Vancouver Island’s Largest Performance Theatre selects Q-SYS for Network Audio and Control

Opened in 1913, the historic Royal Theatre is Vancouver Island’s largest theatre.  The 1,416 seat venue plays host to a diverse range of productions, including Broadway musicals, contemporary dance, rock shows, classical music, lecturers and more. With plans to upgrade the AV system, the theatre selected the Q-SYS Ecosystem to provide network audio and control throughout.

Warren Busby, Head of Audio at the Royal Theatre, chose Q-SYS after a successful install at the nearby McPherson Playhouse.  “We used McPherson as our proof of concept for the larger, more prestigious Royal Theatre. Q-SYS made it easy to scale the original design to meet the needs of the theater without completely starting from scratch.”

Redundant Q-SYS Integrated Core processors handle background music, paging and software-based control throughout the theatre, which includes two lobby spaces, a backstage area and the main performance auditorium. Should the primary Core go offline for any reason, the secondary Core will seamlessly assume full audio streaming and control communication of the entire system, ensuring the “show can go on” without any interruption.

The team took advantage of the Q-SYS software-based, paging platform to enable live pages and pre-recorded announcements to any zone in the venue, without the need for additional hardware.  When each announcement plays, the background music level is automatically attenuated to ensure live and pre-recorded pages are heard clearly.

The simplicity of Q-SYS Control allowed Busby to dive deeper into system control than he expected.  “I’m not a trained programmer,” explained Busby, “but the Block Controller tool allowed me to visually code the various controls that were required.  It helped me achieve some fairly complex control functionality without ever typing a single line of code.” 

Using Q-SYS UCI Editor, Busby deployed three distinct, visually impactful UCIs, each customized to achieve specific tasks related to their locations: one for master front-of-house (FOH) control, one for master backstage control, and one that offers pre-recorded paging & volume controls that was deployed to multiple Q-SYS touch screen controllers throughout the venue.

For amplification, the team chose Q-SYS Ecosystem native CXD-Q Series network amplifiers. These amplifiers allow for simple control and monitoring via Q-SYS touch screen controllers. For the two lobbies and backstage area, the team deployed a mixture of QSC AcousticDesign Series loudspeakers.  The AD Series loudspeakers were selected because of their unobtrusive design, which easily blends in with the original Rocco/Renaissance Revival style of the theatre.

“My experience with QSC has been fantastic,” says Busby.  “Our next step will be to leverage Q-SYS for its web conferencing and video distribution capabilities for our own office boardroom!”