Kulturhaus, Dornbirn

Situated in Dornbirn, Austria, the Kulturhaus has been a stalwart of the cultural scene in the country’s Vorarlberg region since it first opened its doors in the early 1980s. The venue has been the subject of multiple upgrade efforts over the years, although a recent overhaul of the loudspeaker system in the main hall has been particularly notable for its scale and extent.

Working under the guidance of Thomas Bischofberger and following input from locally-based company Tonplan, the venue’s sound department installed an Alcons Audio system designed for challenging acoustic conditions. The innovative pro-ribbon components of the Alcons system make it possible to deliver crisp, clear audio despite the inherent issues of the venue, with listening tests and subsequent events attended by regular audiences underlining the improvements wrought by the new PA.

Not surprisingly, the amplification and processing sections of the upgraded hall feature equally high-end brands. The systems are powered by one Sentinel S10 and two Sentinel S3 amplifiers, while processing and distribution are courtesy of a Xilica Neutrino A1616-ND and Xilica Rio R1616-N audio matrix, connected via Dante to the venue’s Yamaha CL5 and CL3 consoles.

As this workflow amply illustrates, the venue has been able to take full advantage of the Neutrino range’s support for Audinate’s Dante media networking technology. Devised to deliver Next Generation Processing thanks to Xilica’s 40-bit floating point DSP engine, high performance 24-bit converters, and premium grade mic preamps, the Dante-enabled versions also make it possible to digitally transport Dante network audio long distances over Ethernet cable, with the ND versions also adding digital I/O (8×8 AES/EBU) capability.

As and when required, it is possible to convert Dante digital audio back to analogue audio at the far end using another Series-N model DSP – or as has been implemented at the Kulturhaus – the 16 available analogue outputs contained in the Rio R1616-N breakout box. The end-result is a powerful and highly flexible, Dante-enabled processing and distribution architecture that has performed seamlessly since its implementation.

Subsequent to the installation and calibration processes – which were carried out in conjunction with specialists Pro Performance Wolfgang Sauter – the impressive new audio system has been applied successfully to the hall’s wide range of cultural events, which include orchestral and jazz performances, dance events, conferences, summits and much more.