Jacksonville, Florida – January 2010… With an enrollment of more than 16,000 students and over 500 full-time faculty, the University of North Florida (UNF) is comprised of five separate colleges with noted business, coastal biology, nursing, and jazz programs. The school's Andrew A. Robinson Theatre is a multipurpose venue and is home to a wide range of on campus activities. The facility serves as a venue for lectures, presentations, small theater, film showings, and music performance—perhaps most notably as the home to the Great American Jazz Series, which is sponsored by UNF's Department of Music. To support these programs, University personnel wanted a versatile sound reinforcement system. They found exactly what they were looking for with a new Variant setup from D.A.S. Audio.
As Technical Director of the UNF Fine Arts Center, Richard Stanford oversees labor acquisition, facility maintenance, technical operations, and numerous other logistical aspects involving the Andrew A. Robinson Theatre. With assistance from Andrew Douglas of Jacksonville's Invisible Audio, a local sound contracting and equipment firm, Stanford decided to install a new D.A.S. Audio sound system. After downloading the D.A.S.-optimized version of EASE Focus system optimization and aiming software, Stanford and Douglas penned a system consisting of six D.A.S. Audio Variant 112A self-powered, full range loudspeaker enclosures paired with two Variant 18A powered subwoofers. The equipment was purchased through AVI-SPL, Inc. of Tampa, FL.
“We took delivery of the equipment last October,” notes Stanford, “and the installation was completed in December. This is a smaller sized proscenium theater, so I was looking for a compact system that offered good throw and broad horizontal dispersion that wouldn't interfere with line of sight considerations to the stage. The Variant system is ideal for this space and the types of activities that take place here. We flew three Variant 112A's per side with a single Variant 18A subwoofer at the top of each hang.”
“As the Andrew A. Robinson Theatre is an older building,” Stanford continued, “the self-powered design of the Variant system was another important consideration because we didn't have a lot of flexibility in terms of accommodating amp racks. By going with a self-powered system, we eliminated the issue of where to house the amplifiers and we also streamlined the process of cabling the system together. The sound quality is first rate and coverage throughout the space is very consistent. Speech intelligibility is terrific, as is the system's music reproduction capabilities—and these qualities are precisely what makes the D.A.S. Variant setup so well suited for use in this building.”
In addition to the sonic attributes of their new Variant sound system, Stanford was also quick to point out that the flyware, documentation, and other aspects of the system were all equally well developed. “The EASE Focus software gave us a tremendous amount of feedback in terms of developing the right system with suitable coverage for the space and all the hardware and system instructions were equally informative,” Stanford said. “Because of this, I had no reason to call for technical assistance at any time throughout the installation.”
With the University's new Andrew A. Robinson Theatre sound system fully operational, Stanford reports that all indications point to the new setup being a huge success. “Our first event with the new system was a January 3rd concert by Christian pop music artist Johnny Diaz, which went very well,” he said. “Since that time, we've also received numerous compliments from other clients who have used the equipment. I am very pleased. Next summer, we plan on upgrading the sound in another facility on campus and, once again, I plan on using D.A.S. Audio.”
For additional information about the University of North Florida, visit the school online at www.unf.edu.
About the D.A.S. Audio Variant 112A and Variant 18A
The Variant series product group is specifically designed for small format, installed sound applications. The Variant 112A is a powered, 2-way, compact loudspeaker system utilizing a 12-inch transducer for low frequency reproduction and a Neodymium compression driver with a 1-inch exit for the high frequencies. The Variant 18A is a powered subwoofer utilizing an 18-inch transducer with a 4-inch voice coil that is housed in a bass-reflex enclosure.
About D.A.S. Audio
Headquartered in Valencia, Spain, D.A.S. Audio is one of the world's leading manufacturers of loudspeaker systems, power amplification, signal processing, and related components. For better than thirty years, D.A.S. Audio products have been found on tour with the world's greatest performing artists and installed in many of the most prestigious facilities. For additional information about the company, visit them online at www.dasaudio.com.
Photo info: UNF's Richard Stanford with the theater's new D.A.S. Audio line array system.