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AV System Launches BurnLounge

A digital audio download service uses AV to stage a corporate event featuring live performances and a talk show-style venue on a single stage.

CHALLENGE: Add onstage video projection, and overcome low-ceilings, a lack of rigging points, and sound system requirements to achieve high-quality sound.

SOLUTION: Use two large video screens for projection, and add delay rigs and line arrays to create concert-quality sound.

FOR ITS THREE-DAY-LONG June 2006 kick-off event at Bally's Event Center in Las Vegas, BurnLounge, a New York-based digital audio download service, wanted to create an environment where concert-quality, live performances and a corporate presentations could coexist on a single stage.

Organizers from BurnLounge turned to Dylan Marer, executive producer at Long Beach, CA-based Ascendant Marketing and Media, to produce the event, and manage its publicity and registration. Marer came up with a concept and sub-contracted frequent collaborator Stan Nickens, executive producer of Stanco Productions, a St. Louis-based AV and lighting staging company, to execute staging the AV system.

The plan called for two audio systems that would share a few components. The “concert” system was designed to recreate a live performance environment, while the “corporate” presentation system was constructed to ensure speech intelligibility.

Two 6-foot-wide by 12-foot-long ScreenWorks projection screens fed by Christie Digital 5+16k projectors displayed the onstage activities at the BurnLounge corporate launch event at Bally's Event Center in Las Vegas. The live content was captured using a Panasonic AJ-5DX900 DVCPRO 50 video camera.

Marer also wanted to add a video screen at the back of the stage to magnify interviews and performances for audience members seated near the back of the 300-foot-long room. Both systems also needed to be production quality because BurnLounge wanted the ability to use the content in future promotions.

Dual-purpose audio

Before the sound systems were put in place, Nickens performed an initial site inspection that determined the venue wasn't naturally favorable for live performance audio. “The room itself wasn't an arena, so it wasn't really conducive to what we needed to do,” he says. “Ceiling height limitations and limitations in the number of rigging points were our initial concerns.”

Nickens says the ceiling limitations affected the amount of weight that could be hung on a particular line array position because the room offered only single-point pickup positions. He also knew that the live performance and talk show-style programming would require different loudspeaker configurations.

To ease these concerns, he specified left and right line array loudspeakers near the stage, and also added a center cluster that would be activated for the corporate portion of event. The center channel was used to fill the void in the center of the audience that the horizontal coverage angles of the left and right arrays couldn't cover alone.

The left and right array clusters each consisted of five Martin Audio W8LCs, while the center cluster included four Martin W8LMs. Nickens says this configuration satisfied the intelligibility requirements, but left the live performance sound lacking toward the rear of the room. To solve the problem, he added another line of left and right line arrays 175 feet back from the stage on a delay of approximately 80 milliseconds.

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