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Pro Audio Asia reviews installation at Black Box Theatre of The ISF

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Tom Lee Engineering designs A/V system for Black Box Theatre

CHINA: Tom Lee Engineering recently designed and installed a new A/V system into the ISF Academy school’s HJ Zhang Black Box Theatre in Hong Kong. The performing arts centre specified that it required a ‘superb audio and lighting system’ that could cater for a wide range of performances.

‘A standout characteristic of the theatre is the flexibility of the seating arrangement, as seats are extendable to face multiple directions depending on the various types of performances, offering audiences a new type of theatrical experience,’ explained a Tom Lee Engineering spokesperson.

Following a thorough design process, the team set to work by deploying a number of downward-facing AFI-2 Apogee speakers on each side of the wall, along with four centrally positioned Apogee AFI-8 ceiling speakers. ‘The setup delivers consistent sound and complements all kinds of musical and theatrical performances, from teaching, student practice sessions, to the final performance,’ said the spokesperson.

Performances can be recorded via an Aviom 6416M input module, which supports up to 16 channels simultaneously. Meanwhile, live sound is mixed using a Yamaha M7CL digital console along with a DME64N mixing engine, amplified through an Apogee CA-8000 power amplifier. ‘The iPad-controllable M7CL proved its worth by providing an unprecedented sonic quality and extensive processing capability,’ added the Tom Lee Engineering representative.

Moreover, a number of AKG microphone systems have been purchased by the client for the theatre, including a mixture of DMS700 digital wireless microphones, HC 577 L head-worn mics, CK77 WR/L lavalier mics, and C 5 and C 319 B condenser mics.

‘The most challenging part of this installation was the spatial problem in the theatre,’ the representative stated. ‘It is a compact, yet versatile site. From completing a detailed acoustic and lighting design to finishing the install, the project took about a year to complete due to the complexity of the configuration and installation. For the visuals, we provided an electric lighting integration solution for easy operation, which is ideal for students homing their skills in theatre management studies.

‘The digital computer lighting cluster is customised in six lighting bars using an IFF rigging system,’ the representative continued. ‘Lighting suspensions on colour filters, changers and digital dimmer can be electrically lowered down and adjusted into different angles to achieve optimal lighting levels and effects. Our compact solution has delighted both audiences and performers by providing benefits in the way of stability, spacing-saving and visual clarity in the theatre.’

Tom Lee Engineering stated that ‘overall, the Black Box Theatre’s acoustics support the academy’s educational mission to foster talents. Both aesthetically and acoustically, the theatre is a state-of-the-art gem. Following the splendid completion of this project, the academy invited us to evaluate another theatre installation project on campus.’

Following the installation, Tom lee Engineering provided demonstrations and guidance in time for the theatre’s debut performance.