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Alcorn McBride Makes a Splash at Ruby Falls

Alcorn McBride equipment helped entertainment production company Full Spectrum enhance the spectacular natural beauty of Ruby Falls. The Digital Audio Machine and Digital Video Machine HD were selected for playback to create an exciting sound and light show deep below the surface of the earth.

Ruby Falls is a 145-foot high underground waterfall within Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Located in a large vertical shaft more than 1,000 feet below ground, Ruby Falls is fed by rainwater and natural springs which collect in a pool in the cave floor and then continue through the mountain until they join the Tennessee River at the base of Lookout Mountain.

“We use Alcorn McBride equipment in our systems for control, lighting and 4D theaters,” says Steve Carroll at Full Spectrum, which is headquartered in Stone Mountain, Georgia. “We do a lot of AV design and integration, 3D mapping and multimedia spectaculars, including a big laser show in Stone Mountain. We also do a significant amount of architectural and specialty lighting.”

Full Spectrum has been involved with Ruby Falls for a number of years. They designed the venue’s sound and light show, writing the scripts, overseeing the recording sessions, creating the audio tracks and designing the surround sound. The company also installed the audio stations and programmed the show.

“Ruby Falls originally lit the waterfall with tungsten lights with no control,” recalls Full Spectrum’s Chad W. Kuney. “We were able to show them that we could replace that lighting with LEDs, for energy savings, trouble-free operation and greater interactivity. Then we choreographed the LEDs to music using the Alcorn McBride AM4 Digital Audio Machine.”

Full Spectrum selected Alcorn McBride equipment for its reputation for ruggedness, reliability and solid-state technology. “Being half a mile underground it’s a very hostile environment, very humid. Equipment quickly goes bad there. But the first AM4 we installed is still going strong five years later,” Kuney reports.

Recently Full Spectrum added another AM4, which supplies audio information at various points during the visitors’ tour around the cave. Additionally, another AM4 drives the soundtrack visitors hear during their elevator descent from the surface to Ruby Falls.

They also upgraded the historical video presentation at the entrance to the cave with a DVM-8400 HD Digital Video Machine for solid-state playback.

“Alcorn McBride products are a really good fit for this attraction,” Carroll concludes. “The machines are easy to use and are easily updated, which is helpful when Ruby Falls switches to a Halloween theme in the fall, for example. We just swap out the Flash cards to make seasonal changes. Alcorn has always been very helpful with everything; their support is flawless.”

About Alcorn McBride:
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is the leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. Staffed by some of the industry’s best engineers and backed by outstanding customer support, the company has demonstrated great agility in bringing new designs to market. A hallmark of Alcorn McBride products is their durable, zero maintenance design. The company’s products provide consistent, reliable operation for audio and video playback applications worldwide. For more information, visit www.alcorn.com.

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