A cultural centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia recently undertook a large audio installation with Sennheiser Group. BroadcastPro ME brings you the details Saudi Arabias Souk Okaz public theatre in Taif has deployed a state-of-the-art audio system from Sennheiser Group. The installation was undertaken in partnership with KSA-based Modern Lifestyles. The historic Souk Okaz was established […]
A cultural centre in Taif, Saudi Arabia recently undertook a large audio installation with Sennheiser Group. BroadcastPro ME brings you the details
Saudi Arabias Souk Okaz public theatre in Taif has deployed a state-of-the-art audio system from Sennheiser Group. The installation was undertaken in partnership with KSA-based Modern Lifestyles.
The historic Souk Okaz was established 12 centuries ago and has been revived as a tourist resort in Taif, a city in Saudi Arabia. Now celebrating its sixth anniversary year, Souk Okaz which was re-established by Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal is an annual event featuring a variety of cultural events including seminars, poetic evenings and folk performances. At the heart of Souk Okaz is the public theatre which boasts a seating capacity for more than 3000 people. The modern day auditorium which is built in the historic marketplace is the venue for poetry and storytelling competitions.
Eager to ensure the best listening experience for visitors to the fair, but limited by minimal experience in the field of audio engineering, Ascon Co. Ltd., the contractor for the project, turned to Modern Lifestyles, a Jeddah-based distributor specialising in audio and entertainment solutions.
The Souk Okaz theatre is a semi-permanent tent structure and Modern Lifestyles was tasked with designing a solution that would account for unique echo and reverb issues in such a setting. Also, given the nature of the structure, the systems would have to operate effectively under a wide range of weather and site conditions.
Modern Lifestyles proposed a solution by Sennheiser Middle East that included a DAS Audio AERO 8-A Line-Array system and Sennheiser G3 wireless systems with antenna distribution.
Commenting on the factors behind the selection, Majd Al Khattib, Technical Director at Modern Lifestyles said, With the poetry and story telling competitions taking centrestage at the fair, Saudi Diyar and Ascon had set extremely high expectations of the audio systems. The solution had to be customised to handle speech and poetry with the utmost clarity. These requirements coupled with the complexity raised by the tent-like structure meant that we need to select a vendor with both the best product and the most professional support services.
Al Khattib added: We carried out extensive market analysis and we were extremely impressed with the Sennheiser team throughout the stringent selection process. They were the most thorough and carried out extensive acoustic analysis, with direct support from DAS Audio, to present us with simulations that ensured optimal performance.
Sennheiser ME worked closely with Modern Lifestyles through each phase of the project including programming and commissioning of the system.
There were aspects of the project that raised unique challenges for the design team. For one, the auditorium is situated atop a 1900m mountain plateau and a part of this mountain is contained within the theatre to create a rustic feel.
Ryan Burr, Technical Sales Manager for Sennheiser said: There were certain complexities that required for us to be flexible in our design approach. To ensure that we got the project realised in a concise and efficient manner, we took the decision to get Sennheiser UKs sound reinforcement specialist, involved with the commissioning.
Modern Lifestyles systems integration team completed the installation within just four days after which the team from Sennheiser ME began extensive testing of the system. This involved sound pressure testing and comparison of the systems actual performance to that during simulation. The results exceeded the performance metrics on all criteria, according to Modern Lifestyles.
The theatre now boasts a state-of-the-art audio solution that has been implemented within budget and provides huge flexibility. The use of Sennheisers wireless products allows for changes to be made rapidly as the DAS speakers can be easily repositioned to meet dynamic requirements.
We are excited about launching this theatre in 2013. We are sure that the experience will be different now that the sound system and all other ancillary components are ready, added Modern Lifestyles Al Khattib.