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AV Revitalization of Texas Music Theater, Part 2

Jul 12, 2011 11:54 AM, with Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

When Gray Gregson and his friends took on a complete renovation of the Texas Music Theater in San Marcos, Texas, they really had their work cut for them. Detailed acoustical treatment, new floors, and a complete new sound and lighting system gave the place a new life and Gray is here with all the details next up on the SVC podcast.
Gray, thanks for being back with me for Part 2 talking about the Texas Music Theater and all of the renovation that's been going and the things you've done to make it band-friendly. One thing we didn't get into real detail on in Part 1 was all the Renkus-Heinz stuff that you've got in there. The main house, what was that, a PNX 102 LA array that you've got?

That's correct. We have a left and right line array up on stage and we have 16 Renkus-Heinz PNX 102 LA non-powered two-way line arrays and then under the stage we have five Renkus-Heinz ZRS 18 2B non-powered dual subs and then back in the balcony we hav—Renkus-Heinz just came out with these—there's four of these Renkus-Heinz CFX 101 LA. They're a point-and-shoot line array. They're rangemodular point source array module line array. At least I think that's what they're called. [Timestamp: 1:41]

OK, and I think that particular model is externally powered?
Well we've got…we're everything…the speakers we have…all the speakers that we have are non-powered. We have all our big power racks up by the monitor console off to the stage. [Timestamp: 1:53]

So where are the, I think you said DRS 18 dual 18in. subwoofers, where have you got those?
Well here's what happened with that, the stage used to be curved and I'd made the stage square out…there were five holes under the stage when we came there, so I looked at this, and just on a space basis I wanted to put them under the stage but I didn't want to create any wash-back under the stage and have any vibrations on the stage, (and the stage is concrete) so what I did is when we made the stage straight across, I took those ports that were there and we built birch plywood boxes that fit in the ports that were all glued and sealed together and airtight and I had them on the edge of the cabinets—the cabinets just slide and we poured concrete over them all so they're all covered in concrete those boxes are and we slid the cabinets in there, I put them in a D coupler for the floor and then took the outside edge of them and put this Neoprene stuff around them so no sound would flow back up in there, and then under the stage on the back side of them where the back of the birch plywood cabinets were, I put 3,000lbs. of sand bags bumped up against those cabinets so I have no sound coming backwards under the stage at all—it's a forward motion. And then the stage is topped with a hardwood floor, with Appalachian red oak, and you get up there and it's solid as a rock. [Timestamp: 3:16]

So with all the passive speakers you've got in there did you have any sort of cabling issues in getting the signal to all those things, say with architecture in building?
What I did is you can get under the stage—we have an entrance under the stage and there's lights under there and it's only…if you've got to crawl under it, it's probably about 3.5ft. from the…underneath there and on each side of the stage I drilled about a 6in. hole on the left and right part of the stage and our cabling under the stage goes down through there and then we put a small hole on the top of the cabinet and ran the wire through there and then we put the ends on the other end so it really wasn't that big of a deal. We have snakes that run from our main mic pres where you plug in the mics on one side of the stage that run all under the stage clear to the other side so you have snakes that can be laid out anywhere on the stage you want. [Timestamp 4:02]

With as many different acts as you've got in there I would think that you've got to keep it flexible in being able to reconfigure things.
Well, we have two snakes; one's a 32 channel, one's a 24. We have a opening in the headliner snake and a opening act snake and then we have snakes for all the microphones up front and so it makes it very convenient and then the monitors…we can plug the monitors in any configuration. The plug ins are on both sides of the stage. We just have a box for each monitor feed so you can plug monitor mix 1 in on the right or the left side of the stage in any combination you wanted to. Monitors for the drum kits are on all in the back wall…it's just connected to the wall. [Timestamp: 4:42]

Do you notice any big difference in the acoustics when you've got a big crowd in there and when it's empty?
We have a concrete floor and when the room is empty it's not bad at all, but when you get the place full it really tightens it up. You could just put a couple of hundred people on that dance floor and it's perfect. We took that in consideration when we shot the room when we averaged what we thought would be a good sound between not too many people and having a thousand people out on the floor, and we're real happy with the way it worked out. [Timestamp: 5:12]

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