Audio Outfittings for Urban Outfitters, Part 1
Nov 15, 2011 10:12 AM, with Bennett Liles
So to limit the distance between the speakers and the final destination for the sound, I noticed that you had some speakers rigged on pull lines maintaining that sort of industrial look.
There are a couple of speakers—there are two M1D line arrays that are on trollies and have pull lines attached to them if they ever wanted to slide them out of the way on one of the jib cranes. In reality, the cables runs are pretty hard and fast, so it provides a nice image, but they would still have to disconnect everything to move it. All of the MM-4s are on working cranes, but they don’t use them as cranes. [Timestamp: 6:35]
So what type of Meyer speakers did you use to cover most of the area in this thing?
The main PA would be the 500-HP subwoofers, which it is a double 15 hung a cardioid pattern. So there are two facing forward; one facing rear. In front of those, there are Meyer UPQs, and there are four of them, but it’s a left/center/right configuration even though it’s a mono system. And then the next delay ring after that is four Meyer UPJs. Behind where the subwoofers are we have four UP Juniors mounted right above a window where we would most often place the stage for live events, and that’s a near fill. And then running down the concourse we have, I think, eight MM-4XPs, and then an additional four MM-10XPs, which are their powered subwoofers. [Timestamp: 7:32]
And why did you decide to use the 4XPDs? One was that because those XPDs will power the MM-4s, it saved a lot of cable runs by using the XPDs. We wanted some subs to the system because the 500-HPs are probably 125ft. between where the MM4s pick up on the concourse versus where the 500s are flung and it seemed to be a good fit. They’re small enough that they disappear behind some bamboo that Urban has planted within the venue. [Timestamp: 8:04]
Yeah, you would have to do whatever possible to limit the cable runs and in a place as acoustically live as this is with a concrete floor everywhere it would be important to get the speakers as close to their coverage area and maintain the lowest sound levels that you can get by with.
And that would be a good way to do it. So, what do they do in there exactly? Is it like background music with announcements and things like that?
The primary use of the building is their cafeteria and a coffee bar, also part of their design department is in that building, their IT department is in that building, but it is open to the public and it is at the Navy Yard so they’re coming close to doing $3 million profit just on food sales in the building alone. [Timestamp: 8:46]
And they’ve got a main meeting and dining area in there? How did you do that?
Well the main dining area is the UPQ500, UPJ, and UPJunior rig and then there’s an additional zone outside which consists of four UPQs on the wall facing out like a patio where they have lunches and stuff during the summer. There are a couple other meeting spaces in the building, but since this system went in they seem to be using the system that we put in more so than the system that had previously been installed by another company. [Timestamp: 9:18]
Well, it sounds like and looks like from the pictures that it could be a very difficult setup in this very live environment with different things going on at the same time, where you would have to maintain a very tight control over the sound. Michael, thanks for letting us in on the details of this very interesting project that could have turned out really bad if you didn’t get it absolutely right.
Yeah, we tried to set it up so that we could keep the sound pressure as low as we could while getting a clear image everywhere that it needed to be. [Timestamp: 9:48]
OK, thanks for telling us about it.
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