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New sound system at Cajundome closes a stellar year for Electro-Voice stadium installations

gulf_coast_sound_cajundome_001.jpgA recent Electro-Voice XLC sound system installation by Louisiana-based Gulf Coast Sound (GCS) and consultants Acoustic Dimensions (Dallas, Texas) at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La. stands out at the end of a stellar year for Electro-Voice arena and stadium installs.

The 12,086-seat Cajundome is the Lafayette area’s premiere venue for regional and national concert tours, the Louisiana State Boys Basketball Tournament, and also serves as the home for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s men and women’s basketball teams.

Having provided temporary EV sound reinforcement for the Cajundome on numerous occasions, Gulf Coast Sound’s familiarity with the venue played a large role in securing the contract for their new permanent sound system. Last spring, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette approached GCS owner Larry Habetz to discuss sound for their three-day commencement ceremonies. GCS brought in an XLC 127DVX system with FIR-Drive to demonstrate the level of precise coverage and audio intelligibility available to the University.

“We used an XLC rig and six EV microphones to cover the orchestra for the commencement demo,? Habetz says, “and while we were still setting up, the orchestra began to warm up, so I pushed up the faders on our Midas Heritage mixing console, and my Front of House engineer turned to me and said, ‘where did you get that CD?’ I told him, ‘that’s the orchestra playing.’ The system sounded that good running flat!?

Habetz adds, “We also miked the keynote speaker—an older, soft-spoken gentleman—with two EV podium microphones, and we could clearly hear every word he said wherever we walked in the building. With 150 feet from floor to ceiling, the arena has about eight seconds of reverb—it’s a very challenging space to work with. The XLC has always been an inherently good-sounding box, but the addition of NetMax DSP/matrix controller with FIR-Drive has taken its coverage and clarity to a whole new level. The university was very impressed, as they’ve grown used to wrestling with their sound system every year for these events—it has never satisfied the orchestra conductor… until now. Hearing the XLC convinced Director Greg Davis and Operations Manager Phil Ashurst that the time was right. The job went out for bid, as per state policy, but no one else could match the XLC’s sound quality.?

At the core of the Cajundome’s new system are six central XLC hangs. Four corner arrays each comprise six XLC 127DVX and six XLC 907DVX boxes (with 120- and 90-degree coverage patterns, respectively), each with two XLC215 subs on top. This installation marks the first time that 907DVX boxes have been used over 127DVX boxes; EV designed a special FIR preset for these four corner hangs. Both the east and west main hangs comprise 14 XLC 127DVX with two XLC215s; four FRX+940 loudspeakers are flown beneath the scoreboard, providing down-fill for court coverage.

Forty-eight P3000RL amplifiers power the system, and two NetMax N8000 system controllers handle all DSP, controlled via IRIS-Net software. A Midas Verona 240, a Klark Teknik Helix 9344E, and a Helix 9340E round-out a system that is 100-percent EV, Midas, and KT.

“The intelligibility of the XLC boxes and their ease of application are what set them apart,? says Habetz. “Whenever we do a show and hang an XLC rig, it’s so dynamic and intelligible out of the box that there’s hardly any need for EQ’ing. It’s easy to get what we’re listening for. The XLC is hands-down the most articulate sound system I’ve ever heard. We’ve been using XLC since the first generation (2002), through the DVX woofer upgrade, and now with NetMax and FIR filters. This means our six year-old XLC boxes are still cutting edge—a great investment.?

But, for Habetz, EV’s service and support is even more important than their loudspeakers: “You can have a great product, but without good service, it counts for nothing,? Habetz says. “This was our largest installation to date, and EV provided hands-on support of the very highest caliber. Our clients noticed this about EV, and found their attention to detail reassuring. Monte Wise (Special Projects Manager) and Robert Deyarmond (Tech Support) provided design assistance. George Georgallis (Tech Support) created the template for NetMax control and helped with tech support on the install, as did Stu Schatz (Tech Support) and Ethan Wetzell (Technical Product Manager). Bill Gelow (Engineering), Dave Carlson (Engineering), and Rocky Muir (Manufacturing) were all there to ensure we exceeded our client’s expectations. They all rock!

“Now, Lafayette has one of the finest arena sound systems anywhere— my industry friends keep telling me that the Cajundome quite possibly has the nicest arena sound system they’ve ever seen or heard. It really does sound that good.?

IRIS-Net

System control and configuration software providing a unique set of tools with easily configured, user defined interfaces. IRIS-Net provides the ultimate in control and configuration flexibility and performance.

FIR-Drive

State-of-the art Finite Impulse Response filters and processing provide linear phase performance for sonic clarity and improved pattern control beyond all other DSP and system drive packages.

Photos by Glen Clark

The Gulf Coast Sound team:
Larry Habetz
Chad Brown
Dusty Durst
Keith Kelly
Rob Viator

www.gulfcoastsound.com

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Click here for more photos.

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