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Old Barn Audio Ensures Versatile Looks for Iconic Norwich Arts Centre with Chauvet Professional

Old Barn Audio Ensures Versatile Looks for Iconic Norwich Arts Centre with Chauvet Professional
Old Barn Audio Ensures Versatile Looks for Iconic Norwich Arts Centre with Chauvet Professional

UK – The Norwich Arts Centre is something of a local legend. Despite its relatively compact capacity, the independently run multi-award winning venue has punched well above its weight in cultural terms since opening its doors 40 years ago thanks to its ability to house a wide range of live music and theatrical performances.

In a bid to safeguard its reputation as 'Britain's Best Small Venue' (as awarded by the NME back in 2014), the venue recently commissioned Old Barn Audio to upgrade its outdated lighting rig as part of a venue-wide modernization. Providing the cornerstone to Old Barn Audio’s solution was a roster of LED fixtures from Chauvet Professional that included eight Rogue R1X Spot, eight Rogue R2 Wash, 12 Ovation E-160WW Spot and 15 COLORdash Accent Quad fixtures.

In order to ensure a multi-faceted solution for general stage looks and effects, Chris Packham of Old Barn Audio specified the combination of Rogue R1X Spot and Rogue R2 Wash fixtures, positioning them in parallel lines above and to the sides of the stage. In combining the R1X Spot’s gobo effects with the saturated colours of R2 Wash, Packham was able to equip the venue with a toolbox of looks to cover a wide spectrum of purposes, from indie gigs to plays and poetry nights.

“The optics and gobo effects of the R1X Spots are perfect for the venue, and definitely give a much larger and exciting feel to the overall stage area,” said Packham. “The R2 Wash fixtures, on the other hand, were specified for their excellent zoom function and deep, saturated colours. This makes them great as a theatrical wash, but also as effect lights for live music.”

Playing a supporting role within Packham’s stage set up are the Ovation Fresnel fixtures, which have been positioned at FOH to mimic a more traditional theatrical set up. Split over two trussing elements above FOH, the arrangements of fixtures work in unison to create a flat and even field of illumination while ensuring flawless colour rendering and clarity of output to illuminate the subjects on stage.

“The Ovations will be used mostly for theatrical purposes, but are versatile enough to provide front lighting for live musical acts and other events,” commented Packham. “The profiles are currently rigged to be used as general spot and front illumination, however with the optional 15/30 zoom lens they are also able to be used as wash if required.”

With part of the regeneration project within the theatre geared around increasing energy efficiency, the Ovation fixtures provide a suitable replacement for the highly inefficient halogen par cans once employed within the theatre. Thanks to the Ovation’s tungsten emulating LED technology, however, Packham and his team have ensured visual consistency while giving the venue a much needed step to greener power usage.

Complementing the stage set up with general atmospheric lighting are the COLORdash fixtures, which Packham positioned from the venue’s roof trussing system. With the fixture’s ability to generate wide beam saturated wash effects, the lighting technicians now have the option to illuminate the venue’s beautiful columns and arches, arguably one of its most distinguishing features.

“The COLORdash fixtures allow the newly exposed roof and arches to be illuminated in a beautiful cornucopia of colour,” concluded Packham. “The result is a brilliant lighting effect, which serves as a contrast between the 19th century church architecture and the modern technology now installed within the venue.”

31st January 2020

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