National Theatre, Latvia

Constructed at the turn of the 20th century but regularly modernised and enhanced ever since, the Latvian National Theatre, located in Riga, remains one of the country’s most influential artistic establishments. In line with its contemporary focus, the theatre’s technical personnel have always maintained a cutting-edge technological infrastructure – not least the implementation, several years ago, of an Audinate Dante media networking system.

Support for the Dante network, as well the ability to cope with the requirements of a new stage-tracking system for dynamic panning, were among the requirements confronting AV specialist 3S when it was invited to recommend and supply a fresh processing rack for the venue. AES inputs for digital audio were also essential, re-calls Einars Cintins, who is Managing Director of 3S.

“Taking all of these requirements into account, it quickly became clear that the Xilica platform was the first choice for this project – and that with the Neutrino Series-N models, which provide full Dante-enabled network audio capability, we had our solution,” says Cintins.

Each of the two Neutrino A1616-N processors makes it possible to digitally transport 16×16 I/O channels of Dante network audio long distances over Ethernet cable, with an optional Rio R1616-N Dante-enabled breakout box utilised for the project allowing easy conversion back to the analogue domain. Meanwhile, the two Neutrino devices enable audio from multiple inputs, including the stage-tracking system, to be fed to the various ‘speaker zones’ located around the venue.

Cintins had some prior experience of Xilica products in the live environment, but the Latvian National Theatre project marked his first major encounter in the install world. “We really decided it was time to see what Xilica could do in this context, and I am very glad that we did,” he says. “Above all, there was the significant improve-ment in overall quality from the previous processing set-up – as well as the reduction in rack space, as what previously took five DSPs of the formerly used brand can now be done by two of the Xilica units!

“Then there is the fact that it was so straightforward to implement – indeed, the whole process to set-up, configure and get everything running took less than four hours. Subsequent to the original installation phase, there have obviously been a number of software updates, but these have proven to be trouble-free.

“The end-result is that the theatre’s technical team has a very versatile processing system as well as one that is extremely stable and reliable. They are delighted by its performance to date.”