Peninsula Hot Springs Bathed in Immersive Audio — AV.technology
Peninsula Hot Springs, with its mineral rich geothermal waters, is the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway to reconnect with family and friends.
Located on a large property in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, it’s a premier wellness destination with over 70 globally inspired bathing experiences to explore. It also offers a variety of recreational experiences including dining, wellness programs saunas and Hamman steam experiences.
In 2019 PHS expanded their footprint to create a new Amphitheatre area featuring a collection of new pools and bathing experiences, all oriented around a central performance space. A minimalistic stage keeps with the natural surroundings of the area, with a sculpted rammed sand wall backdrop and a shade sail held up by six large wooden pillars. The performers face a series of terraced pools interwoven amongst lawn beds and pathways as patrons can relax in pools or deckchairs while enjoying musical performances by local and international touring folk, classical, indigenous and world music artists.
As a unique performance space, there were several challenges to overcome to ensure we delivered a premium experience for performers and audience members alike, with a plan to invite artists to play every weekend. The Amphitheatre space needed a PA system to sufficiently reinforce and focus sound throughout the tiered grass and pool areas while not spilling excess audio into other quiet areas of the centre. As the Amphitheatre stage and mounting points offer little protection from the elements, it was vital that the solution withstood all seasons of Melbourne’s climates with minimal maintenance.
“We didn’t want to compromise on the quality of sound in the Amphitheatre,” says Marty Williams, Music & Performance Coordinator at Peninsula Hot Springs. “The speakers had to be permanently installed and able to handle all weather, optimising the sound for our audience and not carrying across to neighbouring properties.”
Peninsula Hot Springs was also eager to not disrupt the organic aesthetic of the stage, therefore a pair of obtrusive speaker and horns mounted on stands was out of the question.
ARRAYS ON PILLARS
Designing and installing the Amphitheatre’s sound system became the job of Geelong-based integration business MultiTek Solutions.
Director Gavin Hulme soon realised K-array’s unique loudspeaker solutions fit the client’s brief perfectly on all fronts – aesthetics, sound quality, weather-proofing and coverage. “Peninsula Hot Springs has done a lot of work on the visual image of the space and didn’t want tech visible everywhere. The pattern control aspect was important as well. We could aim the K-array loudspeakers at the area that needed coverage and it didn’t spill out too much elsewhere.”
Marty agreed with Gavin’s suggestion. “The K-array system was perfect. I was drawn to the fact that it wasn’t a big physical presence. The space is about nature and the speakers had to disappear into the space as much as possible.”
Each pillar on either side of the stage holds two K-array Kobra KK102 line array elements, mounted with K-array’s K-Wall2 mounting brackets. The KK102 loudspeaker consists of 16 two-inch woofers supplying a variable vertical dispersion between 7-35° and horizontal dispersion of 120°.
Additionally a K-array KMT18P single 18-inch subwoofer sits to the side of stage. The sub, along with all four KK102 loudspeakers, are powered by a single K-array Kommander KA24 four-channel Class D amplifier which provides 500W per channel.
SPRINGING TO ACTION
After a year in action, many leading local and international performers have graced the Amphitheatre stage with the K-array loudspeakers reinforcing genres from world to classical to electronica. Feedback continues to be positive.
“Most people are really impressed with the sound in the space, both performers and general public,” comments Marty. “The K-array system is really polished and professional. It needed to be a sound that’s felt more than a sound that hits you in the face. The clarity is there, speech is clear above other ambient sounds, and the Kobra KK102 line arrays have a great sonic profile. It ticks a lot of boxes for us.”
Gavin Hulme is very pleased with the outcome. “The K-array product is well built. It’s surprising how good they sound considering their size. The mounting brackets gave us lots of options for both speaker positioning and access for maintenance. And when it’s dusk you can’t even tell where the sound is coming from.”