Set on the Welbeck Estate in Nottinghamshire, Hazel Gap Barn is a stunning wedding venue made up of two traditional red brick farm buildings, a farmhouse which is now kitchens and guest facilities and the barn itself which serves as both ceremony room and dance floor.
As in any venue of this type, sound quality is critical so the decision was made to invest in a solution that would not only significantly improve the audio for guests, but also ensure that anyone outside of the building did not suffer from any unwanted noise.
It was at this point that Performance Sound & Light got involved. They worked with the team at Cripps Barn to understand the requirements of the building and specify a system that was mindful of both sound quality and acoustics.
To achieve the dual aims cited by Cripps Barn, a Funktion-One system was installed, based around the ultra-compact F55 loudspeaker.
As Adam Hornblow, CEO at Performance Sound & Light, explains: “The setup is built on the principle of a distributed system, which means that wherever you are in the building there’ll always be a speaker close by. Although we’re putting in lots of speakers you don’t actually turn them up very much as everybody is close to one so the perceived volume is greater while the overall amount of power used is reduced. It also improves acoustics as everyone is hearing direct sound rather than something that has been echoing around the rafters before it arrives at their ears.”
In addition, the issue of noise outside of the venue is solved because the speakers interact with each other such that there’s quite a lot of cancellation if you’re outside. As Hornblow states: “The system causes less of an issue for noise disturbance outside, it improves acoustics and quality inside, and overall uses lower volumes to cover a larger area more evenly.”
When it comes to the cabling infrastructure, Hornblow was adamant that a high-quality solution was needed. “Any speaker system is only as good as the room you put it in and the components that make it up,” he explains. “You could feed the best quality in the world in, but if the components in between the media player and the speakers are not of sufficient quality then the listener will never hear the difference.”
To ensure quality across the board, various Van Damme multicores, including Blue Series 8 pair and 4 pair, along with Black Series Tour Grade speaker cable were chosen for the installation. “Van Damme are widely respected as the pinnacle of joining everything together, we agree, so we use Van Damme,” adds Hornblow.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, a major challenge that had to be overcome during this project was the acoustics of the room. As Hazel Gap is an old stone barn with a very high roof it was important to design a system that could cope with such a tricky environment.
“It’s challenging to say the least but that’s the reason for choosing the products we’ve chosen. We’re pointing speakers down into a crowd and using lots of sources so the reflective noise is kept to a minimum; people are hearing clean sound which is very close in, so that overcomes some of the challenges that the room presents.”
Hornblow has worked with VDC on many projects over the years and, as a company that invests in quality products, he very much values the reliability of Van Damme cables: “The quality of the cables forms a very important part of the installation; the cabling is the longest part of the job because people expect it to be neat – especially in a wedding venue – and it can be a difficult element, so having cables that behave the way you expect them to, are of high quality and have been designed with engineers in mind is a really significant part of any installation.”