Pioneer XY Series Delivers Audio Riches Fit for Dukes
10 / April / 2018
The Audio Group installs XY Series system for multi-purpose cultural hub in Leeds...
Dukes Studios is an open collaborative space in Leeds city centre, housing more than 70 small creative companies. Providing a range of workspaces, creative services and facilities, Dukes also stages a range of live events in its ‘Sheaf St’ public area which comprises a cafe, bar, event space and outdoor terrace. In combination, these spaces create a unique 400 capacity warehouse venue that can accommodate everything from live music and comedy to conferencing and dance music events. Where its music is concerned, Sheaf St is principally (though not exclusively) dedicated to electronic music and plays host to resident and visiting DJs, many of whom enjoy a high profile. Mark E, Greg Wilson, Nicky Siano, Utah Saints and Alex Metric are just a handful the luminous names who have appeared at the Cafe.
Recently awarded a grant as part of the Leeds Tech Hub Fund, Dukes Studios allocated some of the funds toward dramatically upgrading the sound, lighting and projection facilities in Sheaf St to better support the venue’s transformation from impressive conference space by day, to high quality music venue by night. Whilst the venue already attracted a strong following and delivered popular events, its existing audio provision was considered less than adequate for the ambitions of the Studios and integrator The Audio Group was engaged to install a high quality, flexible solution to cover the events space, cafe and the outdoor terrace or ‘Yarden’ as it is known.
Duke Studios Director, James Abbott-Donnelly explains:
“We wanted to dramatically upgrade our existing sound systems across the three Sheaf St spaces, so that we no longer had to hire in equipment for larger events. Our focus was on installing a market-leading system to complement state-of-the-art projection and lighting, which would be of the highest quality and flexible enough to cater for a whole range of events but also as unobtrusive as possible. We required that the three spaces could be quickly programmed for various uses and also that we could distribute sources from one area to the others. This was all to achieved with the minimum of disruption to our existing bookings and adjoining spaces.”
Abbott-Donnelly investigated a number of options and spoke to a number of market-leading brands before concluding that Pioneer Pro Audio best understood the needs of the project. In his judgement, the XY Series, Pioneer Pro Audio’s compact and versatile PA/monitor series used in combination with XPRS high-powered active speakers, would provide the coverage, quality and impact required for the larger music-based events, whilst being discreet and tidy for events where audio quality, though very important, would not necessarily be the primary focus.
The main event space was equipped with 4 x XY-122 for left and right mid-high clusters, 4 x XY-81 for rear and front fill and 4 x XY-218S delivering the low end. The DJ area is served by 2 x XPRS12 as monitors. The system is powered by Powersoft K10, K3 and M50 amplifiers utilising Armoina control software. The cafe space, which by night transforms into a second club room benefits from 4 x XY-81 and 1 x XY-215S as well as 2 x XPRS12 for DJ monitoring and the Yarden is served by 4 x XY-81 and 1 x XY115S.
Paul Adamson, Managing Director of The Audio Group reflects enthusiastically on a job well done:
“I think we got to grips very quickly with interpreting the brief for the job, which was about delivering a genuinely flexible solution that met a wide range of requirements. There is no doubt that the Pioneer Pro Audio XY Series offered exactly the audio flexibility required by this multi-use venue. The install was pretty straightforward - it’s clear that Pioneer have given a lot of thought to XY’s flying and mounting solutions and its aesthetic works beautifully in both the main space and characterful cafe. The control software allowed us to programme the system to take care of the diversity of applications and XY works an absolute treat!”
James Abbot-Donnelly concludes:
“We’re delighted with the system. We have exactly the range and flexibility we wanted and have had super positive feedback from our audiences. The Audio Group guys were great throughout the process - nothing was ever an issue and they worked quickly and professionally under our quite specific constraints. Pioneer Pro Audio were equally helpful - always on hand to offer advice and we’re quite proud that we have the same system (albeit a smidge smaller) as the one in Fabric Room 2!”