Meeting Topic: Tour of Hamer Hall
Moderator Name: Graeme Huon
Speaker Name: Nick Carroll - Manager Sound and Vision, Melbourne Arts Centre
Meeting Location: Hamer Hall, Melbourne
On Monday February 15th, 30 members and visitors assembled at the Stage Door of Hamer Hall to meet Nick Carroll, Manager of Sound and Vision for the Arts Centre.
Nick had generously agreed to conduct a tour of their concert venue, Hamer Hall.
After greeting us at the Stage Door, Nick took us to the Balcony where he sat us down and described in detail the acoustic improvements realized in the recent major renovation project. He spent some time on describing the function and operation of the motorized ceiling reflectors. Then he described the various speaker configurations used in the different use-cases for this multi-purpose venue.
He followed this by covering the functions of the D-MITRI speaker management system, and the Digico FOH console, outlining the benefits of a separate speaker management system, despite this function being available within the Digico console. One telling comment he made about the success of the refit was that hirers now seldom wanted to bring in their own equipment, where this had been more common in the past.
Nick then took us further forward in the hall, to a vantage point where we could look up into the ceiling area called the Tech Space, where the lighting trusses, speakers, and the moveable ceiling reflectors were located. He described the speaker setups and the ingenious way the reflectors were deployed.
Then we moved into the Radio Broadcast Booth where we were shown the equipment used when performances are broadcast live-to-air (usually by the ABC), or are pre-recorded.
Following this Nick took us down to the stage level where he allowed us some time to explore the stage area, and then showed us the back-stage areas, including the speaker management units, and the comprehensive XLR and Fibre patch panels.
It was a rare opportunity for us to get an insight behind the scenes of this premier concert hall, where many of us have enjoyed performances as part of the audience.
The AES Melbourne Section thanks Nick Carroll for his generosity with both his time and his knowledge in setting up and conducting this tour, and the Arts Centre management for permitting it.
Written By: Peter Smerdon