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Black Box Theatre of The ISF Academy

The ISF Academy was established in 2003 as a non-profit, private independent school with the Pokfulam campus site that over 13,000 m2. Arts performance is one of the core learning spectrums and The H.J. Zhang Black Box Theatre was newly established in 2011 to support arts creativity and nurture performing talents.

Arts performance is an effective communication in sharing of sentiment and intrinsic artistic value. The acoustic standard of equipments in black box theatre play a key role in conveying messages from performers to audience amongst small-sized arts performances. The key objective was superb audio and lighting effect in such a compact area, Tom Lee Engineering is designated for the visual and aural system design with installation.

The characteristics of black box theatre is the flexibility of seating arrangement, seats are extendable to face in multiple directions depending various type of performances, offering audiences a new type of theatrical experience. We deployed AFI2 Apogee speakers on each edge of the wall and facing downward to serve the sound for versatile platform in four dimensions evenly and an acoustically appropriate coverage. For sound reinforcement, four AFI8-B Apogee loudspeakers are centrally positioned at the ceiling to provide high frequency horn pattern and articulate full bandwidth enveloping sound with a spanning to entire venue. Keeping audience optimally close to the performers in an intimate environment, the setup delivers consistent sound and overlays all kinds of musical and theatrical performances from teaching and practicing of students to the performance of faculty.

Equipped for the full-range of teaching and learning involvement, the theatre is designed as a real working theatre environment with international standard, in line with variety of performances it will host. All sound performances are able to be recorded via Aviom 6416M input module, supporting up to 16 channels simultaneously. Besides, the live sound is mixed surpassingly by using the toolkit Yamaha M7CL digital console along with a DME64N mixing engine and amplified through CA8000 Apogee power amplifier. The iPad-controllable M7CL proved its worth by providing an unprecedented sonic quality and extensive processing conveniently. Moreover, AKG microphone system are opted for the whole theatre, DMS700 digital wireless microphone with ultra-wide tuning range provides transmission up to 155 kHz frequency range without distortions and significant noise levels. HC 577 L head-worn mic, CK77 WR/L lavalier mic, C 5 and C 319 B condenser mic are also available.

Compliance with international criterions, the most challenging part of this installation project is the spatial problem in the black box theatre. It is a tight site with high-density but versatility. From detailed acoustic and lighting design to finishing, the project has been taken a year inasmuch as the complexity of configuration and installation. For visual perspective, we provided electric lighting integration for easy operation, which is at the immense importance and ideal for student horning their skills in theatre management studies. The wide functionality of digital computer lighting cluster is customized in six lighting bars of IFF rigging system. Lighting suspensions on color filters, changers and digital dimmer can be electrically lowered down and adjust into different angles to achieve optimal lighting level and effect. Our solution with such compact lighting bars have delighted both audiences and performers by providing benefits on stability, spacing-saving and visual clarity in the theatre.

Overall, the black box theatre emphasizes the primacy of acoustics to directly support the Academy’s educational mission to foster talents. Both aesthetically and acoustically, the theatre is a state-of-the-art gem and a recognizable icon of the Academy in experiencing the sight and sound of music. Following the full scope of services, there were demonstration and guidance from our engineers to the debut performance “Chang Boils The Sea” of the black box theatre. With the splendid completion of this project, the Academy also invited us to evaluate another theatre installation project on campus.
Product Highlight:
Microphone AKG - HC 577 L
Microphone System AKG - DMS 700
Microphone AKG - C 391 B (AKG Blue Line)
Microphone AKG - CK 77 WR L
Mixing Console Yamaha - M7CL
Signal Processor Yamaha - DME64N
Signal Input / Output Module Aviom - 6414m
Speaker Apogee - AFI-2 Speaker
Speaker Apogee - AFI-8 Speaker
Microphone AKG - C 5 Microphone
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