Harman Professional’s sound experience at Bangalore Gayana Samaja

Harman BGS Bangalore

HARMAN Professional India adds another feather to its hat with the recent renovations of audio infrastructure giving one of the oldest running sabha’s in the country a much overdue facelift. The Bangalore Gayana Samaja, originally constructed in the 1962, went through a complete facelift over a period of 8 months. While preserving the original aesthetics of the venue, the 600 seater auditorium had improved acoustics designed and installed by the HARMAN professional team of experts, in partnership with Bangalore based system integrator – Waveguide Systems.

Though Bangalore Gayana Samaja was one of the first performance venue of the country and as known for hosting some of the best concerts in Carnatic classical music, the sound design required a serious overhaul. The main PA would only cover the venue from the middle to 3/4th of the hall, while rest of the seats would get sound as a result of the reflection from walls and the analog mixer had limitations of output and processing.

To make the hallowed venue sounds good as any new auditorium, Sunil Karanjikar, Application Engineer at Harman Professional India, who worked on the design of the system says, The project was prestigious for Harman to work on while at the same time posed challenges due to the venue’s old architecture. The beams could not take the weight of heavy line array speakers and the reflection from walls varied the sound impression for the audience. We had to deliver a system which would not only overcome the venue’s architectural challenges but also be cost effective as BGS is a free entry venue.

Sunil also expressed his gratitude saying, ‘We would like to thank Mr. Giridhar Ghattam Udupa, one of India’s leading percussionist, Ghatam player and a Harman Professional India endorsee who reached out to us for the acoustic facelift of the venue’.

Acknowledging the challenges of this emblematic venue and commending the superior consultation and solutions provided by HARMAN Professional, the President of BGS Dr. M.R.V. Prasad said, “Our auditorium has a capacity of six hundred seats but our earlier sound system was not very good and it is the heart of a music auditorium.

We decided to entrust this job of installing an efficient and a good quality sound system to a renowned company making the Harman professional India team the obvious choice. Within a short span of time, they have done a wonderful job – The planning and installation the equipment were done in a very timely, cost-effective and professional way. I must thank the entire team of professionals lead by Mr. Sohan K.P of Wave Guide Systems & HARMAN Professional India for providing us a state of the art sound system specially designed for music. The artistes are very happy to perform on our stage because of the new sound system.

Commenting on the planning, Mr. Sohan K.P. of Waveguide Systems said, ‘The brief for the project was given to us on 1st Jan 2017, our team delivered the project in mere 15 days and we were ready for the opening on 15th of Jan 2017. The system was designed in a non-conventional manner; lightweight speakers that fit the requirement were suspended from the support structure and tuned to reach the seats with the least amount of reflections from the walls.

We have seen some of the best classical performances at the BGS. When we received the query for the acoustic facelift of the venue, our team was extremely excited to give the best solution possible along with the support of Harman Professional India team. There were major issues with the equipment used by BGS earlier. Use of an analog mixer limited their number of outputs and processing, such as graphic EQ, time delay unit or crossover. The Harman professional India team helped us design a system that would overcome all these challenges in a very short span of time. Though the technical staff at Bangalore Gayana Samaja was not comfortable using digital mixing consoles and control systems.

We were successful in convincing them to switch from analog to digital. We knew that this task would take time but training and hand holding for the first few and important shows at BGS made the transition very smooth and easy. We’re indeed happy to have successfully completed this prestigious project.

Just 2 units of JBL MD55 loudspeakers constitute the main PA along with 2 units of JBL  SB6115 subwoofers. Additional loudspeakers included 4 units of JBL AC15 for front fills, 2 units JBL AC25 for under balcony, and 4 units of JBL AC28 for upper balcony fills. Crown DCi network amplifiers drive all the speakers, and the inputs are fed via BSS BLU link. The JBL STX 812M are used for stage monitoring driven by Crown XTi4002 power amplifiers. The FOH and MOH mix is done on the Soundcraft Si expression II digital mixing console. The complete system processing and control is done on the BSS BLU 100 with HiQnet Audio Architect software with customized panel controls for different zones. Prashant Govindan, Sr. Director Harman Professional India, said India has a rich heritage of classical music and Harman Professional India remains committed to the nurturing and revival of classical and traditional music genres. We are Delighted to be a part of Bangalore Gayana Samaja which celebrates this movement. The audience can now listen to their favourite musical maestros in a modern setting with an enhanced listening pleasure by Harman’s true fidelity sound.