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Clemson University Upgrades Performing-arts Center

Jun 18, 2008 12:00 PM, By Linda Seid Frembes

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Clemson University Upgrades Brooks Center for the Performing Arts

When most people think of Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., one word comes to mind: "football." But believe it or not, the school also has a thriving performing-arts department that oversees the campus's largest non-athletic venue, the 1,000-seat Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. "Because of our size, we constantly host internal events like nurse pinnings, special lectures, and award ceremonies," says Woody Moore, production supervisor for the venue. "We also have a show season of about 40-50 external events ranging from spoken word performances to chamber music, dance, theater, and Broadway tours."

With a total of more than 100 shows during the nine-month school year, Moore and his technical staff of more than 60 students have to be versatile and ready to lend their technical support for any situation. Those same criteria extended to their aging sound system, which was used for most shows except Broadway tours that carried their own production. "The original Meyer Sound system was installed when the building was built 15 years ago," Moore says. "Previously it was a center cluster of Altec Lansing exposed horns and JBL low-end cabinets. Somewhere along the way, someone added a Meyer UPA on the left and right and two USW-1P subwoofers."

The system was underpowered, so Moore had to constantly rent out gear to provide enough sound coverage for the venue. "We spent lots of time and money on rental systems," he says.

When it came time for an upgrade, factors such as proper sound coverage, reliability, and versatility were top of the list. Because of the center's positive experience with Meyer Sound, it was no question in Moore's mind that the new system would carry the same brand. Moore worked with Real World Audio in Asheville, N.C., to install a new left-center-right system of two hangs of 10 Meyer Sound M'elodie line-array loudspeakers, with a center cluster of four Meyer Sound CQ-1 loudspeakers. Three UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers were added as balcony delays, and four M1D line array loudspeakers were installed along the stage lip for front fills. Four 700-HP subwoofers on the floor provide low-frequency coverage. On stage, eight UM-1P stage monitors provide foldback.

"The new system can do anything we want and we don't need to rent any extra gear. The system can cross 120dB with ease; there is plenty of headroom," says Moore, who tested the system out one evening using his ears and a stack of his favorite CDs.

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