L-Acoustics Kara system for ‘Switzerland’s largest theatre’

The Théâtre de Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland – hailed as the country’s ‘largest and most important’ theatre – has installed an L-Acoustics Kara system as part of a recent renovation.

Opened in 1954, the theatre has hosted some big stars from the second half of the twentieth century including Edith Piaf, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Quincy Jones.

The new Kara-based sound system was selected thanks to its coverage, sound pressure levels and ‘impeccable’ sound quality. L-Acoustics’ Swiss distributor, Hyperson SA, was tasked with its design and installation.

In January 2016, the theatre’s owner joined forces with Opus One – one of Switzerland’s leading event organisers – to embark upon the renovation, which was planned over several years and also put in place a more diverse schedule of productions for the venue to include dance, major musical shows and comedies, as well as playing host to comedians and live music.

"L-Acoustics Kara was chosen as the ideal solution for the room because it provides a perfect combination of SPL and coverage. It is also very rider friendly," said Fabian Schild, who heads up the fixed installation department at Hyperson. “We were able to integrate the system by opening up insets at the either side of the stage to leave the proscenium arch totally empty, which is what the theatre’s owners wanted.”

The system was designed with the aid of L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D acoustical simulation programme and comprises two hangs of 12 Kara each, positioned in the aforementioned insets, with four ground stacked SB18 in cardioid configuration directly below the main Kara hangs to cover the main auditorium, and a further two SB18, one either side, sited above the Karas to cover the balcony. Five X8s sit on the stage lip to provide front-fill, with a further two X8s looking after under balcony fill. The whole system is amplified by ten LA4X amplified controllers.

Sixteen X15 and three SB18, with amplification from seven LA8, completes the system. These are mobile and can be used either for additional coverage if required, or as a multifunctional speaker, particularly for dance productions.

“With the new Kara system, the productions we welcome to Théâtre de Beaulieu don’t need any persuading to use our house system,” concluded Nicolas Girardet, the theatre’s sound manager. “Considering the multitude of production styles we host, and preferences of their technicians, this was an important challenge. The end result is a truly exceptional sound system."