Venue 1 was the main venue of the students union prior to redevelopment. It was designed to be a multipurpose venue, and as such could hold bops, theatre productions, Live TV sports screenings, boxing, and debates.
A map of the venue can be found here
Venue 1 had three main rigging areas: the Octagon, the Stage Rig and the LX Bars, numbered LX1 (nearest the stage), LX2 and LX3 (farthest from stage) as well as "Left" and "Right". At times, the space frame above the front of the octagon was used for rigging lights; this was referred to as LX2.5.
There were also 2 side projectors mounted on the octagon, pointing at screens above the speaker stacks on either side of stage, and a projector pointing at a roll-down screen which filled the entire proscenium arch. These were all linked to Entsputer, while the latter was also linked to a Freeview tuner.
Equipment-wise, the venue had
- Jands Dimmers
- Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 300s, Clay Paky Alpha Spot 300s and Clay Paky Alpha Wash 300s
- Coemar ProSpot 250 LXs and Coemar ProWash 250 LXs
- ChromaQ Scrollers
- Parcans, Fresnels, Shoeboxes and Profiles
The FOH sound system in the venue was a Martin Audio Wavefront series system. The two stacks of speakers, one on either side of the stage, each comprised:
- 2x Martin Audio W8C three-way horn-loaded mid-high cabinets
- 3x Martin Audio WSX front loaded folded horn subwoofer cabinets
Total power handling of the speakers was ~5.6kW AES, ~22.5kW peak.
- The subs were the original WSX model with the original RCF L18P300 drivers rated (by Martin) at 600W AES/2.4kW peak. They were NOT the current WSXa model offered by Martin, which have newer drivers rated at 1kW AES.
- Front-loaded horn subwoofers were a poor choice for indoor use, for use in stacks of less than 4x & for use with an audience closer than 12 feet. Thus sub coverage in the venue was poor, whilst sound pollution outside the venue was high.
- In order to properly cover the width of the venue with mid-high, especially for audience members close to the stage, the W8C cabinets needed to be positioned & splayed correctly. Each W8C cabinet had a 55° horizontal coverage. A 40° splay between 2x W8C cabinets (26cm/10" between cabinet front covers) provided a flat 95° horizontal coverage, which was sufficient to cover the width of the venue when the cabinets were positioned correctly. A smaller splay would not only reduce the horizontal coverage, but also boost the forward output levels - the result being that the centre of the venue was too quiet whilst the areas in front of the speakers was too loud. Essentially, the inner W8C on top of each stack of subs should have been rotated 62.5° inwards (from the perpendicular pointing straight out of the subs toward the rear wall of the venue), whilst the outer W8C on top of each stack should have been rotated 12.5° outwards. However in reality the surface area of the top of the subs wasn't enough to actually rotate the W8C that much without them toppling off...
The venue amp rack contained:
- 2x Martin MX5 System Controllers
- 1x Crest Audio VS1500 (W8C compression drivers)
- 1x C-Audio RA4001 (W8C 6.5" mid drivers)
- 1x Crown XTi 4002 (W8C 12" low drivers)
- 2x JBL MPX1200 (WSX)
The MX5 units were responsible for taking a full range line-level signal (such as that from a DJ mixer or sound desk) & splitting it into 4x frequency bands (sub, low, mid, high) each of which was output to the respective amp. The MX5's also apply the necessary delays (due to different horn lengths of the different drivers) & had (internally set) limiters to ensure that (even when the AVC2 was bypassed) the speakers could not be damaged by excessive power. The MX5's were mono units, hence why there are 2x of them - one handled the left channel, the other handled the right channel.
The Crest, C-Audio & Crown amps all ran in a stero configuration (eg the Crest powered the left stack's W8C compression drivers from one of its channels & the right stack's W8C compression drivers from its other channel). However the JBL amps each powered one stack's WSX subwoofers - the top unit powered the left stack's subs whilst the bottom unit powered the right stack's subs. On both units channel 1 powered the top sub in its respective stack, whilst channel 2 powered the bottom 2 subs in its respective stack.
The processing rack on top of the amp rack contained: