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The Theatre Café Expands, With Sound By Autograph

The first Theatre Café opened on Shaftesbury Avenue in 2015, London’s first café dedicated to theatre, playing show tunes throughout the day and hosting events with performers and fans. Following the success of its first location, a second Theatre Café has recently opened on St Martins Lane. A larger space than the original (formerly a Starbucks), the new Café features a new stage and presents a diverse programme of live events and music.

Autograph Sales & Installations were tasked with equipping the new space with suitable audio systems to handle both background music, paging and live performance. Autograph’s Euan Mackenzie led the project, designed the system and specified the components necessary to provide an integrated and simple-to-operate contemporary audio system.

The result is a three-zone design controlled centrally by a QSC MP-M80, linked to a MP-MFC controller which allows per-zone volume control as well as a number of programmed presets configured for the various room uses. The MP-M80 additionally allows café staff to control the audio and make paging calls through the system using their mobile phones if necessary and automatically resets itself to default settings at 0300 every morning so the system is always ready for whatever use is required.

The background music system uses a total of seven Martin Audio CDD5 loudspeakers, powered from a single QSC SPA2-200 amplifier, while a single further CDD5, driven by an RDL 100v amplifier, is located in the downstairs office as a paging loudspeaker. A Denon DN-200BR Bluetooth receiver also lives in the control rack downstairs but is connected remotely to their iPad Pro which is installed onto a wall upstairs - together the two units are effectively a digital jukebox.

The dedicated live performance audio system comprises a pair of EM Acoustics EMS-81X loudspeakers plus a Martin Audio CSX112 subwoofer, all of which are powered and processed from a single d&b audiotechnik 10D installation amplifier. Stage monitoring is via a pair of EM Acoustics EMS-61s powered from another QSC SPA2-200 amplifier, while audio mixing duties are handled by an Allen & Heath Qu-Pac located on stage. A stage panel containing eight mic / line inputs gives access to the Qu-Pac and a single Sennheiser 300 G4 865 handheld wireless microphone is also supplied.

The Theatre Café comments, ‘We have taken steps to make The Theatre Café on St Martin’s Lane a must-visit destination for theatre fans in London and will be introducing a program of live performances and events. The sound system by Autograph is pivotal in us being able to offer a unique venue that boasts professional equipment.’

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