The Buzz: Installation Spotlight: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Jun 4, 2009 4:33 PM, By Trevor Boyer
Pumping Up the Crowd
Time had come for a changethe 40-plus-year-old PA system at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., home to the University of Michigan men’s basketball team, was acting its age. Karl Couyoumjian, president of TeL Systems in Ann Arbor, also happens to be a longtime season-ticket-holder at Wolverine basketball games, and he says he had constantly heard friends in recent years complain it was time to do something about the creaky PA system in the 13,500-seat arena. Thus a process got under way that culminated with the installation of a new compact vertical line-array system from Electro-Voice (EV).
Updating the audio system at Crisler Arena was a unique opportunity for TeL Systems. “It was the original system that was put in when the building was built in 1967,” Couyoumjian says. “It’s not very often that you run into a 40-odd-year-old system.”
University of Michigan Assistant Athletic Director Rob Rademacher concedes that, for years, the old system had been held together through a series of Band-Aid solutions. Over time, TeL Systems had designed and implemented several short-term fixes for the arena’s audio system, but it wasn’t until late last year that the university’s athletic department finally agreed to a complete overhaul.
TeL Systems won the job based on the quality of the system it was able to design for a friendly budget. Basing the proposed system around XLD series loudspeakers from Bosch/EV and using a lot of advanced DSP techniques, the company devised a way to cover the space of the large arena with smaller boxes than others were proposing. The company had to wait about a year and a half before its design could be implemented, as the university weighed alternative options.
When work moved forward, TeL Systems used both an EASE (Electro-Acoustic Simulator for Engineers) model (generated by EV reps C.L. Pugh of Columbus, Ohio) and EV’s Line Array Prediction Software (LAPS) to devise Crisler Arena’s new audio system. EASE shows the SPL at different frequencies that different combinations of loudspeakers will generate in the free field. LAPS lets a system designer focus on just the configuration of EV line arrays and the ways the individual loudspeakers will interact with one another.
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