Installed Audio

Seoul ‘black box’ theatre equipped with Optocore network

The need for a fast, reliable and flexible digital network were the key requirements when Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) set out its requirements for a ‘black box’ theatre in Seoul. The Multi Content Testbed was conceived as a test ground where all types of cultural and artistic content would merge with innovative cutting-edge technology.

Optocore originally received the inquiry from installation company, SiDiS, as far back as October 2021 when the search began for a robust network.

The equipment needed to be compatible with any incoming production mixer, as well as the in-house Midas M32, feeding the L-Acoustics PA. It was based around an M8 MADI switch at FOH, which would share the inputs and outputs of four stage boxes. These, in turn, are catered for by a variety of X6R-FX and X6R-TP devices, and BroaMan Repeat 48, which convert video or digital audio formats between coaxial and optical connections.

The equipment was duly supplied by local distributors, Seoul-based Ingang Audio Co.

The black box theatre forms the hub of the experimental Creative Content Culture Plaza, set on a total area of ​​2,700 m² (with two floors above ground and two underground). This is where STAGE66, which comprises the STUDIO1 stage, the larger STUDIO2 experimental stage as well as a practice room, is housed. The main aim is to turn Korea into a major player in the content industry worldwide.

The 191-seat STAGE66 showcases technology demonstrations, stage experiments, B2B showcases, cutting-edge performances and events. These experimental performances receive support from the Government, regardless of audience revenue.

It had been Eugine Yune, then working with SiDiS, but now working as EG Audio, who first recommended that the client — part of the Korean Government — adopt an Optocore solution.

“I knew some people at the theatre, and thought Optocore would be useful to them, since they had been wanting a versatile system that could be applied to any performance format,” he said. “Versatility is important and the in-house techs can rest in the knowledge that they can move the Optocore devices to any place in the theatre, in order to increase or decrease the number of A/V channels and control lines required.”