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Key Theatre

The Key Theatre in Peterborough is the latest regional performance space to benefit from the unique knowledge and skills of our installations team.

Managed by ‘Vivacity’, a not-for-profit organisation which manages many of Peterborough’s most popular culture and leisure facilities on behalf of the City Council, the Key Theatre is located in Peterborough’s city centre, overlooking the river Nene. The diversity of its many productions places special demands on its technical infrastructure and is typical of many such regional theatres, including national touring shows, dance, comedy, panto, live music and much more.

Peppe and Chris’s enthusiasm for the project was inspiring and their ongoing support is very useful.

We specified and installed a complete new system for the main theatre, employing models from EM Acoustics range of loudspeakers. A pair of 15" MSE-159 are deployed as the main proscenium stereo system, powered by a Lab Gruppen FP 7000 power amplifier, with three EMS-81Xs flown as a specially-designed centre cluster. The whole system is controlled by a single Xilica XP-4080 loudspeaker processor; we also supplied and installed all the rigging and cabling.

It’s not uncommon in these austere times for projects to be strictly controlled in terms of budget, and the Key Theatre was no exception. We were able to choose appropriate products from our portfolio to work within the budget but still deliver a sonically superior installed audio system that is tailored precisely to the performance needs of the project. Picking a passive speakers allowed us to reuse some of the venue's existing Yamaha amplifiers, creating a further saving.

Peppe Mallozzi, who both project-managed and (with Chris Austin) co-designed the new system, commented, ‘Due to the shape of the room we couldn't use front fill, so it was a challenge to achieve suitable HF coverage across the front rows. Consequently we created a customised centre cluster with the three speakers under the catwalk, arranged in an arc and set at precise angles relative to each other, to provide the HF dispersion we needed. The three EMS-81Xs had to be mounted horizontally, which again is somewhat unconventional but the auditorium is often used as a cinema and mounting the speakers vertically could have caused problems with sight lines’.

The fruitful relationship between Autograph Sales & Installations is a direct result of their DiGiCo training programme, as part of which the Autograph experts have been assisting Key Theatre personnel in getting to grips with their new SD9 digital console.

Gary Linley, The Key Theatre’s audio technician, commented, ‘Autograph provided us with an excellent and effective (and affordable) system when it was time to replace our old EV’s. An on-site demo of the proposed system was a deciding factor; Peppe and Chris’s enthusiasm for the project was inspiring and their ongoing support is very useful. The system is sounding great as I expect it to for many years’.

EM Acoustics
Lab Gruppen

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