BBC Proms 2018

Photo courtesy of James Cumpstey

Project Description

The BBC Proms is one of the most British of musical institutions. Founded over a century ago, it is an eight-week summer season of concerts, predominantly held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, with Cadogan Hall hosting chamber music, and Proms in the Park events held across the UK on The Last Night of the Proms. Delta Live has provided sound for the Proms for nearly two decades, first working on the yearly event in 2000. The round-shaped Royal Albert Hall is an acoustically tricky venue, and over this time, Delta has refined the design of the systems they use there in an attempt to overcome the room’s notorious reflections.

For this year’s series of Proms, Delta Live chose L-ISA Hyperreal Sound for the ten Royal Albert Hall performances, giving the system its Proms debut and audiences an intensely real audio experience.

Sound Design Solution

A classic design would use a left-right configuration of 14 K2 and two K1SB per side and eight flown KS28. Delta’s L-ISA configuration comprises five arrays of 15 L-Acoustics Kara each, positioned equidistantly across the stage, along with four KS28 subwoofers flown centrally. This configuration places 60% of the audience in the ‘L-ISA zone’, the area of coverage which fully benefits from Hyperreal Sound imaging. A conventional mono fill system covers the remainder of the venue. An X12 was placed either side of the stage, with four X8 positioned across the stage lip as front fill for the first few rows of the audience. A DiGiCo SD5 sat at front of house and the shows were mixed using the console’s native L-ISA Desk Link interface, which connects directly with the L-ISA Controller and outputs to the L-ISA Processor.

L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
L/R Design L/R Design
L-ISA Design L-ISA Design
L/R Design L/R Design

Technical Information

TypeTheatre
Venue45m deep x 55m wide
Stage12m wide front x 25m wide rear x 0.95m high
FOH23m from D.S.E.

Constraints

Min trim height11m (from stage)

Sound Design Target

Program typeVarious
Program type>= 105 dBA
SPL distribution6 – 9 dB
Frequency contour8 dB (@ 100hz)
Frequency contour4 dB (@ 40hz)

L/R Coverage

Strong Imaging

Weak Imaging

L-ISA Coverage

Strong Imaging

Weak Imaging

“It’s a fantastic listening experience. In fact, I don’t want to go back to using a stereo system, especially in a circular room like this; L-ISA is the right way to go.”

— Stephen Hughes, Delta Live Account Director