Working from home? Switch to the DIGITAL edition of FRONT of HOUSE. CLICK HERE to signup now!
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

May Theater in Japan Spring Cleans its Sound with L-Acoustics Kiva II

FOH Staff • International News • May 7, 2021

Exterior of the Suita City Cultural Hall

OSAKA, Japan – The May Theater in Osaka, Japan, which began a comprehensive renovation in mid-2019, upgraded with an L-Acoustics Kiva II system in its 1,400-seat performance hall. Japan Advanced Technology Operations (JATO) and Bestec Audio supported the theater with the upgrade.

More details from L-Acoustics (www.l-acoustics.com):

The proscenium system comprising 11 L-Acoustics Kiva II, with two L-Acoustics SB15 subwoofers flown behind. On each side, an installation of eight Kiva II, two SB15m, and one SB18i were rigged alongside one X12, acting as infills. Eight X8i under the stage act as frontfills.

The May Theater, also known as the Suita City Cultural Hall, in Osaka is a venerable performing center that has been on the Sound Engineers & Artists Society of Japan’s list of the Top 100 Best Halls by Acousticians since it was opened in 1985. The cultural center includes a 1,400-seat large performance hall, a medium sized hall, a reception hall and an exhibition space. The multi-faceted venue hosts concerts, operas and classical Japanese theatre, as well as social gatherings and art exhibitions.

In July 2019, May Theater began a thorough renovation project, including an update to the point source sound system in the large performance hall, which was well over 20 years old. “The previous point source speakers were placed inside a speaker box, which made it impossible to deliver uniform sound quality throughout the auditorium,” explains Satoshi Tanio, sound engineer at the May Theater.

Tanio’s team evaluated systems from several different brands. “We chose L-Acoustics because they are the pioneers and leaders in the development of line array speakers and because their systems all have good phase characteristics.”

Japan Advanced Technology Operations (JATO) was tasked with recommending and upgrading the theater’s system to line array, with the support of local L-Acoustics Certified Provider Distributor (CPd) Bestec Audio.

he proscenium system comprising 11 L-Acoustics Kiva II, with two L-Acoustics SB15 subwoofers flown behind

JATO’s Taiki Imamura knew that May Theater was working to a fixed budget, so he proposed a Kiva II-based line array system. “I was confident that Kiva II, with its powerful SPL, offered the perfect balance between price and quality,” he explains.

Shigeru Matsuo, from the installation team at JATO, helped design the system with the May Theater team. “During the design and installation process, we used L-Acoustics Soundvision 3D simulation software, which provided us with a clear idea of what the finished system will sound like throughout the venue,” Matsuo says. The May Theater team was able to provide CAD files of the performance space, allowing JATO to precisely plot speaker placement.

Soundvision 3D mapping of sound coverage from the main system

The final configuration consists of a proscenium system for the main hall of 11 Kiva II with two SB15 subwoofers flown behind. On each side, an installation of eight Kiva II, two SB15m, and one SB18i were rigged alongside one X12, acting as infills. Eight X8i were deployed under the stage as frontfills. Seven LA4X amplified controllers drive the system, connected to the mixing console via AES. To minimize cable lengths, the amplified controllers are placed just behind the proscenium’s arch.

For dance events that require more dynamic sound reinforcement, May Theater also added a mobile system of six Kiva II with two SB15m and two SB18 per side, plus six X12 and six X8 as monitors, with two LA8 amplified controllers.

May Theater Stage Manager Koho Maekawa is happy with the abilities of the Kiva II sound system to handle all the different content produced at the theater, and to offer the community a quality experience. “Kiva II has dramatically improved sound clarity throughout the hall,” Maekawa praises.

Mobile system of six Kiva II atop two SB15m and two SB18 per side, plus six X12 and 6 X8 as monitors sit on stage

Find out more about Japan Advanced Technology Operations (JATO) at www.jato.co.jp

Check out the programs available at the May Theater at www.maytheater.jp

Find out more about Bestec Audio’s work in Japan at www.bestecaudio.com

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!