Los Angeles, CA – January 2015…. Located in Little Tokyo, the historic heart of the Japanese American community in Los Angeles, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) was the dream of visionary first and second-generation Japanese American pioneers to create a permanent community center where arts and culture could come alive and flourish for future generations. Since first opening its doors in 1980, the JACCC has evolved into one of the largest ethnic art and cultural centers in the U.S.
Among the JACCC’s facilities is the 880-seat Aratani Theatre. The Aratani stages a range of performances year-round, from music to dance and drama, requiring a sound system that can meet those versatile requirements. JACCC representatives were not happy with the Theater’s existing sound system, and called upon audio consultant Gerald Ishibashi to recommend a solution. After analyzing the room and considering the multi-use performance needs, Ishibashi recommended Renkus-Heinz IC2 steered array systems for front of house, and RH-Series systems for stage monitors.
“The Aratani is a nicely designed room, but their existing system was not a full range solution,” Ishibashi explains. “They’ve had continual issues with poor intelligibility and inconsistent coverage in some areas. I’ve used Renkus-Heinz products for years, and their beam steering technology is just the best there is. When the new IC2 systems were introduced, I felt it would be a great solution for the sound issues in the hall.”
For the front of house system, Ishibashi recommended a pair of IC2-FR Digitally Steerable arrays on either side of the stage. “We brought the IC2 cabinets into the room and, because the arrays are steerable, we were able to ground stack them instead of flying the arrays, which eliminated line of sight issues. Ralph Heinz came in and commissioned the system, and it sounded great. The clarity and articulation was just amazing, and it was consistent to every seat in the house.”
For stage monitors, Ishibashi recommended six 12-inch RH123 Three-Way Loudspeakers and a pair of 15-inch RH153 Three-Way Loudspeakers.
“The first test of the system was a live performance by The Association,” said Ishibashi. “Being a vocal group, I knew this concert would be a good test of both the house and monitor systems. After the show, the band members were ecstatic about the sound, both on stage and in the theater.”
A subsequent show with Jackson Browne confirmed his decision. “Jackson’s engineer has exceptionally high standards, and I could see he was initially a bit skeptical of the system,” says Ishibashi. “After the show, he made it a point to tell me how happy he was with the sound. That’s the thing with the IC2 – people are initially skeptical because they are used to a curved line array. But everybody that hears the IC2s loves them.”