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Audio at the Musical Instrument Museum, Part 1

Apr 8, 2014 10:24 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.

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has a theater where the acoustics are superb, but hiding the main house speakers caused a problem with front fill. Jerry Delgado of Sennheiser demoed the Anakonda flexible speaker array and it was an instant hit. Now he’s here to tell us the story, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.

Jerry Delgado from Sennheiser, welcome to the SVC Podcast and we’re talking about the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, an interesting place.

Thank you, Bennett. It’s good to be here.

I’ve never been to a musical instrument museum, but I’ve seen some pictures of the place and they must have some fascinating exhibits. Of course, the centerpiece of the whole place is the theater where all kinds of performances can happen.

Yeah, that’s correct. Actually I haven’t had the opportunity yet to go through the museum part itself, but I go to the theater all the time and yeah, it’s a really, really wonderful space for small or medium or even larger-sized acts. [Timestamp: 1:19]

Being a musical instrument museum, they probably have a huge variety of those instruments being played in live performance so the acoustics in the theater have to be able to support just about anything.

Yeah. That’s absolutely correct. They do, you know, really there’s no way to pigeon-hole it as to what kind of acts go in there. They do all sorts of things and a lot of acoustic stuff because of the theater itself and how it’s designed. [Timestamp: 1:44]

I noticed that the main house speakers are built into the walls and you don’t really see them, that’s aesthetically pleasing but it also creates a few problems. How did the design of the theater require something of a new approach to front fill?

Well actually the way it all went down is I went down there with the Anakonda demo thinking that that could be a possible solution for them. I went basically to ask them, “Do you have front fills? Are they effective? Do you have problems?” And when I showed them this, first of all they all kind of fell over laughing because it’s not exactly your typical solution. But pretty quickly they kind of got a feel for what it could provide them and then with just two units they felt that they wanted to get a better demo and that’s when I came back with six units to do a real, live demo for them. [Timestamp: 2:35]

I saw some pictures of that and you don’t even know that it’s a speaker array. I guess maybe that’s why they named it after a snake because you can walk right up on it and not even know it’s there. You’ll be wondering where the sound is coming from and then you realize it’s not just part of the trim on the stage. It’s actually a speaker array.

Yeah, that’s correct. Actually one of the big aesthetic reasons to go with Anakonda is that, because it can basically disappear on the stage and now the performance becomes the focal point and not the little speakers in front of you. The fact that you can even paint them or use the socks that come with it to match or blend into the stage, I mean you really can hide the whole thing and not even know it’s there. [Timestamp: 3:18]

You can run one into the other. You can daisy chain these together. How long is each array and how do they connect together?

There’s actually a couple of ways. So the units are two meters long or 6.6ft. and they either interconnect to each other or you can put a small piece or a long piece of NL4 interconnect cable – speaker cable – and then you can daisy chain them that way as well. [Timestamp: 3:39]

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