Live Design Blog Archive

Fort Wayne's Arts United Center Tunes Up with Meyer Sound

The Arts United Center in Fort Wayne, Ind. has recently upgraded to a Meyer Sound M'elodieâ„¢ line array loudspeaker system, courtesy of Coatesville, Pa.-based DBS Audio Systems Inc.

The Arts United Center is home to the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre and the Fort Wayne Youth Theatre, as well as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Fort Wayne Ballet, the Fort Wayne Dance Collective and a large variety of local events and productions. With such a varied and eclectic range of productions, flexibility was key in designing the new audio system.

“We knew we had to find a sound system that not only sounded good in the auditorium, but delivered excellent sound, clarity and intelligibility across an exceptionally wide range of program material,” says Miriam Morgan, technical director for the center.

Adding to the challenge was the hall's unique, bare concrete construction. The 662-seat auditorium was built in 1973 by the renowned architect Louis Kahn, best known for his stark, brick designs.

“The Center's open, concrete construction called for a highly focused system that could help us keep reflected energy under control,” says DBS Audio's Dave Brotman. “The M'elodie is both powerful and tightly focused, but it's also small enough to fit in with the room's singular aesthetics.”

The system comprises left and right arrays of seven M'elodie line array loudspeakers and two 600-HP subwoofers each. Five UPJuniorâ„¢ VariOâ„¢ loudspeakers provide frontfill coverage, and the system is managed by a Galileoâ„¢ loudspeaker management system.

“What I love about the new Meyer system is how wonderful it sounds, both for spoken word and musical applications,” says Morgan. “Even before the auditorium was tuned, the new arrays made such a dramatic improvement to the sound quality in the room. Everything sounds smooth and even now.”

The audio system upgrade, begun two years ago, was the first project for Morgan as technical director under Arts United Executive Director Jim Sparrow. “Miriam Morgan, DBS Audio and Meyer Sound were presented with myriad challenges in creating the sound system for the Center, and we are very pleased with the results,” says Sparrow. “We are very fortunate to have such a wonderful and significant performing arts facility here in Fort Wayne and the Meyer system has only enhanced that stature.”

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