The MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall has completed a full renovation of its audio systems to mark 15 years since it was opened in 2004 as the symbol of the «Kawasaki – City of Music» initiative. NEXO GEO M Series line arrays were selected, paired with Yamaha’s CL5 Digital Console, to provide the front-of-house system, installed by Yamaha Music Japan.
The MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall, constructed specifically for classical music, was opened around the same time that Kawasaki City started its entered into a franchise contract with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Since then, MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall has become home to the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and rehearsals are held there on a daily basis.
The audio renovation was done in two steps. In 2016, the audio mixing console was replaced with the Yamaha CL5 and the core audio transmission system was upgraded to the Dante audio network. In the second phase, the NEXO GEO M10 and GEO M6 line arrays were installed.
The adoption of Dante for digital audio networking provided great advantages, for example, if there is a sudden need to transmit for recording or transmit to a temporarily-installed speaker for an event, the hall technicians only have to connect the installed Dante LAN cable to a converter to immediately connect to a speaker or recorder.
When the Hall first opened, artists would take their bows and leave after their performance. However, in recent years, there has been a trend towards performers using microphones to talk to the audience from the stage. Before the renovation, there were seats where it was difficult to hear the sound of microphones, and some audience members complained that they could not hear the performers’ voice or could not understand what was being said. The new system was required to fix this problem.
For this renovation, NEXO GEO M10 Line Array Speakers were installed for FOH, with NEXO GEO M6 Speakers to cover the rear and the sides, enabling the audience to clearly hear announcements from any seat in the Hall. Audience members immediately recognized the improved clarity. Performers were asking, «Did you change anything? The audience is now able to hear us talking. »
Two retractable speaker positions have been installed in the ceiling above the stage. From each, there is a drop down array with seven GEO M10 modules. Two clusters of GEO M6 compact line array modules can also be lowered from these positions: one cluster has four M6 units facing to the side, and the other has three M6 modules facing rearward. A combination of GEO M6 cabinets and ID24 compact speakers are installed in the ceiling above the audience. All NEXO systems are driven by a beautifully-installed complement of NEXO NXAMPMk2 amplifiers.
For a musical or opera, microphones are sometimes used to amplify the voices over and above a large orchestra. This was something the Hall management was reluctant to do but, after updating the speakers, they can now say, «Why not give it a try?» In their opinion, there will be an increase in the use of audio systems in classical music as well, depending on the situation, and they would like to make active use of the new line array system.
NEXO thanks Ms. Maeda, Public Relations and Sales Section; Mr. Takeuchi, General Manager; and Mr. Tsutsumi, in charge of Hall rentals, MUZA Kawasaki Symphony Hall, for their help with this article.