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VARIA Delivers for Bethany Wesleyan Church

Cherryville, PA – September 2013… From their 80-acre campus in this close-knit eastern Pennsylvania town, Bethany Wesleyan Church combines an inspirational, contemporary worship style with a broad mix of community programs including sports, education and family oriented activities. With a dedicated and rapidly expanding congregation, Bethany Wesleyan recently took the wraps off their new 1600 seat sanctuary and multipurpose room, equipped with a custom designed sound system based around the versatile Renkus-Heinz VARIA modular point source line array.

“The church wanted a space that would be versatile enough to accommodate everything from worship services to concerts and even sporting events,” explains Allen “Doc” Nagle of Orwigsburg, PA-based Events Staging. “It’s essentially a gymnasium with a stage at one end and removable seating.”

As any systems designer can attest, multi-purpose rooms often present some of the most challenging audio environments, and Bethany Wesleyan was no exception. The room’s high, open ceilings and concrete and sheetrock walls could have been a potential nightmare. But as Nagle explains, “thanks to good communication with the architect during the planning phase, we were able to take steps to reduce standing waves and reflectivity.”

For the sound system, versatility was key. The system needed to keep the sound tightly focused on the room’s key listening areas, which could change via a variety of room configurations. It also had to accommodate a wide range of program material, from spoken word to different types of musical content.

“The VARIA system was perfect because it provides the best options for placing sound exactly where you need it in the room, as opposed to spilling it all over the place,” says Nagle. “The VARIA’s transitional waveguide allows you to vary the horizontal coverage from the top of the array to the bottom, which was perfect for shaping the coverage pattern off the reflective surfaces.”

The system comprises left and right hangs, each with five VARIA VAX101 series cabinets. Horizontal dispersion varies from 60 degrees at the top of the array, increasing incrementally to 120 degrees at the bottom. A center fill of two VARIA 90 degree cabinets adds a bit of psychoacoustical enhancement. Eight PNX212-SUB subwoofers are bunkered, four per side, into the face of the stage. An Avid VENUE Profile at the front of house position handles the mix, while four CFX121M wedges provide onstage monitoring.

“The VARIA made all the difference in this installation,” adds Nagle. “It allowed us to easily pinpoint exactly where the sound should be in the room while avoid any unwanted interactions. It sounds amazing.”

An ancillary chapel and cafe incorporate the Renkus-Heinz IC7-II steerable array, with a pair of PNX212 series subwoofers providing a solid bottom end. Ashly Audio NE2424m matrix processors handle speaker management for the entire facility while providing a selection of easily recalled presets for the church’s all volunteer crew.

Visual impact is equally impressive, with three 16,000-lumen projectors firing at three, 20-foot screens positioned left-to-right across the back of the stage.

Finally, multiple HD PTZ and manned cameras and a Pro Tools system capture weekly services for distribution on DVD, with plans already in place to expand into Internet streaming and live broadcast.

With the system up and running, Nagle is pleased that his team was able to strike such an effective balance between usability and performance, while placing the church on a solid foundation for future growth.

“This is a really dynamic and active congregation,” he concludes. “They’re looking to entice national worship tours, as well as setting the stage for broadcast and streaming. The combination of the VARIA and Avid systems ensures them a level of sound quality and technical capability they’ve never had before. I’m confident they’re set for many years to come.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Iconyx and a Tale of Three Stations

Poland [September 2013]...Thanks in large part to funding as one of the EU’s latest members, Poland is investing heavily in its public transport, and Renkus-Heinz digitally steerable systems are a key part of the audio solution in three of the country’s major train stations.

The EU’s expansion in 2004 brought Poland into the European Union, and the ensuing grants from Brussels have been wisely invested into major public projects to refresh the country’s infrastructure. The result is a new look for 21st century Poland. Western Europe-standard motorways now link Poland’s major cities, and the country’s rail system is quickly being brought up to modern high-speed standards.

Three main train stations, each a key part of the country’s updated rail infrastructure, are Warsaw East, Wroclaw and Katowice. Once aging architectural icons, all are now technological marvels, incorporating full international health and safety standards. Regional and international trains link to the Europe-wide high-speed network, and many ‘hub’ stations have now been redeveloped to include shopping malls. A major part of this is the installation of PA/VA systems which accompany video screens displaying train arrival and departure details.

System integrators M.Ostrowski sp.j. has been contracted to provide audio solutions for Warsaw East, Wroclaw, and Katowice stations. In each, while the architecture and loudspeaker locations details differ, the overall concept has been the same. Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digital beam steering arrays, networked over CobraNet via a redundant fiber optical network and controlled by RHAON, complement digital signage in the most acoustically difficult areas of huge booking halls, shopping malls and platform spaces.

Warsaw (East) is a hub station, with many lines interconnecting locally, regionally, and internationally. One of the city’s main rail interchanges, its huge, glass-walled airport style building never boasted user friendly acoustics, but M.Ostrowski’s solution changed all that. STRABAG company was the General Contractor and SYGNITY company was the subcontractor.

This was a common theme of the three contracts, in which measurable acoustical intelligibility was the most important aspect of the audio installations in large, hard surfaced halls. Passengers, finally, would be able to hear announcements in complete clarity, thanks to Iconyx technology’s exceptional STI delivery.

The fully networked design includes a very impressive text-to-voice simulation for regular train announcements, with each station also having manual override in case of train delays. The main hall, a glorious sunlit space where digital signage is flanked by four IC16-R arrays, delivers the essential visual and audio information.

The smaller area for local trains is covered by three Renkus-Heinz IC8 units, while 13 SG61-2Rs and three SG612S-2Rs cover the restaurant area. System distribution is handled by a Yamaha DME64 with CobraNet card, an HP ProCurve and a DME8oC Yamaha CobraNet to analogue output converter. Commissioning was the work of Jim Mobley from Renkus-Heinz and M. Ostrowski’s Michał Popławski.

The second station is Wrocław Główny (main train station), a 15,000 sq m project that restored this 150 year old monument in grand style. In this stunning building upper-level multiple train platforms reside under a classic curved roof. The refurbishment won the 2012 RICS [Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors] Regeneration Award. The new €78m passenger concourse and shopping mall on the lower level has a series of 10 Iconyx IC8-R loudspeakers, plus a pair of IC16-Rs that (almost invisibly) flank giant digital video displays in stereo pairs. In this typically reverberant space, the announcements’ calmness verges on the uncanny. Here, the general contractor was Budimex, the installations supplier, TKTelekom and the audio installations subcontractor M.Ostrowski in cooperation with Tommex Zebrowscy Sp. J.

Along with ceiling speakers suspended above the platforms the rest of the list is largely as at Warsaw – a DME64 processor with CobraNet and analogue input/output cards, while the Yamaha processor is fed from APS APROSYS input modules. Again an electronic text-to-speech simulator serves the audio information for passengers.

The third installation is the train station in Katowice in Silesia, Poland, which features 10 IC16/8-Rs, with Dynacord P64 distribution and a Yamaha DME8oC CobraNet-to-analogue converter. An HP ProCurve serves part of the system’s redundant Ethernet network distribution. The general contractor for this project was STRABAG, the installations supplier TKTelekom and the commissioning was done by M.Ostrowski.

Łukasz Toboła comments: “The Iconyx loudspeakers have enabled us to provide good speech intelligibility, even in a hall that is quite complicated acoustically. The train company and station managers are very satisfied with the quality of sound, and with the excellent speech intelligibility. And that combination, I think, is the main feature that puts us on a higher level than other popular loudspeakers.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Mackie and CCI Bring Audio Salvation to Acoustically Challenged Life Church

Woodinville, WA — August 2013… CCI Solutions has a well-deserved reputation for creative solutions to challenging spaces. So it’s not surprising that the Olympia, WA-based AV design firm is behind the unique installation at Life Church in nearby Oak Harbor, featuring a 360-degree all-Mackie audio system.

With multiple weekly services hosting a growing membership approaching 900, Life Church recently completed an expansion project that includes a new multi-purpose youth facility. Housed in a futuristic looking geodesic dome, the youth center is designed as a circular worship space with integrated audiovisual system and seating for 150.

“This was an unusual space that presented some unique acoustical challenges,” explains Rick Boring, Sr. Systems Consultant for CCI Solutions. “The structure had been built several years ago but was never completed, and was uninhabitable. The room itself is circular, so every single interior wall is angled. Configuring it with traditional theater seating would have presented some coverage problems, and the need to go with a curved video screen, which would be expensive.”

CCI’s simple and effective solution was to design a space with 360-degree seating. A small, slightly elevated stage at the room’s hub is built around a single center truss that holds four Mackie HD series loudspeakers and four LCD displays.

“The youth pastor conducts the service from the center stage, while the rest of the band is on another small stage an alcove off to one side,” says Boring. “And depending on how the room is configured, the band alcove can sometimes wind up behind the seating area.”

“Placing the speakers in the center was the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure good, consistent coverage,” Boring adds. “Plus, everyone is watching the worship leader on the center stage, and reading the text on the screens above him. Having the sound emanate from the middle of the room simply makes the most sense.”

The main loudspeaker cluster consists of four Mackie HD1531 powered 15-inch 3-way systems. The speakers are mounted vertically above the LCD displays and angled down toward the seating areas.

“The Mackie HD1531 offers great sound quality and versatility for the money,” Boring remarked. “With a challenging job like this, where space and budget are important, the HD1531 delivers a tremendous amount of clean output and bandwidth. So when the kids want to rock they can do it no problem. They’re fully powered, so we didn’t have to worry about outboard amps, and they’ve got more than enough low end for this space, so they don’t need a sub.”

For mixing duties Boring specified a Mackie DL1608 digital live mixer with iPad control. In addition to the band, inputs include a wireless microphone system for the youth pastor, as well as a Denon recording and playback system. The Mackie DL1608 provides outputs for mains as well as monitors, and handles 100% of the system DSP.

“The DL1608 is absolutely perfect for a job like this,” says Boring. “It’s really simple to use, has excellent processing power already onboard, and packs plenty of I/O for its size.”

The “keep it simple” mindset extends beyond all things audio to the video system as well. Beneath the four Mackie HD series loudspeakers are four 65-inch LCD displays. Signal is provided by a Mac Mini computer running ProPresenter software. Four separate Xbox 360 consoles are each coupled to the four screens for rowdy, eye-to-eye multi-player sessions.

While technology may be their passion, the team at CCI Solutions will ultimately cite customer satisfaction as their highest priority. For Life Church, Boring is especially pleased with the finished product.

“We care about these churches and we want to help them communicate their message,” concludes Boring. “I worked very closely with Life Church’s Sr. Pastor from the very beginning of this project. He’s very pleased with the final result and that’s exactly what we strive for.”

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Mackie, a LOUD Technologies Inc. brand, is known worldwide as a leading developer and marketer of high-quality, affordable professional audio systems. Mackie products can be found in professional and project recording studios, video and broadcast suites, post production facilities, sound reinforcement applications including churches and nightclubs, retail locations and on major musical tours. For more information visit: www.mackie.com.

Mackie is a registered trademark of LOUD Technologies Inc. in the United States, European Union and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Renkus-Heinz Helps Prairie Meadows Cut to the Chase

Renkus-Heinz Helps Prairie Meadows Cut to the Chase

Altoona, IA – September 2013… In 1989, Prairie Meadows Raceway opened its doors with the goal of giving central Iowa residents a horse racing facility of their own. Twenty-five years later, Prairie Meadows has grown to include a 168-room hotel with state-of-the-art amenities, live and simulcast horse racing, a massive casino with table games and more than 2,000 slot machines, restaurants, lounges, and a busy concert venue.

Among the horse racing community, Prairie Meadows has gained considerable recognition as an exceptionally well-designed and well-run facility, drawing racing fans from across the state and the region. Among the Raceway’s many amenities is a massive four story glass pavilion that offers comfortable indoor seating on multiple levels. It’s a treat for spectators but with all the makings of a sonic nightmare, explains Mike Pedersen, Senior Staff Engineer at Marshalltown, IA-based Mechdyne, the audio video integrators behind this state-of-the-art project.

“It’s a challenging venue,” says Pedersen. “It was built in phases over 20-plus years, and has a mix of seating styles, with stadium seating on one level, grandstand seating on another, as well as a multi-tiered dining area with tables. The original sound system has been expanded in a piecemeal fashion throughout the years, and had become untenable — coverage was inconsistent and intelligibility was next to nil. They were actually cranking up the volume on each individual TV monitor just so people could hear the race.”

“They originally came to us with concerns about the quality and coverage of the tiered seating areas overlooking the racetrack,” explains Mechdyne Designer Tim Taylor. “But they were also in the process of mapping out an expansion of the entire casino, which was going to require an audio system too. At that point it made far more sense to suggest that they implement a larger system with networked distribution and processing.”

“It made sense from a budgetary perspective, certainly,” adds Pedersen. “There was very little by way of documentation on the existing system, so just identifying where things were would have been very time consuming. We were able to design them a networked system that would give them DSP control, monitoring, and expandability, as well as providing them with full documentation going forward.”

The 70V distributed audio system is based around more than 40 TRX-121 two-way Complex Conic loudspeakers, with DSP and amplification handled by Biamp Tesira and Vocia networks. As Pedersen explains, one of the objectives behind the complex signal processing is to increase intelligibility and directionalize the sound source.

“When things get exciting, when the announcers get excited, we want the spectators to be turning their heads toward the direction of the audio,” he says. “The goal was to draw the ear, and the eye, toward the racing action. So even though the speakers are mounted where the glass and ceiling meet, we needed to create the sonic impression that the sound was coming from down on the track.”

In the casino area, several dozen TRX81 loudspeakers are flown from the ceiling to provide music and paging coverage. “It’s a very high, open, unfinished ceiling, which limited our choices of loudspeakers,” says Taylor. “The TRX81 has a very tight, controlled dispersion pattern, and by mounting them in a grid pointing straight down, we were able to achieve seamless coverage across the entire open seating area, with no overlap or dead zones.”

The system is designed for flexibility, providing everything from background music and paging to zoned functionality. “We’ve set up a number of snapshots, enabling them to zone off various meeting rooms and ballrooms,” says Taylor. “And of course, the Vocia amps are rated for emergency paging functions as well.”

The decision to go with Renkus-Heinz and the TRX series was an easy one, says Pedersen, based on past experience with the brand. “We have for many years seen Renkus-Heinz as one of the leading companies in quality and service, so when the time came and it was clear they were interested in a high-quality product, we didn’t hesitate to recommend it.”

For Mechdyne, the Prairie Meadows project was something of a departure; the company is known for its expertise in Virtual Reality and 3D visualization technology, as well as complex IT and networking projects. “It’s true that our company crew out of a certain niche in virtual reality and simulation type systems,” says Pedersen. “And typically we find that clients and designers of VR systems tend to consider audio a lower priority, which is unfortunate considering how much a part of the overall experience audio represents. For us, Prairie Meadows was an exciting project, because it enabled us to design an audio-only system where the sound pretty much disappears into the experience. That would have been far more difficult without the pattern control of the TRX loudspeakers.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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PreSonus Supports LSU’s College of Engineering

Pledges $200,000 to Support Innovation in Audio Signal Processing and Digital Media

Jim Odom at LSU Engineering 01 copyBaton Rouge, LA – September 2013…  To support education and research in the Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering, PreSonus Audio Electronics has pledged $200,000 to establish a digital signal processing (DSP) laboratory.

DSP is a specialized branch of mathematics that performs analysis and processing of binary representations of analog signals. Advances in digital technology have enabled DSP systems to accomplish tasks inexpensively and efficiently that are difficult or impossible using analog technology. The DSP laboratory will provide LSU College of Engineering students a state-of-the-art environment for learning those skills required in industry settings.

“As a graduate of LSU Engineering and a Louisiana entrepreneur, I believe that investment in our home-grown technical workforce is essential in our efforts toward economic growth,” comments Jim Odom, co-founder, PreSonus. “Our intention for this grant is to assist LSU Engineering in becoming a top ten destination for technical education. The burgeoning industry of digital everything will require highly skilled and trained individuals, and LSU is perfectly positioned to meet this challenge.”

PreSonus, cofounded in 1995 by LSU electrical engineering alumni Jim Odom and Brian Smith, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of audio electronics and software used in TV and radio broadcast, live-event sound reinforcement, and professional recording studios.

“Jim and Brian provide an exemplary case of entrepreneurial spirit present in LSU’s electrical and computer engineering graduates,” said Pratul Ajmera, interim chair, LSU Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We thank PreSonus for this significant investment that enhances our educational program and helps us produce world-class graduates competitive in the digital media and digital audio industries.”

A global company, PreSonus is an active recruiter of LSU students for both internships and post-graduation employment. Currently, an estimated 16 LSU alumni are employed there, including 7 engineers.

Jim Odom at LSU Engineering 02 copy PreSonus CEO Jim Mack, “We are committed to supporting LSU in their efforts and believe that keeping the curricula current and in sync with industry will support the near- and long-term strategic needs of not only the university, but the community as a whole.”

Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, PreSonus currently has a staff of 122, with additional offices in Ireland, Hamburg, and Hong Kong. The company is currently building a new 43,000-square-foot headquarters and R&D facility in Baton Rouge.

LSU’s ECE Division currently enrolls 350 undergraduate students and 102 graduate students. During the past five years, the division has, on average, granted more than 80 bachelor’s degrees, 25 master’s degrees, and more than five PhD degrees annually.

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 About PreSonus

Founded in 1995, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording and live-sound software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus’s software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, digital mixers, control surfaces, loudspeakers, and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.

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Iconyx Tames the Modern Art of Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum

Denver, CO – July 2012…  One of the giants in post-WWII American painting, Clyfford Still dropped out of the commercial art world in 1951. When he died in 1980, he willed entire collection to an American city willing to create a permanent home for it.

More than three decades later, the Clyfford Still Museum opened its doors in downtown Denver. The 28,000-square-foot steel and concrete building houses more than 2400 of Still’s works, as well as a collection of the artist’s journals, sketchbooks and archives.

Visitors enter the museum through a massive glass-lined lobby whose windows extend from its tiled floors to its concrete ceiling. The strikingly beautiful architecture, while visually stunning, creates a highly reverberant acoustical environment that is anything but conducive to the large-screen video presentation that runs in the museum’s entry.

Denver-based Empowercom was retained by the museum’s planning commission to address the lobby’s challenging acoustics. As Empowercom’s Vice President Terri Jackson explains, the selection of Renkus-Heinz’s Iconyx steerable array loudspeakers was a logical choice.

“The content management committee on the project had suggested the Iconyx system, and everyone involved unanimously agreed they were the only speakers that would meet the needs of the space,” says Jackson. “Being able to steer the sound away from the abundance of reflective surfaces was key. Using the Iconyx, we were able to focus the sound to a concentrated area directly in front of the screen, rather than create a cacophony across the entire lobby.”

Jackson adds, “The program material contains both narration and music, and the Iconyx delivers on both spoken word intelligibility and musical performance.”

The Iconyx’s low profile design also helped to make it an ideal fit, says Jackson. “It’s a very high-end space, and the Iconyx really fits in with the décor,” she notes. “It’s an elegant, low-profile design that actually blends with the surroundings.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

 

 

 

 

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StudioLive Helps Florida Church into the Digital Age

Sanford, FL, September 2012… Josh Walker is a self-described “professional creative.” From music and recording to live sound and systems integration, Walker works with bands, musicians, and organizations, helping to create a powerful musical and visual experience.

In addition to his regular duties as Creative Arts Director at Morgantown, West Virginia’s, Catalyst Church, Walker is an AV consultant to churches and institutions across the US, helping their users to design and get the most from their systems. As he puts it, “I love technology, and I love simplicity.”

Walker recently talked about an interesting project at Safe Harbor Christian Church in the Orlando suburb of Sanford, Florida. The church’s 250-seat sanctuary was plagued by a number of challenges, both environmental and operational. “The room itself is actually pretty good, other than a rather high ceiling,” he observes. “But they had some rather outdated and ineffective technology, and that’s where we started.”

The sanctuary’s analog console lacked many of the features the church needed. “Even at its best, they could only get two monitor mixes out of it,” Walker explains. And the aging mixer had apparently seen better days, with several channels either partially or fully inoperable.

The multi-channel snake fared little better. “The snake had been spliced with what looked like residential copper wiring to extend it to the 250 feet needed to reach the desk,” says Walker. “It was pretty down and dirty and just a bit dangerous.”

Walker recommended the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 digital console. “I had mixed live shows on the PreSonus on a couple of occasions and was pretty impressed,” he says. “For its size and price, it’s surprisingly powerful. It’s ideal for small to mid-sized churches.” Apparently it wasn’t hard to convince the church either. “They had been researching consoles, and the StudioLive was at the top of their list.”

Not surprisingly, the butchered snake was a goner. “There was no way to salvage it, so we installed a new 200-foot multicore,” says Walker. “Between the snake and the StudioLive, we immediately raised their available monitor mixes from two to five. The snake enabled us to go up to eight, and the console allowed for ten.”

Another challenge plaguing the church was a lack of proper training. “Outside of their core team, it’s largely a volunteer crew,” Walker explains. “One of the guys had run the sound at a larger venue for about 20 years, so he knew audio but he didn’t know digital. The rest of them were folks who wanted to help out, but had no audio experience.”

Walker says the StudioLive made training the crew an easy undertaking. “We had to go through everything, from how to use a digital console down to the basics of how to mix, use EQ, compression, and so on. I think we did a total of around six hours of hands-on training, and when I left I was fully confident that they had a good grasp of things,” he says. “The console makes it so easy. The Fat Channel is so intuitive – all the information is right in front of you. There are no layers of menus. In fact, there’s almost nothing you can’t get to within two button presses or two turns of a knob.”

He points to the StudioLive’s expandability as another asset. “If their production grows twofold in the next couple of years, they can get another one and connect them via FireWire.”

“To be able to give them a console that takes up less space and does more than two of their old consoles is just a no-brainer,” he concludes.

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Founded in 1995, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, mixers, control surfaces and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.

Classic Church Gets Modern Update

Brigantine, NJ, August 2012….  Like most of New Jersey’s seaside communities, life on this resort island near Atlantic City is affected by the seasons. In the summer months, the sun seekers and beach lovers help to swell the congregation at St. Thomas the Apostle from 1,000 to more than 3,000 – well beyond what their existing sanctuary can handle. As Bobby Harper, VP of Sales at Egg Harbor-based ACIR Professional explains, the church came up with a creative solution.

“It’s an older structure, and it has some history, and they didn’t want to just tear it down and build something bigger,” says Harper. “So they opted to renovate the original building and also build an event center, which could handle the overflow, as well as other functions.”

The idea of connecting the events center to the sanctuary via audio and video was suggested early on, but a complex digital matrix with touch panels was simply not feasible. “We wanted to create a solution for them that would meet their needs without getting into complex and expensive networking,” Harper explains. In the end, a bit of creativity was all it took.

Using the seasonal population shifts to their advantage, the project was carried out in two phases. “The first summer, they used the (just-completed) events center as just that – a multi-purpose events center,” explains Harper. When fall approached, the event center was pressed into service as temporary sanctuary while the original 1920s-era building was then renovated, expanded, and tied in with the events center via audio and video feeds. “This summer they are finally enjoying it as an expansion space.”

The new sanctuary presented some challenging acoustics. “The sanctuary is pretty reflective inside,” says Harper. “They replaced the carpet with granite and marble, which increased the reverberance.” The addition of naves to the left and right of the altar also impacted the room’s acoustics.

“We decided to go with a distributed system,” Harper continues. “We didn’t want to energize the space with a large system, and we wanted clarity and consistency in coverage.”

The room’s audio includes a pair of Community VERIS 28 dual 8-inch systems at left and right of the altar, with another three VERIS 8 single 8-inch loudspeakers along each side. Yamaha 3500 and 5000 amplifiers power the system. “The church has a full praise band, with drummer, bass , keyboard, organ, a couple of violins and flute, and musicality was an important consideration,” says Harper. “We had been looking into the VERIS systems, and it seemed like a perfect fit.”

System drive and processing is covered by Community’s dSPEC™ networked loudspeaker processor. “The dSPEC is a great piece of gear,” says Harper. “We’re hardly pushing the amps – that’s the beauty of it. We use the dSPEC  to calibrate the limiters on the amps for maximum efficiency with the loudspeakers. And it’s very user friendly. I plugged it in, had no training on it, and had it sorted out in less than an hour.”

Space to the left and right of the altar have been converted into naves, each of which are served by a pair of MX10 compact monitors as wedges. “We custom-painted them to match the wall, and mounted them where the wall meets ceiling,” says Harper. “They look fantastic and they sound great.”

A Yamaha MG16 console is installed at the sanctuary’s mix position, with a Yamaha MG24 for the choir monitors. Sennheiser mics and wireless systems cover the choir loft, altar and musicians. A Sony PTZ70 camera captures the service and sends the signal via Ethernet to the event center.

Over in the event center, another Yamaha MG16 console covers mix position. Connected pairs between each of the three consoles enables each to receive aux send audio feeds from the others. As Harper observes, “the system is not quite foolproof, but fortunately the church’s technical personnel are savvy enough not to route things into a feedback loop.”  A smaller 5.1 consumer system covers most of the room’s audio needs, and an Eiki LCWB42NA projector gets the Sony PTZ’s video feed to a ceiling-mounted DaLite screen.

As Harper points out, the event center was conceived from the outset as a multi-use venue, with flexibility a key requirement. “We installed audio I/O panels throughout the room, and they can easily configure the system for whatever event they’re holding. They can take the audio and video feed from the sanctuary, or they can host a power point demonstration, or watch a movie, or Monday night football,” he says. “It also made it easy to configure a portable church while the main sanctuary was under construction.”

While A/V interconnectivity is more often the province of contemporary churches, Harper says the implementation of it in this older, more traditional setting was worth it. “There were certainly some challenges in terms of running cable and working out logistics, but the end result is exactly what we wanted.”

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Community Professional Loudspeakers is a manufacturer and supplier of professional audio equipment.  Since 1968, Community has led the pro-audio industry with technological innovations which have become industry standards. Today, Community offers over 150 professional loudspeaker products, including installed loudspeaker systems, weather-resistant outdoor loudspeaker systems, ceiling loudspeakers, high level voice paging systems, and portable entertainment systems.  Visit www.communitypro.com for more information. 

New PreSonus Headquarters and Research Facility To Arise in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, August 2012… On August 22, 2012, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new high-tech headquarters and research facility. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal led the list of guests of honor, attending in recognition of PreSonus’ contributions to the state and local economy.

A leading manufacturer of digital and analog hardware and integrated software systems for the professional audio market, PreSonus has expanded from 49 employees in 2009 to more than 130 employees worldwide, including the 80 full-time employees who are overflowing its current offices on Florida Boulevard.  According to PreSonus CEO Jim Mack, PreSonus has grown its revenues by more than 50% last year and is slated to enter new product categories to continue its growth.

Designed by local architects Ritter Maher, LLC, and developed by Moniotte Investments, the new 44,000-square-foot building—located at 19151 Highland Road—will cost approximately $8.3 million including land and development.  Completion is expected in the late summer of 2013. It will easily accommodate at least 125 employees—crucial because PreSonus is continuing to grow and hire—and offers many amenities that are not available in the company’s current space.

Among the unique features of this building will be a specialized high-tech recording studio/R&D space that is being custom-designed for PreSonus’ engineering and testing teams by the award-winning Walters-Storyk Design Group of Highland, New York. The 2,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art studio will feature a control room, a 500-square-foot live-sound room, two isolation rooms, a video-production suite, five test labs as well as a separate 1,500-square-foot live-sound room.

PreSonus’ rapid growth, local hiring, and emphasis on digital engineering qualified it for LED Digital Interactive Media and Software Development tax-credits. This program supports the creation of quality digital-engineering jobs that stay in the Baton Rouge community. Historically, companies like PreSonus have usually located on the East or West Coast. However, the tax-credit program has helped make it possible for PreSonus to grow and prosper in its home city, investing these funds in new engineering staff and in research and development. Many of the new hires are highly skilled digital-hardware and software engineers residing in the Baton Rouge area.

Much of the engineering team graduated from the LSU Engineering Department, and the company was recently named to the LSU 100 Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses. PreSonus also is working with LSU in an effort to develop local design talent through the university’s outstanding engineering programs and internships.

August 22 marks the beginning of the next stage of PreSonus’ growth and its continuing contributions to high-tech employment in Baton Rouge. Look for much more to come from this vibrant company.

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Founded in 1995, PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc., is a leading designer and manufacturer of audio-recording software, hardware, and related accessories. PreSonus software, microphone preamps, signal processors, digital audio interfaces, mixers, control surfaces and other products are used worldwide for recording, sound reinforcement, broadcast, sound design, and Internet audio.

 

Community Revitalizes Sound in Revamped Pennsylvania Convention Center

Philadelphia, PA – July 2012… The recently completed expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) in downtown Philadelphia is, to date, the largest public works project in Pennsylvania history. The Convention Center, first opened in 1993, was expanded by four full city blocks as part of a 20-year plan to renew Philadelphia’s downtown City Center District, a once-struggling area that has seen tremendous economic growth in the two decades since the revitalization efforts began.

The expansion has earned PCC a ranking as one of the ten largest convention properties in the country. It now spans a massive 2.3 million square feet – 20 acres in the heart of downtown Philadelphia – and features two large ballrooms and seven exhibit halls, ample space to hold two major conventions and several smaller events simultaneously.

“One of the important elements of the expansion project was the installation of a professional quality audio system that would deliver evenly distributed, clear and natural sounding music and speech reproduction throughout these large spaces,” explained Larry McIntyre, senior consultant at Acentech, the award-winning acoustics, audiovisual, and vibration consulting firm who designed PCC’s new audio system.

The sound system, installed by the Philadelphia offices of AVI-SPL, is used not just for delivering music and general announcements, but also to deliver emergency voice notifications. This makes system integrity a critical aspect.

As McIntyre explains: “We incorporated Community’s CLOUD12 Loudspeakers into the system design because of their reputation for outstanding quality and sound reproduction. The fact that they are locally produced was an added benefit.”

Acentech’s audiovisual consultants designed a highly flexible network-based digital audio system utilizing more than 400 Community CLOUD Series 1266, 1266T, and 1299T loudspeakers. Audio distributionthroughout the expansion is provided via a CobraNet-basednetwork that also interfaces with the main building’s analog audio system. Biamp AudiaFusion amplification powers the expansion system.

“We designed the sound system with various controllable zones which we kept small so that any zone failure wouldn’t prevent delivery of the emergency voice notification,” reports McIntyre. “Each zone consists of an amplifier output circuit, wiring and an assortment of Community CLOUD Loudspeakers. Each amplifier is also monitored and fully redundant.”

“AVI-SPL is honored to have played such a critical role in the largest public works project in Pennsylvania history,” added Tom Kelley, AVI-SPL’s General Manager. “Working with valued partners like Community and Biamp Systems, our team implemented a multifaceted audio system that delivers music, general announcements, and emergency notifications, all while maintaining complete system integrity.”

“We’re very pleased with the end result. The system provides the control and monitoring we need with great sound quality,” McIntyre says.

Apparently, the project has made its intended impact on the local economy. Convention bookings and attendance have increased more than 25% since the completion of the convention center’s expansion.

 

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 Community Professional Loudspeakers is a manufacturer and supplier of professional audio equipment.  Since 1968, Community has led the pro-audio industry with technological innovations which have become industry standards. Today, Community offers over 150 professional loudspeaker products, including installed loudspeaker systems, weather-resistant outdoor loudspeaker systems, ceiling loudspeakers, high level voice paging systems, and portable entertainment systems.  Visit www.communitypro.com for more information. 

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