and visiting venue clients.  The LED fixtures are also incredibly energy efficient and require considerably less maintenance than traditional fixtures with the average life expectancy of a lantern being over 50,000 hours, meaning fewer lamp changes and lower energy bills and maintenance requirements for many years to come. They also have the added advantage of not requiring external dimming units, further reducing their installation cost. 

To augment the venues lighting rig we utilised the two existing vertical pross booms either side of the Assembly Room stage front and fitted two additional internally wired lighting bars above the stage to provide a greater facility for performance lighting and supplied and equipped them with the new LED, spots, washes and PARs. The additional lighting bars and fixtures now afford the Assembly Room a truly versatile lighting rig that will provide productions as diverse as lectures, ensembles and live rock bands, breathtaking lighting options that will allow them to produce professional quality performances through either simple touch panel configuration or external control.

To simplify audio distribution and make it more accessible we installed  24/8 analogue multicore cable stage side audio connections to facilitate patching of audio signals from visiting bands to the mixing desk at a front of house position. This also provides means of sending 8 ways of outputs back to the stage for supplementary monitoring or connection into the new audio switching system. In addition, we provided 2 CAT5e Ethercon tie lines running alongside the analogue multicore to facilitate digital consoles and stage boxes, providing further flexibility and ensuring future compatibility for visiting performers.

We supplied and installed the Assembly room with four Sennheiser SpeechLine wireless microphone receivers along with two Sennheiser wireless handheld microphones and two wireless belt-packs, one with a headset mic and the other with a lavalier, in order to provide for different microphone users preferences for vocal reinforcement. These receivers are accompanied by a desktop charging dock.  We mounted the Antenna AWM 4 receiver at height onstage to optimally receive wireless signals to the receivers which we racked and housed stage side alongside a Yamaha MTX3 Processor and EXi8 input expander supplied and installed to manage all audio processing of new microphones and stage inputs, along with providing a simple means to switch between cinema configuration and events configuration.

Two simple wall mounted controllers were supplied and installed to enable easy recall of audio configurations, whilst also offering individual level control of the installed microphones, plus level control of the stage input and subwoofer.

To make daily playback incredibly easy for users, we installed a stereo RCA input panel near the front of the stage for playing music presentations from sources such as phones, tablets and laptops.

To further simplify things for the end user, the system was set up so that microphones are instantly usable from the moment they are removed from their charge dock, and multiple microphones are auto mixed by the Yamaha MTX3, meaning simple vocal performances and conferences can be achieved with no technical staff.

Categories 2: