The Santander Theater, an icon of art and culture in the city of Bucaramanga, saw all its splendor during the 1930s, becoming one of the most famous theaters in the country, where great concerts, zarzuelas, operettas, and plays were held. However, due to the intervention of several sectors and the deterioration of its facilities, in 2001 the theater closed its doors, falling into disuse and no longer serving the community.
Thanks to the intervention and the interest of different governmental and private entities, an enormous project for its recovery began. On April 26, the re-consecration of this enclosure took place, once again filling with art, lights, and sound, delighting all the attendees, who enjoyed not only a great work of architectural restoration but also heard an excellent concert in one of the best-amplified rooms in the country. "Comparable with the best rooms like the Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles) or the Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco)," affirms Andrés Núñez Rubiano, Manager of the psychoacoustic firm responsible for this project.
Psicoacustica is a firm that stands out for performing architectural projects aimed at theaters, auditoriums, and churches, locating design solutions in the fields of acoustics and electroacoustics. Therefore, the Santander Theater was the perfect setting to apply all Psicoacustica’s experience and professionalism in this type of scenario. "This is a project that is born of a reform respecting all its external architecture, but with a completely new construction inside. We divided the project into two phases: architectural acoustics and audiovisual solution," says Nuñez.
A Unique Sound in Latin America
Developing this project was a great challenge for the Colombian firm Psicoacustica, but its objective was clear: "To provide the city of Bucaramanga with a solid project in the field of acoustics and technology, complying with all the requirements demanded locally and internationally," explains Nuñez.
"Let's start with the acoustics, since it is designed under psychoacoustic processes, and its architecture is based on analytical geometry, being entirely built in reflective wood. As a result, control of the reverberation is achieved, eliminating any effect of resonance and increasing clarity in the message delivered. Its architectural acoustics design was based on a process of triangulation of Pascal and Fibonacci arithmetic. As a result of using this process, the sound reflections are never intercepted between them. I must emphasize that this design was thanks to research that I have developed over the past five years. As a final result, a balance is obtained for the emission of symphonic events, opera, theater, as well as interpretations of modern genres that require electroacoustic sound reinforcement (loudspeaker system), regardless of the chair in which you are sitting, is perceived with the same intensity and quality, either acoustic or with a speaker system,” says Nuñez.
The selected sound system was from the American factory Meyer Sound, of the LINA series, with low 900-LFC, calibrated directly from the factory by Engineer Oscar Barrientos, recognized for his work with Paul McCartney, Metallica, The Rolling Stones, among others. This system is accompanied by a set of microphones, where the supervisors of the theater developed a careful choice, among the selected brands we have Shure, Sennheiser, Audio Technica, specialized microphones such as Earthworks, Point Source, and a set of microphones for DPA and Schoeps recording. All this integrated with the sound console of the parent company Digico. The video system is an Epson projector of high luminosity (25,000 lumens) laser technology, with 3LCD technology, and native 4K resolution format, creating compatible images for all kinds of aggressive productions in the use of special effects such as smoke or cameras.
Behind a Successful Project
"The AV industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and its diversity allows us to offer solutions that are integrated into an architecture without limits. Our passion is to develop a pattern with efficient tools, creating synesthesia and integration for finite solutions, but with a basic option to form with freedom what is indicated by the imagination, achieving what is requested by the final client," says Nuñez.
Preparation, training, constant certifications, and compliance with international standards are some of the steps that build a successful project. This has been part of the experience lived by Psicoacustica, which sees day by day how its link as a member of AVIXA™ has contributed to the development of these projects.
"One of the significant contributions we have had with AVIXA has been to be able to share with other integrators and manufacturers, creating job opportunities, where the distance bond is cut and welcomes a direct conduit of communication between parties without intermediaries,” he added.
Through these successful projects, Colombia will undoubtedly continue to be a country that seeks to be a benchmark in the AV industry in the region, offering certified quality, delivering high-tech and cutting-edge solutions tailored to the client, allowing the creation of a base for reliable connections with other countries.