ALL Photos: Lars Petter Pettersen,

Sentralen is a new centre for culture and innovation in Oslo, Norway, recently redeveloped from the old DNB Bank buildings. This new centre, designed as an accessible cultural hub, offers spaces from small meeting rooms up to a concert venue with a capacity of eight hundred.

d&b audiotechnik systems were chosen by Sentralen and installed throughout the centre’s rooms, delivering the simple user operation and exceptional sound quality that’s so important for visiting sound engineers. From the club-like Vault and reflective Marble Hall to more intimate rehearsal rooms, d&b solutions helped overcome a variety of audio challenges.

The project began in 2007 when Sparebankstiftelsen DNB (the DNB Savings Bank Foundation) bought the DNB Bank buildings, which used to be home to the oldest savings bank in Norway. As part of the Foundation’s pledge to give back to the Oslo community, Sentralen is accessible to anyone who needs a venue.

Technical director, Lasse Baklien, joined Sentralen in 2015, and is responsible for the centre’s sound, lighting and technical equipment for each of its venues. Before this time, Baklien was a self-employed sound engineer, touring with numerous artists, and was also a systems engineer for venues. “My first task was to prepare specifications, after which we invited five or six companies to tender,” he explained.

Sentralen has five venues that needed systems, including the acoustically challenging Marble Hall, with its pillars and reflective surfaces.

The system was installed by d&b Distributor, Drammen Lyd, with Rasmus Eide and Paul Ivar Skjærvold leading the project. “For Sentralen, it was very important to have a user friendly brand,” Eide explained. “The centre has lots of visiting engineers, who just want to get in a room and work – they are already familiar with the d&b sound and system configuration, so can simply concentrate on achieving the best mix for that particular artist or event. The Marble Hall had very lively acoustics, but the room now sounds absolutely amazing, with great definition and a crisp sound, whether for a chamber concert or rock gig.”

Eide continued, “The component design of d&b systems means that we had a very broad range of models to choose from. Since the project was privately funded by the DNB Savings Bank Foundation, we had many more options to choose from. This gave Sentralen the brand that both they and their visiting engineers liked, with the high quality sound that the rooms required.”

A d&b audiotechnik system comprises loudspeakers, rigging accessories and amplifiers, along with software for performance prediction and centralized remote control. For Sentralen, it was important that the loudspeakers they chose for each room shared similar sound characteristics. The consistent voicing across the d&b product range ensured that products from any d&b loudspeaker Series could be utilized depending on the requirements for each room.

d&b’s Y-Series loudspeakers are designed to provide configurable solutions, even in the most difficult sound reinforcement situations. One of the smaller d&b line arrays, the Y-Series features a range of horizontal dispersion characteristics combined with an innovative custom waveguide to ensure constant directivity over a wide bandwidth. In Sentralen’s Marble Hall, the Y-Series loudspeakers were combined with the smaller E6 loudspeakers and 16C columns attached to the back of the pillars, used as delays.

“With the d&b systems installed throughout the venue, every room is both user friendly and fantastic sounding, with the great quality we had come to expect from the brand,” explains Baklien. “We not only hold music events at Sentralen, but the rooms house art galleries and poetry recitals too, so the systems need to perform under a wide range of conditions. The Y-Series loudspeakers offered a great combination of clarity and powerful performance, with excellent speech intelligibility and enough power for the largest concerts, and were flexible enough for all our spaces.”

ALL Photos: Lars Petter Pettersen

The Marble Hall

  • 4x D80 amplifiers
  • 2x D20 amplifiers
  • 2x E6 loudspeakers
  • 2x Y10P loudspeakers
  • 12x Y8 and 4x Y12 line array loudspeakers
  • 6x Y subwoofers
  • 4x 16C column loudspeakers

The Winter Garden

  • 1x D80 amplifier
  • 1x D20 amplifier
  • 4x Y7P loudspeakers
  • 2x B6 subwoofers

The Vault

  • 1x D80 amplifier
  • 1x D20 amplifier
  • 4x Y7P loudspeakers
  • 2x B6 subwoofers

The Gymnasium

  • 1x 30D amplifier
  • 1x10D amplifier
  • 2x Y7P loudspeakers
  • 2x B6 subwoofers
  • 2x 8S loudspeakers

Monitor System

  • 3x D20 amplifiers
  • 8x MAX2 monitors
  • 16x MAX12 monitors

Mobile System

  • 3x D20 amplifiers
  • 4x Y7P speaker
  • 6x B6 subwoofers