AUSTIN, Texas - December 2009 -- Flexibility is the key to running a successful concert hall that needs to accommodate both amplified and symphonic events. With that in mind, the University of Texas at Austin's Performing Arts Center recently chose to add a new L-ACOUSTICS sound system to its 2,924-seat Bass Concert Hall.
To compensate for the hall's challenging acoustics, Houston-based Hariel Enterprises installed multiple arrays of KUDO, KIVA and ARCS enclosures as per the design specified by JaffeHolden of Norwalk, CT. "The venue lacked speech intelligibility," recalls Mark Holden, owner/design principal, "and was far too live-sounding with long RT60s at the critical mid-frequencies."
In initial discussions with JaffeHolden, the technical crew at UT Austin's PAC had some specific ideas regarding loudspeaker selection. "We were looking for a brand that would be recognized by visiting acts," the Center's audio supervisor, Adam Dudley, offers, "and which could help us avoid rentals. In essence, we wanted this to be a viable house system that could be augmented by an artist's touring cabinets, if necessary. Flexibility was our key criterion; plus it's no secret that L-ACOUSTICS rigs sound excellent. Also, because Bass Concert Hall is such a tall environment, we needed to ensure that sound from a center cluster could cover the entire seating area and reach the rear of the balconies. The primary array is made up of eight KUDO cabinets arranged one above the other some 40 feet above the stage and thrust 20 feet out into the auditorium."
A lower-center array, located in the corner of the proscenium some 10 feet below the main cluster, comprises six ultra-compact KIVA cabinets and a pair of ARCS constant-curvature cabinets angled downwards to cover the front seating areas. The two upper-side arrays, located at the same height as the center array, comprise a pair of ARCS cabinets per side situated 26 feet off the centerline.
Three horizontally arrayed ARCS cabinets beneath two SB28 subwoofers per side make up the stage-located arrays. "These cabinets are arranged to fire into the center of the hall," Dudley continues. "They can also be flown 16 feet above the stage, if necessary." Furthermore, six compact coaxial 8XT cabinets mounted on brackets along the stage apron cover the front seating areas.
A rack of L-ACOUSTICS LA4 and LA8 Amplified Controllers are located in the rear of the auditorium several levels above the front-of-house mix location. The LA4 units power the KIVA and smaller cabinets, while LA8 drive the larger KUDO and ARCS systems. During the final tuning process, Dudley used a laptop PC to control the LA4/8 units via an Ethernet link. "That way," he explains, "we could adjust all playback system parameters from within the hall itself."
"The difference between the older sound system and this new one is like night and day," Dudley concludes. "We have the peace of mind that comes from a system capable of delivering whatever the audience needs, and the flexibility to address the ever-changing needs of our performance programs. L-ACOUSTICS was pivotal to that success."
L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its K1, KUDO, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a "total system approach." L-ACOUSTICS products for the North American market are manufactured and distributed by L-ACOUSTICS US of Oxnard, California.
Loudspeaker photo credit: Curt Yowell
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