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Audio for Multi-use Auditorium, Part 2

Sep 24, 2013 10:32 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.

Schofield Hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin has to handle everything from lectures to music acts and Audio Architects came up with a sound system that does both with Renkus-Heinz arrays, a Yamaha mixer, and a videowall. Nancy Carlson and Andy Pierson are back with all the details on how it all worked out, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Alright, Nancy Carlson and Andy Pierson thanks for being back with us for part two on the SVC Podcast from Audio Architects and we’re getting into the Schofield Hall AV project with the big renovation and upgrade there. I think part of the sound system on this also involved four Renkus-Heinz DR18-2R dual 18in. powered subwoofers.

Andy Pierson: Thank you for having us. Yes, we were supplementing the Renkus-Heinz IC Live triples on either side with two dual 18in. powered subwoofers. So we have a total of four dual 18 boxes where we hide those behind some acoustical treatment in the room, on either side of the room. Those certainly gave us more than enough bottom end to accompany any setup or musical group that would enter into the space.

Nancy Carlson: It also gave the general contractor that was part of the project a bit of pause trying to figure out how he would support the platform that the subwoofers sit on because the subwoofers themselves are quite heavy and then when you put that much sound through the subwoofers, it has the potential to move a little bit, or vibrate and everything like that. So it was a fun discussion that day when we were calculating out exactly what we would have to do for supporting those in those little spaces next to the stage.

Pierson:: Correct. So there was a lot of additional infrastructure that was added to support the subwoofers in their hidden space. [Timestamp: 2:11]

We’ll it was a huge advantage for you to be able to get in there as part of a much bigger renovation project.

Carlson: Exactly. There was a general contractor, an electrician, and it was a very large upgrade to Schofield for audio and video and everything, so it definitely needed a lot of players in there and we were happy to be part of it. [Timestamp: 2:30]

We talked a little in part one about the front of house mixer. What do they use in there and where do they put it?

Pierson:: Oh, that was a Yamaha M7 and that mixer actually can be plugged in in two different locations. It had a dedicated sound booth on the second floor up in the balcony. Additionally, it has another mixer position, which is in the back under-balcony area of the auditorium. It added additional flexibility, because sometimes when you were up in the sound booth, you weren’t able to hear quite as well since it had some enclosure; it was an enclosed space. So having the flexibility to be able to reroute it and run it in the back of the room added a lot of flexibility and also helped to meet some riders if you had a musical group in that required it to be actually in the room. [Timestamp: 3:19]

Wow, that would be strange trying to mix live sound in a completely isolated and separate acoustic environment.

Pierson:: Absolutely.

And I think you mentioned before that it’s Ethersound connected? It’s a digital connection to the system.

Pierson:: Correct. In fact we’re using two different digital connections. We’re using an Ethersound snake as far as to grab all the inputs from the stage location, and additionally we’re outputting CobraNet, so we actually have two digital connections. [Timestamp: 3:43]

Well at those cable runs, that beats an old copper pair analog snake.

Pierson:: We have an analog backbone in the room as well, so just in case any other mixers are required to fit a rider, we can also drop an analog board into place. [Timestamp: 3:57]

OK, so you got the Iconyx system and you have the Yamaha mixer. Is there any other audio gear like power, intercom, or playback stuff that was installed as part of this?

Carlson: There is a client processor. The [Biamp] AudiaFlex is what we used for the main processor for that. We have a few other ancillaries in there for up-board speakers. We do have speakers in the hallway, just outside of Schofield, so if they’re doing a big production it can sort of have a foyer space. There’s also a paging intercom system that goes all throughout Schofield. It’s in the ticket booth, it’s in the green room, and a few other places in the building where that goes so they can all communicate back and forth. We have a full monitor system with the EAW Microwedge under there. [Timestamp: 4:45]

And you’ve got control over the individual speaker arrays or was that just part of the initial setup? Have you got presets on those that you can punch up for different types of events?

Pierson:: The way we handled the presets was really to just to divide the system up for a speech versus a music system. And so we were able to handle that by basically taking all of the automated speech microphones, as it were, for forums and routing them just directly into the Biamp system. And then the Yamaha mixer is more of their musical system, in which case it’s just treated differently as far as those mic lines. The EQ and everything is then subject to the M7, first being preset to kind of a speech application. Now the other kind of division for that is then how it’s routed internally from the Biamp system. So for example, all the speech microphones are not routed to the subwoofers, whereas the Yamaha mixer then gives the ability to route any of the inputs to the subwoofer system individually. [Timestamp: 5:45]

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