Getting STUK into the Future with CODA Audio

Popular Leuven Arts Centre adds more CODA Audio during extensive refurbishment…

  • Getting STUK into the Future with CODA Audio
  • Getting STUK into the Future with CODA Audio
  • Getting STUK into the Future with CODA Audio

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

STUK is an international arts centre in the Belgian University city of Leuven. Driven by an open view of the world, the centre seeks to connect its patrons with contemporary dance, visual and audiovisual arts, sound art and adventurous music. Diversity, inclusion, sustainability, fair practice and fair play sit at the heart of its ethos and mission to create a wide base for the arts. STUK creates connections with education, science, heritage and youth work to promote a programme for what is, in its own words, a House of Dance, Image and Sound.

Housed in a large building, parts of which date back more than a century, and comprising multiple rooms including a main performance space, the centre recently underwent a refurbishment to improve its sustainability, and upgrade its facilities. The STUKcafé is an important hub within the building, and as well as being a popular eaterie for visitors and students, also hosts a wide range of events. Part of the refurb included provision for a new audio system in the café, the project for which was awarded to production specialist Stresske BVBA. Stresske has been in business since 2005, providing trusted technical support across a wide range of venues and events.

Stresske installed a CODA Audio system to meet the varied needs of the STUKcafé, as its owner Steven Stesmans, explains:

“We’ve been using CODA Audio systems since 2020 when we were introduced to them by our good friend Hans Engelen at Viladco. Over the years we’ve successfully worked with Hans on a variety of installation projects and have also added CODA systems to our inventory for live sound. As Stresske has expanded, we’ve moved into areas of the market that demand premium audio, so CODA was a natural fit for the needs of our customers.

“At STUKcafé, the choice of a CODA system was logical. Its large hall was already fully equipped with a CODA Audio system, meaning that the technical team at the centre were fully aware of the power, possibilities and audio quality that CODA could deliver. We therefore didn’t hesitate to suggest a CODA system for this space as well.”

The wide range of programming at the café, from daily background music through light jazz to heavy electronic dj sets and live bands, demanded a flexible and versatile system with sufficient quality and headroom to cater for such a diverse spectrum of applications. Having taken this into account, Stresske’s experts worked in close collaboration with Hans Engelen of Viladco (CODA Audio distributor for Benelux) on the design. CODA’s proprietary state-of-the-art simulation software, System Optimiser was used to obtain accurate predictions, enabling the team to install with full confidence.

The main system at STUKcafé comprised 6 x N-APS, CODA’s ultra-compact arrayable point source and 4 x N-SUBs, with 5 x HOPS8i deployed for outfill and delays. 3 x CODA Audio LINUS12C 4-channel DSP amplifiers drive the system.

Steven Stesmans continues:

“Owing to the way the space is constructed, with a number of pillars and seats next to the stage it was a challenge to get a neat, even spread of sound. There is a bar at the back of the room where we needed to keep the audio under close control without affecting the coverage of the whole room. The HOPS8i used for outfill, delays and centre delay, proved the idea solution for this particular challenge. Combining the versatility of N-APS with the. HOPS8i, we succeeded in achieving a completely even coverage of the room with a warm, full sound.”

Dries D’Hondt, Technical Coordinator at STUK is very pleased with the new system:

“Our café is a well known venue in Leuven that attracts a lot of customers. It is a demanding space acoustically and quite a challenge to get even dispersion across the space, but with the help of the Stresske team and Hans from Viladco, we’ve configured the perfect system. We even managed to maintain good intelligibility at the bar area to avoid customers having to shout for drinks!

“The HOPS8i speakers were so important in helping us meet our aims, and to top it off, the LINUS control made setting up the system so easy (compared to other manufacturers) as a lot of delays needed adjusting.”

Hans Engelen from CODA Audio distributor Viladco :

“Seeing the smiles on the faces of the integrator and end-user when a system gets delivered is always a great pleasure. This install confirms yet again CODA’s superior sound quality and demonstrates the advantages of System Optimiser in overcoming potentially difficult Audio environments. Once again, CODA Audio managed to exceed all expectations!”