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William Kentridge’s Soundscapes Come Clean with PreSonus

tumblr_musesiMeAL1r064gzo4_1280 copyJohannesburg, South Africa – January 2014…  Acclaimed South African-born artist William Kentridge has a well-deserved reputation for the unusual. His work spans the audio and visual spectrum, from drawings and prints to operas and charcoal drawn animations. In his latest installation, “The Refusal of Time,” Kentridge fuses sculpture with digital video and complex, multi-layered soundscapes to create a multimedia work that is both powerful and compelling.

The viewer is immersed with five video screens covering three walls, running separate but interwoven program material accompanied by a multi-channel music and sound sculpture. There is a sculpture of a man holding a big megaphone, as well as a giant wooden, breathing elephant in the middle of the room, making reference to Charles Dickens’ Industrial Revolution. The soundtrack includes music composed by Philip Miller, as well as spoken word, including Kentridge’s own voice from the megaphone, and of course, the elephant’s breathing. The end result is a clearly unique and intricate audio/visual installation.

2-2013-06-10 309 copyThe man charged with the logistics of running this complex and unusual setup is engineer/sound designer Gavan Eckhart. With an installation requiring sophisticated mixing and matrixing and powerful signal processing, Eckhart chose the PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL as the central audio hub.

A four-channel bed of music forms the sonic foundation, blending samples of African languages and chants atop Miller’s orchestral array of trumpet, trombone, tuba, grand piano, and various percussion. The quadraphonic surround mix is sent, via four of the AudioBox 1818VSL’s outputs, to four JBL Eon powered monitors.

On top of this mix is Kentridge’s spoken-word soundscape: the man with the megaphone. Here, Eckhart had to think of a creative way to achieve just the right metallic, low-fi sound. “The megaphones are a big component of the whole piece,” he says. “I came up with the idea to just grab some car speakers and mount them in tin cones on tripods and see if it worked. Fortunately, it did. That low-quality rattle and hum those cones produce is actually part of the beauty of the piece.” Four more outputs from the AudioBox 1818VSL feed the car speakers via a four-channel amplifier.

1-2013-06-10 325 copyThe installation includes a total of seven Mac minis: five running video playout, a sixth running the audio, and one more as master controller. With most of the installations residing in large warehouse spaces, it’s easy to imagine the potential for things to degenerate into a muddy-sounding cacophony. But Eckhart says the AudioBox 1818VSL is more than up to the task.

“The AudioBox 1818VSL gives me enough matrixing and discrete outputs to route all the individual signals,” he says. “But more than that, it has a nice, well-defined sound that really allows me to get a good separation between the beautiful musical backdrop and the spoken word with these distorted car speakers.”

The AudioBox 1818VSL’s onboard signal processing helps to further define and refine the mix, says Eckhart. “I find that the EQs are very useful for shaping the sound and achieving separation. If it’s a very bass-heavy room, I can just roll off a bit of lows or bring a bit of sparkle to the speakers instead of having to remix and re-export it. It lessens the processing demands on the computer and gives me a tremendous amount of control to create a clear and well-defined soundscape.”

Since its debut at the Dokumenta 13 festival in Kassel, Kentridge’s “The Refusal of Time” has been installed at numerous museums worldwide, including Rome, Paris, and Eindhoven, with new installations scheduled in Germany, Japan, Australia, and the United States.

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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.

Iconyx Brings a New Chapter to Historic Manhattan Church

New York, NY – January, 2014… The brick and brownstone building that is home to New York’s Seventh Day Adventist Church has stood on this tree-lined street in Greenwich Village since 1882. Today, this 1,000-seat historic landmark retains much of its original architecture and interior design, including grand Tiffany style stained-glass windows, smoothly aged, dark wooden pews, and high, vaulted ceilings. A magnificent organ rises high above the stage, and a balcony partially extends over the large, open auditorium.

Like many of the era’s grand old churches, the acoustics can be magnificent for organ and choir, but the sermons were battling the architecture’s myriad reflective surfaces. Areas under and in the balcony suffered from particularly poor intelligibility, and coverage was inconsistent throughout the room. The

steep rake of the pew seating, covering almost one vertical story from the entry doors to the stage, only exacerbated the problem. The Church’s previous portable system did little to improve intelligibility, and even less for aesthetics.

“The Renkus-Heinz Iconyx was really the best choice for this room,” explains Geraldo Watson, President and CEO of BUSA AV Technology & Construction in Brooklyn, NY, the system contractor. A pair of Renkus-Heinz IC24-R-II digitally steerable column arrays are mounted left and right of the stage. “It’s a bit of a challenging room because of the shape, and all the reflective surfaces.”

“Two IC-24 columns cover the whole room. We didn’t need any fills or additional speakers,” says Richard Trombitas of Northport, NY-based Cardone, Solomon & Associates. “In addition to providing consistent coverage in the primary seating areas, Iconyx enabled us to selectively steer the sound into the areas where it was needed, while minimizing reflections from the walls and windows. With the IC-24s we were able to create a nice, narrow beam to cover the balcony and another to cover the area below it. This approach provided a comprehensive solution for this customer, utilizing only two boxes.”

Not surprisingly, aesthetics were an important consideration in this landmark building. The low profile design of the Iconyx meant they could be mounted flat against two large wooden columns, painted to match the décor, and blend almost invisibly with the architecture.

The stage area is equipped with four Renkus-Heinz TRX82/12  dual eight inch 120 X 60 degree loudspeakers for monitoring,  powered by a single Powersoft M50 amplifier. “The TRX82 is a great option for stage monitors,” says Trombitas. “Its low profile, controlled mid-bass directivity and 120 X 60 degree pattern are optimal for this, as well as many other HOW and performing arts applications”

Watson reports the Church staff and congregation have been exceptionally pleased. “When they heard the sound coming from the new system, they were amazed at the clarity. They just love it.”

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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.

PreSonus Ships Innovative StudioLive AI-series Active Integration PA Loudspeakers

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – January 2014…  PreSonus is shipping its new StudioLive™ AI-series Active Integration Loudspeakers, the first active loudspeakers that deliver studio-monitor accuracy onstage. The new line includes the full-range StudioLive 312AI, 315AI, and 328AI and the StudioLive 18sAIsubwoofer. All models are available immediately.

A key component of the StudioLive AI’s design is its use of Active Integration technology. Active Integration combines wireless and wired networking and communications with powerful DSP to create a unified working environment.

StudioLive AI-series speakers incorporate Fulcrum Acoustics’ TQ™ Temporal Equalization algorithms. Taking advantage of Active Integration’s ample DSP, TQ employs multiple, fully addressable Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filters to eliminate horn reflections and to correct linear time and amplitude anomalies in coaxial systems. Collaborating with Fulcrum Acoustics’ co-founder, Dave Gunness, PreSonus software designers incorporated custom TQ algorithms with dynamics processing, FFT tools, and performance monitoring into the onboard DSP. The result is a PA system with remarkably clear, coherent, studio-quality sound.

Each full-range, powered, 3-way loudspeaker relies on a custom-designed, CoActual™ 8-inch coaxial speaker with a 1.75-inch titanium compression driver to reproduce the mid and high frequencies. Triamplified, Class D power amplifiers in each model deliver a combined 2,000 watts of power.

The StudioLive 312AI comes equipped with a 12-inch ferrite speaker to handle low-frequency reproduction, while the 315AI employs a 15-inch woofer, and the StudioLive 328AI features dual 8-inch ferrite speakers, enabling it to deliver high-powered performance in a noticeably streamlined and compact enclosure.

Each full-range system has a combo XLR/TRS line input and an XLR microphone input with an XMAX™ Class A mic preamplifier and 12V phantom power, as well as an XLR audio throughput. The full-range speaker systems are pole-mountable and have ergonomic side handles, interlocking stacking, and M10 fly points. All enclosures are of lightweight plywood construction.

Three operation modes allow the user to choose DSP presets for their application, such as MP3 playback, live performance, or stage monitoring. Users can also create a custom preset using SL Room Control and store it onboard for use later.

In addition to the full-range, 3-way systems, PreSonus is offering the StudioLive 18sAI, a powered, 18-inch, ferrite subwoofer designed to complement the full-range StudioLive AI speakers while still being flexible enough to work with other powered loudspeakers. A 1,000W amplifier powers the subwoofer. The StudioLive 18sAI offers stereo line inputs (XLR/¼-inch combo) and full-range stereo line outputs (XLR) with a switchable, low-cut crossover.

All StudioLive AI-series loudspeakers include an Ethernet port and a USB port with a Wi-Fi module to connect to SL Room Control software over a wireless network. Expected to be available in Spring 2014, SL Room Control is a speaker-management application for Mac OS X®, Windows®, and iPad that provides both individual and grouped speaker control and includes a 31-band graphic EQ and an 8-band parametric EQ, muting, soloing, and level control, in addition to performance monitoring (over temperature, click detection, and excursions). A network-setup wizard will be included.

Custom accessories for the AI-series speakers include a mountable Sub Dolly to make hauling the 18sAI subwoofer easy and a pull-tested Sub Pole to mount a full-range system atop the 18sAI. An M10 Kit, which contains four M10 eyebolts, lets you fly any full-range model in a permanent installation. Protective covers for the 312AI, 328AI, 315AI, and 18sAI are also available.

U.S. MAP/street prices are expected to be $1,399.95 for the StudioLive 312AI, $1,499.95 for the StudioLive 328AI, $1,599.95 for the StudioLive 315AI, and $1,299.95 for the StudioLive 18sAI subwoofer. All models are available immediately. For more information visit www.presonus.com/products/live-sound-reinforcement

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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.

 

Iconyx Makes it Clear at St. Rose of Lima

Simi Valley, CA — December 2013… When St. Rose of Lima was founded in 1921, the Arroyo Simi was a rural valley, sparsely populated with hardy farming families. Like much of Southern California, the area grew quickly, as did the church’s small congregation. Today, St. Rose of Lima’s bustling campus in Simi Valley is home to a 600-seat sanctuary, as well as elementary and middle schools, a meeting hall, offices and other community facilities.

The sanctuary recently underwent a major renovation, and the result is a spacious, ornate but tasteful and unassuming space, with high peaked ceilings, stained glass windows, and hardwood pews. But the new sanctuary’s angular architecture and an abundance of smooth, reflective surfaces has created new challenges.

“The new space looks great, but it’s a far more reflective and reverberant environment now,” says Ken Buckowski of Burbank, CA-based Studio Spectrum. “The old sound system would have been problematic, both functionally and aesthetically.”

Studio Spectrum recommended a pair of Iconyx digitally steered line array systems to replace the existing system. A single IC32-R-II column is mounted on either side of the proscenium, with multiple sound beams steering sound away from walls and windows, and toward the congregants in the pews.

“They were very concerned with the aesthetics of the space, and didn’t want to see a room full of speakers anymore,” says Buckowski. “The Iconyx has such a slim, low profile design, they pretty much blend in with the architecture. Most of the people didn’t even notice them.”

The renovation also included opening additional seating to the left and right of the existing pews. “The side wings have much lower ceilings, and our original thought was to put additional speakers in there to fill that zone,” says Buckowski. “But the Iconyx enabled us to steer sound directly into that space, so we didn’t need anything else.”

Buckowski concludes, “Iconyx was the perfect solution for this space. Coverage and intelligibility are consistent to every seat in the house, and it blends perfectly with the sanctuary’s architecture. We went from having a room full of speakers to just two. They love the way it looks and the way it sounds.”

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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.

 

Renkus-Heinz Powers Top French TV Station’s Presentations

Paris, France – December 2013…State-owned French radio and television broadcaster France Télévisions Publicité is one of the of the largest journalistic organizations in France, and as a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1950, one of the longest-standing. The station’s Paris studio recently installed a Renkus-Heinz loudspeaker system for its screening and presentation room.

Created by sound designer Terry Nelson of Switzerland-based Studio Equipment company, the new loudspeakers were installed by the studio’s technical director Christophe Scherrer and head of technology Toni Livaudais as a dedicated speech system, replacing the studio’s previous arrangement of running podium presentation microphones through the room’s surround loudspeaker system.

“It was always a problematic arrangement,” says Nelson. “There were constant problems with feedback, and the podium itself has a strong acoustic resonance. But the aesthetics of a new system were also very important. They wanted a discrete but very clear-sounding audio system that would also deal with the room’s acoustical issues.”

A nice pair copy 2Nelson initially specified two compact Renkus-Heinz TRX61 complex conic systems to be mounted on the opposing surfaces of a pillar at the entrance to the room: one to the side of the screen and facing into the room and another for an ‘overspill’ seating area to stage right. The team also upgraded the existing loudspeaker processor to a Klark Teknik DN9848 to serve both the screen system and the new speech system.

“The TRX61s are ideally suited for this installation,” says Nelson. “Their coverage is nicely focused, and they blend in well with the room. People have commented on their very natural sound, especially with voices. This was especially important, as the station has to deal with all kinds of presenters and interviewees, both professional and inexperienced.”

Nelson reports the client was quite happy with just two TRX61s but later requested an additional two speakers to broaden the coverage. “It’s a small project but we think of it as quite a success story, especially as Toni is a total sound fanatic.”

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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.

Premiere Southern California Live Music Venue Steps it Up with VARIA

Long Beach, CA – December 2013…The Gaslamp is one of Southern California’s best-known night spots, with a rich history of great entertainment and an impressively eclectic roster. On any given night, the club’s stage plays host to artists ranging from hard rock and metal to punk, acoustic, and even contemporary classical performances, as well as comedy, DJs, tribute acts, karaoke, and even televised sporting events.

The Gaslamp offers up a full kitchen, with private booths and tables as well as a bar and dance floor, making it a great place for dinner, drinks, and a night out. But as owner Mike Newfeld explains, the club’s acoustics have long been a struggle.

“It’s a very boomy room,” says Newfeld. “It’s got high ceilings, concrete floors, and just not very good sound dispersion — a lot of pockets that are dead space or too loud. The challenge has been to find a system that would deliver consistent coverage and sound good, no matter where you are in the room.”

Engineer Tony Purvis agrees. “It was really, really hard to get a good mix throughout the whole club — to achieve that ‘comfortable loud,’ where everyone can enjoy themselves, enjoy the music and the performance but still be able to hold a conversation.”

The Gaslamp recently upgraded their sound system, installing the new VARIA modular point source line array system from Renkus-Heinz. As Purvis observes, the VARIA system has completely changed the equation for the club.

“The experience that I’ve had with the new VARIA system has been just amazing,” Purvis remarks. “The design of the system has enabled complete coverage. This system makes my life easier.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the new VARIA system,” adds Newfeld. “Our customer base noticed immediately. It’s loud, clear, and clean, without blowing people away. Thanks to the new VARIA system, we are now known as the premiere live music venue in Southern California.”

 

 

 

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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.

World Renowned Cathedral Gets World Class Sound with Iconyx

St. Louis, MO – November 2013… Completed in 1914, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is renowned for its breathtaking mosaic works — one of the largest in the world. Comprising more than 41.5 million pieces, and covering 83,000 square feet, the mosaics display took more than 75 years to complete, and draws visitors from throughout the world.

The 2000-seat cathedral’s architecture is as exquisite as it is acoustically challenging, capped with a massive dome that soars to 150 feet high at its center. “It’s an exceptionally challenging environment,” explains Gary Haselhorst, President of Valley Park, MO-based Cignal Systems. “There are so many concave surfaces, with 360 degrees of windows, and the dome just exacerbates everything. There’s not a soft surface in there — marble floors, hard pews — and there are transepts on either side that create even more reflections.”

Not surprisingly, the Cathedral has struggled to find a sound system that could cope with such a challenging space. “The old system was simply ineffective,” says Haselhorst. “They had about twenty 12-inch two-way cabinets around the perimeter, hung at about 30 feet in the air. There was a very fine line between enough volume and too much volume. If we brought up the direct feed too high the room would go into feedback.”

The solution presented itself in the form of Iconyx digitally steerable column arrays from Renkus-Heinz. A pair of Iconyx IC32-R-II columns are installed left and right of the altar platform. As Haselhorst explains, the Iconyx was a clear and obvious solution.

“As proof of concept, we took a single Iconyx 32 into the Cathedral, put it stage right of the altar sanctuary area, and steered the beam away from the reflective surfaces. Even with one speaker, we were miles beyond the existing sound system.”

Haselhorst adds that the 32-element column was exactly what was needed in this reflective space. “We didn’t need the SPL, but we needed the low frequency control. Below 250 Hz, the RT in that room is unmanageable.”

A second set of Iconyx IC16-R-II columns are mounted midway back in the room as delays. “We could have easily hit the back of the room with the mains, but the transepts created another issue. If we aimed the beam high enough to hit the back of the room, we were hitting the transepts too. Using the IC16 columns as a delay kept us from having to push the front elements too hard and hitting the transept walls.” Time alignment is handled within the Iconyx software. A pair of Symetrix Radius units provides additional signal processing.

The Iconyx also offered a low-profile, streamlined design that blended well with the decor. “We custom painted them to match the walls,” says Haselhorst.

The new system has made an immense difference, says Haselhorst.  “We took down twenty loudspeakers that were aimed all over the place, and replaced them with four sources that are aimed with precision. You can hear someone now as if you were talking to them ten feet away.”

Haselhorst says the best compliment was from the archbishop himself. “He said that now he can pull up his old sermons and reuse them, and this time people will be able to hear them.”

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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.

Classic New York Deli Begins a New Life with Renkus-Heinz

New York, NY – November 2013… When Russian émigré Max Asnas opened his modest Manhattan delicatessen in 1937, few would have imagined that the Stage Deli would become one of the city’s gastronomic legends. During its 75 year history, the Stage was a regular haunt for celebrities, athletes, politicians, and millions of regular folks craving a taste of New York.

When the Stage closed its doors for good in December of 2012, the new owners were determined to create an establishment worthy of the hallowed space. The new Stagecoach Tavern offers an upscale environment while retaining the building’s classic charm.

“There had been very little work done to the place over the years, and it was showing signs of its long legacy,” says John Paturno of Rego Park, NY-based Starview Audio. “The owners wanted to retain the layout, footprint, and character of the original space. They rebuilt the winter garden and restored all the original woodwork, and it looks really good.”

But as Paturno observes, the building’s character brings with it a number of acoustical challenges. “The winter garden creates a very acoustically reflective overhang in the front, and the woodwork creates a few little acoustical pockets,” he says. “There’s a dining area further back, and a bar area with a higher ceiling.”

Starview installed a system based around Renkus-Heinz TRX and CFX Series compact loudspeakers, including two zones of eight ultra-compact CFX41 coaxial four-inch systems lining the glassed in front room. The area is divided into two zones, with the zone adjacent to the bar running slightly louder than the more intimate dining area. “The CFX41 is a nice, compact design that delivers excellent coverage with a very short throw,” says Paturno. “It’s perfect for this application, because it doesn’t excite the winter garden’s glass surfaces.”

Four TRX61 two-way systems are mounted over the bar area, creating its own zone for patrons. “They have several TV screens installed, and they’re able to split the room into different zones and show multiple sporting events at the same time,” says Paturno. “The TRX61 offers an exceptionally small footprint with tight pattern control, which enables them to run the bar area at a much higher energy level than the adjacent dining space.” A Symetrix Solus 8 handles signal processing, with Powersoft amplification driving the system.

Initial reviews for the Stagecoach Tavern have been nothing short of stellar, and the sound system has delivered the perfect ambience. Paturno concludes, “whether people are there for a quiet dinner, a lunch meeting, or to watch a game at the bar, the Renkus-Heinz system provides the perfect coverage for every part of this classic establishment.”

 

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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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Renkus-Heinz Helps Schengenfest Cap the Summer Season

Vinica, Slovenia – November, 2013…. Now in its sixth year, Schengenfest has quickly become Slovenia’s largest and most popular summer music festival. Held in the world-renowned Krajinski Park on the banks of the River Kolpa, the show’s three-day ticket includes dozens of bands and DJs on three stages, as well as free camping, an amusement park, a theater, games, workshops, and more.

This year’s lineup included UK rockers Skunk Anansie, Belgium’s Triggerfinger, and German reggae artists Gentlemen and the Evolution, as well as an all-star roster of DJs from the US and Europe. Performances spanned three stages, with audio provided by one of the country’s largest concert providers, Turjak-based Akustika Pirman.

The Main Stage was outfitted with a massive Renkus-Heinz line array, with 16 VLX3 cabinets and 24 DRS18-2B subwoofers per side. Five PN102 cabinets provided front fill, with six PN102LA boxes per side deployed from the FOH roof to cover the area shaded by it. Analog and digital were represented at FOH, with DiGiCo SD8 and Soundcraft MH-3 48 consoles. Xilica XP-4080 processors handle system processing, with Lab.gruppen amplification. Stage monitors were also Renkus-Heinz, including 12 PNX151 wedges, side fills with DRS18-2B subs, and a PNX121 and DRS18 rig for drum fill.

The Electro Stage was an ongoing DJ party, pumped up with left and right arrays of 12 STXLA/9 cabinets, with bass amply covered by 16 DRS18-2B subs. Monitors for the DJ included an IC Live SUB IC215 and two PN102LA cabinets per side, along with six more PNX121 boxes for additional monitoring. A DiGiCo SD11 console handled FOH mix, with XTA processing and Lab.gruppen amps.

Over at the smaller, more intimate riverfront Beach Stage, a single TRX151T and DRS18 sub per side handled PA duties, with PNX121 boxes for monitoring.

“I knew we needed a truly powerful setup for this event, as we were expecting a huge crowd,” says system engineer Ales Dravinec. “We wanted to create a system that would deliver excellent throw across the entire frequency range, and we came up with a system that gave us not just great coverage, but headroom to spare. Setup was straightforward and effortless as well. Bravo, Renkus-Heinz!”

Akustika Pirman’s Metod Komatar adds, “As one of Slovenia’s largest rental companies, we work on a wide range of events, from national celebrations and congresses to concerts, TV shows, and many others. We use Renkus-Heinz systems exclusively because they deliver powerful performance, they are dependable, and they sound great.”

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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 Makes it Clear at Mizzou Aquatic Center

Columbia, MO – November 2013…. The University of Missouri has a well-deserved reputation for going the extra mile for its student body, and their Student Recreation Center is a case in point. With a range of indoor and outdoor facilities to meet almost any discipline, their Mizzou Aquatic Center is just one of several jewels in the crown. The Aquatic Center’s 50 meter pool and Diving Well have hosted numerous high-profile competitions, including Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships, USA Swimming Series, and NCAA meets.

Since its opening in 2005, the Aquatic Center had also been known for its problematic acoustics. With its soaring glass and concrete walls, massive steel roof, and abundance of reflective surfaces, announcements were literally drowning in the din. That is, until the Center installed their new Iconyx digitally steered column array system.

“The original audio system never really provided the coverage they needed,” explains Brian Noerlinger, with the Overland Park, Kansas offices of Conference Technologies, Inc. “The speakers were mounted at about 56 feet high, and the intelligibility factor was close to nil.”

The ceiling’s height created strategic challenges as well. “One of our biggest obstacles was taking the old speakers down,” says Noerlinger. “The largest lift we could get into the building only went to 40 feet. Erecting a scaffold would have called for draining the pool, which wasn’t an option. So I put a couple of pieces of conduit together with a couple of pulleys and a spring and a rope, and essentially made a big long tree trimmer. I threw a rope around the speakers, pried them off and reached up and cut. I had one heck of an audience watching from below.”

As challenging as it was to get the old speakers down, installing anything else at that height would have proven impossible. “The original plan had been for the Iconyx to be part of the design, along with hanging additional speakers to replace the old ones,” says Noerlinger. Instead, CTI worked with the Renkus-Heinz engineering team to design a system to cover the entire space using only three Iconyx columns.

The system is comprised of a single Iconyx IC16-R-II column in the center, flanked by IC8-R-II columns on either side. “One of the IC8 columns covers the diving well area, with the IC16 at dead center and the other IC8 down at the far end of the pool,” says Noerlinger. “With just those three columns, we were able to achieve a consistent 110 dB coverage across the entire seating area.” A CFX218S dual 18 inch subwoofer adds low end punch and power to pump up the crowd.

Intelligibility is also dramatically improved, Noerlinger adds. “Having the ability to control our point sources and direct the sound exactly where we wanted it — and more importantly, to steer it away from the places we didn’t want it — made a tremendous difference. The sound in there now is crystal clear.”

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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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