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L-Acoustics KUDO Installed in historic Helsinki Venue

L- Acoustics’ Finnish distributor Starlike has supplied a new sound reinforcement system to the Old Student House, a multipurpose hall in the centre of Helsinki dating back to 1870. The installation features five KUDO line source cabinets and an SB28 sub bass unit per side, with a 12XT coaxial providing centre fill, driven by five LA8 amplified controllers.

As the venue is protected by the Finnish National board of Antiquities, any changes to the building or its structure were strictly forbidden. “My mission was to find a high quality system for this very demanding venue,” says Old Student House sound engineer Sami Ahonen. “Any acoustic treatment is forbidden, and the stone walls and hard wood floor create a very powerful and long reverberation.”

One of the venue’s main requirement was to have an angle of horizontal coverage of 90° or less to avoid unwanted spillage to the side walls, something Ahonen found difficult to create during demos of numerous loudspeaker products. “Finally I was introduced to KUDO, which has three different modes of horizontal coverage: 50/110° or 80°,” he says. “It’s one of the few systems in the world which is capable of adjusting the width coverage. Needless to say, with KUDO it was possible to cut down the unwanted reverberation and problems caused by it.”

Ahonen and his team used KUDO’s K-LOUVER Modular Directivity Technology to adjust the horizontal directivity to 80° in the two lowest cabinets in the array, tightening the top three boxes up to 50°. “This has worked really well,” he says. “The lower cabinets create an even coverage at the front, while the top cabinets throw further away, avoiding excess spill into the walls. KUDO is the only system in the market to offer such flexibility.”

KUDO’s low frequency capabilities were another important factor for the venue, allowing them to obtain the greatest possible coherence. “We’ve made a few adjustments with the LA8 preset,” says Ahonen. “Right now we’re using KUDO with the 25Hz preset, meaning a great deal of the low frequency energy is actually coming from the KUDOs, with the SB28s delivering the very bottom end. I’m also using the LA Network Manager’s Array Morphing tool extensively to compensate for the amount of LF energy caused by the room acoustics. This makes my life much easier as I can decrease the low frequency range in a better way without having to use extra EQ.”

L-Acoustics’ LA Network Manager is also extremely useful in adapting the Old Student House for the multiple events held there, from rock concerts to business seminars and product launches. The house engineers are using the LA Network Manager extensively to change presets for different program requirements, using settings such as ‘seminar preset’ and a ‘rock-preset’ for different low frequency contours.
“This great venue is historic and valuable and it is so nice we now have a great sounding PA too!” concludes Ahonen.





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