Professional Sound - June 2017 - Page 29

as much time as we needed finessing the elements, pre-programming the amplifi- ers, and finessing the EQ curves, so all that time in the front end was great for accu- racy. There wasn’t a lot of playing around with splay angles when we came to the real-world application. It was pretty much bang on the money when we turned the system on.” He also echoes McKendrick’s statement about the venue’s layout being a challenge in terms of getting gear into the space. “We’d typically pre-build the floor-to-ceiling racks [at our facility], test them, and bring them all to site,” he explains, “but you can’t drag a 44 U amp rack weighing 600 pounds into Massey Hall.” Instead, they had to bring in the com- ponents almost piece-by-piece and compile them onsite. “I think, from start to finish, it was 10 days to pull the old system out, tune it, commission it, build all the racks, test all the fibre, and then do the programming for the Galileos and Optocore network,” he recalls. Ultimately, Radu and some of his Solo- tech Toronto colleagues – including Senior Audio Engineer John Lacina – had a signif- icant advantage by way of their intimate knowledge of the venue from their time at PA Plus. “The amount of shows we’ve done in there … I’d hate to guess,” Radu says after a brief ponder. “John Lacina is still with the live sound and rental division at Solotech, and he’s probably done more shows in there than anybody over the years. He’s Massey Hall from the stage tried all these little nuances, tweaking the installs we’ve done as we go, so he knows what works in that room and what doesn’t, and how to best tie everything together.” Lacina spent three days onsite during commissioning, which both Radu and McK- endrick admit was a big help. “He was really our liaison between what looked good on paper and the real-world application,” Radu notes, “so that was a big advantage.” Radu and McKendrick also praise Nash and d&B audiotechnik for their involve- ment in the project, which Radu says went above and beyond what could have been expected, especially considering the com- pressed timeline. McKendrick is proud to report that the comments they’ve had about the sound sys- tem have been “universally fantastic,” adding: “Those Galileos have basically not been used because people typically walk in and say, ‘That’s great,’ and carry on with their day.” He credits the team at Solotech for successfully pulling everything together in the allotted timeframe. “They were handed a pretty tall order here, especially with the timeline, which had to work around our show activity, and they delivered perfectly,” he states. “It far exceeded my expectations.” Radu thinks back to the first show he attended with the system in use – an early April affair with Smashing Pumpkins – “and man, it sounded phen omenal,” he enthus- es. “To be honest, since that first show, we haven’t gone back there to do any re- finessing of the system whatsoever. It was bang-on from day one.” Massey Hall is now amidst the earliest stages of its $135-million enhancement, which will see its doors close in mid-2018 for about two years while the auditorium is significantly revitalized and a new building is added to the rear of the hall on its south side. The overhaul will include a proper loading dock, new lobby and performance spaces, and some other technical enhance- ments, including better capabilities for live broadcasts and remote recordings. “This is our first step towards a much different Massey Hall – one that will be a lot friendlier to visiting productions,” McKend- rick says, though of course, the new sound and lighting systems will also heighten the experience for the venue’s esteemed pa- trons, now and as the iconic landmark en- ters a new era of entertainment in Toronto. Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29