A brand new musical theatre has opened in Japan, situated between the 11th and 16th floors of the new 1.27 billion dollar 34-storey Shibuya Hikarie glass tower in Tokyo and has installed Optocore fibre cables.
Tokyo’s Theatre Orb’s first production was of West Side Story and signal distribution was via an Optocore fibre backbone provided by the German company’s Japanese representatives, Acoustic Technical Laboratory Inc (ATL). This ambitious project was floated by owners, the Tokyo Corporation, in 2008 and ATL became involved after Yamaha Sound Systems Inc (Yamaha SS), the biggest sound system construction company for theatres and auditoria in Japan, had specified an Optocore solution in their proposal.
According to Tetsushi Hirai of Yamaha SS, the client had requested that the optical fibre backbone in view of the long distance transmission of dialogue and music between the 1972-seat auditorium, stage and mixing control room as well as the date transmission between floors, including the Hikarie Hall A & B on the 9th floor.
Yamaha SS constructed the digital architecture around 9 Optocore DD32R-FX primary interfaces which were connected to 9 X6R-TP-16LO and 9 X6R-TP-16MI converters. Initially these are linked via AES D-Sub 25 but this will transfer to Optocore’s SANE (Synchronous Audio Network plus Ethernet) protocol. The Optocore system derives its clock signal from a Rosendahl Nanoclocks master clock generator.
By outputting to a Meyer Sound M’elodie line array system with 600-HP subs, the Optocore system can be divided into three smaller systems. The first is mounted on device racks in the control room, the second on a rack on the stage and the third is mounted on a mobile rack that can be freely moved within the hall allowing it to be connected to different optical connector panels. The hall itself contains a network of optical fibres that are patched for use over the 256-channel matrix.
The signal I/O for the control room and stage systems are connected to an XLR patch panel and connections are made depending on the requirements of the event being staged. In the control room, some of the signals are generally patched for a Yamaha PM5D or DM2000 console via AES, while the mobile rack is used in combination with the DD32R-FX and the converter unit, wherever it is needed.
Shibuya is in the heart of Tokyo’s busy shopping district, though Hikarie itself can be seen as a new cultural hub.
Yasuhito Terada, a technical director at Tokyu Theatre Orb, confirms that in addition to the permanently installed system they are also looking to set up a temporary independent system that can be used either for stage I/O or to connect between FOH and stage monitors.
The Optocore digital signal flow will continue to provide the new theatre with a flexible solution.
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