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Auditorium Hall Upgrade at University of Rhode Island, Part 2

Jul 18, 2013 10:25 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.

At the University of Rhode Island, the expanding role of the Edwards Hall Auditorium required a new sound system that could handle everything from lectures to concerts and they called in Adtech Systems to set it all up. James Welsh and Charles Crane are back to wrap up their account of how it all worked, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: James and Charlie, thanks for being back with us for part two on the SVC Podcast from Adtech Systems and the Edwards Hall Auditorium on the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus where you put in a new Bose RoomMatch sound system, revamped and modernized the whole thing. We talked in part one about the room acoustics and I wanted to get into exactly how things happened. What did you do when you first got in there? You knew what they had there so what did you start out with?

Charles: Sure. Well, the first thing we did was sort of a needs analysis phase where we talked to all the user groups of the room to understand how they use the room. Was the sort of quasi-theater setup still relevant? You know, what would they prefer if they could have their way, especially the people who use the room on a frequent basis; they had a wish list in their minds. So we talked to everybody and arrived at a basic approach that we were going to take out of the gate. After that we went back and measured the RT60 in the room to quantify exactly what was going on in there acoustically. We were doing acoustic modeling to design the system, and if the room exists, I always like to go back and measure the reverberation time just to validate the model and make sure that it corresponds to the reality. So then we built the model. We did several design integrations of the loudspeakers to try to come up with the best coverage, the best sound quality, the best speech intelligibility. And then once we arrived at a loud speaker design, we were simultaneously designing the front end of the room. They had their inputs and source requirements that they were looking for, quantity of microphones, and things like this. We reused some wireless mics and there were some front-end things that they reused, so that was good. We augmented that as well. And then after that we got the whole proposal together. We went back and using auralization, a portable auralization system, we demonstrated the loudspeaker solution to the customer so that they could hear sonically what their finished product was going to sound like so there would be no surprises. [Timestamp: 2:46]

It’s great when they have a chance to do that.

Charles: Oh yeah, because everybody, even lay people who aren’t CTS certified, they can say, “I’d like a little more low end, a little more thumb,” or “Is it going to be that clear,” or ‘It sounds kind of cavernous; what can we do?” So it’s a fabulous way to make sure that you’re on track with your design. And then from that approval of the sonic performance, we then submitted our proposal and that’s how we were awarded the job. [Timestamp: 3:18]

And you went with the Bose RoomMatch speakers. I was looking at some of the elements of that. It gets kind of interesting the way you can set it up. I think the RoomMatch RM12060 was part of this one. What does that have that works well for this situation? I know they have good power handling capability, something like 600W.

Charles: Yeah, yeah. And I forget how many different variations of the RoomMatch cabinet there are. There are many, many of them; all different dispersion patterns. And the 120’s by 60’s, those were the down-firing element. So because the room is exceedingly wide and not very deep, we were going with the widest cabinet with the 120-degree vertical. And the neat thing about the RoomMatch, too, is all the different dispersion cabinets; they all have a very similar sound quality and the way that the high-frequency devices are so close together when the cabinet is built up, I think it’s less than a 2in. gap in the two adjoining cabinets. That just keeps the high frequency in phase and you don’t get a lot of inter-speaker anomalies. This was, I think, the second usage of the RoomMatch for Adtech, so we were still kind of new with the product and it was nice that it turned out the way that it modeled and the way that we expected. Sonically it turned out really nice. [Timestamp: 4:36]

Well, I’m sure they appreciate the fact that you used it before and you decided to go back with it again. Nothing speaks to the quality and usability of it more than that.


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