The Mackay Entertainment Centre recently upgraded its outdated audio systems to NEXO with 19 Geo S speakers, three CD12 subs, six PS10 speakers and Camco amplification. The purchasing decision was made after the head of audio at the centre heard the Geo S in a variety of set-ups from visiting acts. It is now used for theatre shows, conferences, musicals and a range of other uses. The staff at the centre is more than pleased with the installation and intends to keep NEXO high on its audio shopping list.
The centre is the premiere entertainment and function venue in the booming city of Mackay. Available for meetings, seminars, conferences and functions, the Centre has the flexibility to stage any sized event and attracts high profile international, Australian and local acts. Up until a few months ago the Centre was utilising a JBL array system in the auditorium with further JBL speakers in the foyer but advances in audio technology had made these systems out dated.
Above: Mackay Entertainment Centre analysis using EASE.
“It was time to upgrade and so we had a good look on the market although of course our decision was governed by money,” explained Corby Stuart, head of audio at the Centre.
Corby had heard the Nexo speakers in the auditorium on a few occasions when they were bought in by visiting acts so he had a good idea of what it would sound like. In fact he was so impressed by the audio quality of these shows he didn’t feel it necessary to trial any other manufacturer’s speakers on site. Consequently Corby arranged the purchase of five Nexo GEO S speakers and one CD12 sub per side in the foyer whilst for the main auditorium a total of fourteen GEO S speakers and two GEO subs were chosen. Six Nexo PS10 fold back wedges and Camco amplifiers were also on the shopping list.
“Since installing the Nexo system we’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” commented Corby. “Certainly no one complains about the audio anymore which used to happen a lot! It’s high end equipment so nobody walks in and baulks at it. Complaints from the shows have pretty much dropped back to nothing in terms of audio quality.”
Corby reports that he is very happy with the Foyer system in particular, as it is an extremely difficult room for audio. “The foyer is basically a large triangle with two big glass walls so keeping high frequency off those walls was critical for us,” he said. “It’s a fairly wide room too but the Nexo allows us to do 120 degrees dispersion which has been very useful for us. In the past we would have had to put in out fills and in fills plus an under balcony fill in the bar area and so on. Now we just have a stereo left and right PA which is so much easier to manage.”
A few building issues still need to be rectified in the auditorium to maximize the Nexo systems’ ability. Currently the system is hanging too high and two large balconies, originally installed to be an acoustic reflective surface, gives the audio crew a lot of problems with shadows.
“We’re in the process of sorting out these issues but they are venue issues not the PA’s,” stressed Corby. “We originally purchased the auditorium’s Nexo PA as a theatre system and obviously we still have clients who bring in their own systems especially for a rock band. However that’s a very small percentage of our clients so it didn’t make sense to spend a huge amount of money on a PA to service such a small percentage of clients. Our theatre system does very well for musical theatre and that kind of production, in fact it’s brilliant.”