Renowned as a haven for the country’s creative community, Valparaiso is known as Chile’s capital of culture, earning UNESCO world heritage status in 2003. The art deco Municipal Theatre of Valparaiso is an important live music venue for the city.

After a decade of heavy use, the theatre’s main PA was due for replacement. The contract to provide a new loudspeaker solution capable of delivering the audio quality and longevity required for this hardworking venue was awarded to Santiago-based AV installation specialist, Novotic S.A. The installation was delivered by Novotic in partnership with local AV integrator and events company, AFL Sonido e Imagen, working closely with the theatre’s in-house technical team to complete the project with minimal disruption to the venue’s events schedule.

A compact Audiofocus ARES 8 line array system was selected to deliver the coverage and intelligibility required for the 1,500 seat venue. A total of 18 ARES 8 line source elements have been installed, including 14 in the main PA and a further four in delay positions. Two flown pairs of S 18 subwoofers complement the line array, with an Audiofocus C3 MKII processor performing all speaker management duties. The system was tuned online by Pepe Ferrer of Global Audio Solutions of Barcelona using the company’s RiTA analyser software. Some elements of the previous speaker system were retained and relocated beneath the stage as a front fill.

“They weren’t thinking about subwoofers or rock bands when the theatre was built back in 1931, so there were some acoustic challenges to address, including the very high ceiling, reverberation and natural enhancement in the low frequencies,” explains AFL Sonido technical director, Camilo Lefebvre. “Audiofocus is our go-to brand for the live events side of our business, so we were confident that the ARES 8s would give us the great clarity, coverage and intelligibility we needed, and the S 18s are ideal for providing high SPL and a gorgeous punchy sound in a compact package. Audiofocus’ first-class tech support was also a big consideration as spare parts availability can be a problem with some brands in these latitudes.”

The installation was completed in January 2022 and was immediately put into action.