Originally constructed in 1964, Broadmeadows Town Hall has functioned as an integral backdrop to decades of personal milestones and civic events. From weddings, debutant balls and citizenship ceremonies, to live music, hot-rod shows and even a performance from AC/DC- Broadmeadows Town Hall has seen it all.
A longstanding icon of mid-century design in the north of Melbourne, the town hall now stands as a beacon of the future, recently undergoing a $25 million refurbishment- including an update of the internal architecture, contemporary finishes, and the addition of cutting-edge AV technology.
Overseeing the AV update was Light and Sound Solutions, a Melbourne-based audio-visual specialist with a focus on delivery of end-to-end solutions for production and installation. To help Broadmeadows Town Hall achieve their desired audio coverage of the building’s auditorium, two separate NEXO GEO M6 line array systems were installed.
Mounted perpendicular to one another, the two GEO M6 systems, both comprised of 2 x hangs each, offer an exceptional amount of flexibility within the space. The separated directional setups allow for accommodation of multiple seating arrangements and varied stage/audience structures in line with the area’s scalable dancefloor and staging options. When combined with additional NEXO ID24 loudspeakers for fill, the auditorium becomes a dynamic entertainment space capable of a plethora of professional audio applications, including live music, speech reinforcement, DJ/playback and more.
The GEO M6 is a compact line array series featuring an outstanding size to power ratio. French manufacturer NEXO has become synonymous with unrivalled sonic reproduction, and despite the system’s minimal physical measurements, the GEO M6 is no exception. Weighing in at a slim 9.7kg per cabinet, each M6 module is able to deliver pristine, full-range sound at an impressive 127dB. The visual impact of the series is subtle, thanks to its compact structure and elegant internal rigging system.
Integrating with the auditorium’s striking monochromatic look, Light and Sound Solutions chose both a black and white M6 system, to tastefully match the white structural wall and the black internal dividing wall with matching modules. The GEO M6 series includes both a full range module (M620) and a low and mid-frequency partner module (M6B) for applications requiring more powerful reinforcement, such as live music. The black system is comprised of 4 x M620 and 1 x M6B per side, and the white system is comprised of 4 x M620 and 2 x M6B per side.
Daniel Thomas, Senior Project Manager at Light and Sound Solutions Integration, outlines the depth of their involvement in the recent upgrade:
“Light and Sound Solutions is very proud to say that the Broadmeadows Town Hall is one of our flagship projects. The design and product selection meets the aesthetic requirements set out by the architect, whilst also maintaining the sonic quality that the client expects. It is always very difficult to manage the requirement of speaker cabinets needing to be installed into a unique architectural space such as this- but thanks to a fastidious approach by our team, we have been able to achieve fantastic results. In particular, the combination of two white arrays and two black arrays in the same room presented some technical challenges, but the end result looks and sounds fantastic.”
Accompanying the primary line arrays are matching black and white ID24 loudspeaker variations. The ID24 is NEXO’s compact, high-powered loudspeaker system aimed at immersive sound and installation solutions. Part of the newly ratified ‘Inspace Definition’ series, the ID24 was chosen for its rotatable horn system, providing easy tuning of HF coverage, and the dedicated features present in its installation version (ID24-I) such as its captive cable connectivity and cloth grille.
Daniel Thomas reflects on the work undertaken to bring the venue’s new capabilities to fruition:
“The upgrade required an attentive approach, as this project is a refurbishment, not a new build- and the nature of these classic buildings can present a variety of challenges from an audio, video and lighting perspective. The original building did not have suitable cable pathways, rigging or mounting points for the PA, lights, projectors or screens. Our design and installation team were responsible for all the custom work required to build this infrastructure and achieve the installation set out in the Architects Specifications.”
In additional to their integration work in the auditorium, Light and Sound Solutions also contributed to an upgrade of the Broadmeadows Town Hall Gallery space along with additional areas of the town hall. The Gallery is one of Hume City Council’s dedicated visual arts hubs- showcasing both local and international talent, often including both visual and audio requirements. High-fidelity ceiling monitors from Quest Engineering were chosen to provide even sonic coverage across the length of the gallery, neatly integrated into the ceiling.
Quest’s MXC601 is a ceiling-mount version of their award-winning MX series of installation loudspeakers, providing installers with compact building blocks of seamless full range audio. The MX series was used amongst over a hundred Quest Loudspeakers installed by Light and Sound Solutions throughout additional areas of the building.
Recently winning a Victorian Architecture Medal, as well as the John George Knight Award for heritage architecture, Broadmeadows Town Hall has set its sights on serving a new generation of modern-day community needs. In a sign of the times, the town hall is now a hybrid of many functions, not exclusively civic, cultural or commercial, but a combination of all three. With its new cutting-edge AV upgrades, Light and Sound Solutions have ensured that the building’s audio technology will be able to keep up with the modern demands of such a space for years to come.