In 2009 M.Ostrowski sp.j. supplied a new intercom system as part of the order for „Supply and installation of a stage manager system at the National „Wybrzeże” Theater in Gdansk, along with the installation and post-installation projects.
The stage manager system at „Wybrzeże” Theater in Gdansk is one of the most complex systems of this type in Poland. The system covers communications and signaling for three independent stages: the Main scene, the ‘Malarnia’ scene and the Stanisław Hebanowski ‘Black’ scene. The different stages are located in different parts of the building, which had great influence on the ultimate system configuration and the applied solutions.
The central point of the system consists of the Riedel Performer 32+16 digital intercom matrix, mounted in a rack below the main scene, concentrating all signal lines. Appropriate configuration of the matrix and I/O ports allows for independent communication between thirteen users and for transmission of monitored scene audio from each of the stages to the technical rooms and dressing rooms, located over four floors of the theater. Source selectors allow the users to choose the audio source (from microphones installed at the different theater stages) and the sound amplification level. Independently of the chosen audio source, users can be selected for broadcast of ‘priority’ messages. This allows for transmission of audio messages even if the user has muted the audio level.
Use of an appropriate number of audio output ports allowed also for transmission of messages from the manager or director of the Main Scene to the stage, which greatly improves communication between the actors and the technical staff or the director during rehearsals. Considering the connectivity capabilities of the Riedel systems it was possible to integrate with the wireless intercom system, already in existence at the theater.
Adding a GPIO (relay inputs and outputs) board to the Performer 32+16 matrix allows the scene managers as well as selected users to control various devices, such as for example “SILENCE” light panels or entr’acte bells.
The user intercoms consist of Artist 2100 LCD units. Stage managers stands were equipped with RCP-2116P4 rack-mounted units. In order to provide comfortable operation and increase the number of configurable pushbuttons, the Main Stage and ‘Malarnia’ Stage panels were equipped with the ECP-2016P expansions. The other users were provided with DCP-2116P4 desktop units. All of these devices are equipped with high-contrast eight character graphical LCD displays, allowing for display of tag labels and audio levels for each cross-point signal for each button. Each button has adjustable signal amplification and LCD contrast level. All control panels are equipped with function keys, including secondary functions (i.e. Shift page), which allows for a doubled number of configurable connections, signaling or control functions at the given panel.
Similar to PartyLine systems, the users are able to use the intercom with a headset, which allows for ‘silent operation’, or to use the built-in speaker along with an external gooseneck microphone.
Additionally, all 2100 LCD series units have audio inputs and outputs on the rear panel, allowing each user to easily transfer audio signals between the different areas of the building.
As part of the complete intercom system there were also other elements installed to support the stage managers work, improving the functionality and usage convenience of the entire system. This includes among others, scene video monitoring, scene action confirmation system and the earlier mentioned stage audio monitoring.
Installing all systems a lot of attention was paid to use of modern digital technology. This pertains not only to use of digital devices, but also to digital signal transmission between these devices or even different areas of the object. The general aim was to use mostly digital transmissions, which have higher immunity to interference compared to analog signals.
The installed intercom system has a modular construction, which in case of future growth of the Theater will allows for a quick and easy expansion of the system.