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Community Delivers the Sound for Singapore’s First Olympic-Size Ice Rink

Electronics & Engineering (E&E) has recently completed the installation of a Community sound system at Singapore’s first Olympic-size ice rink at JCube.

Owned by CapitaMall Trust, JCube is located out of town in Jurong East. Managed by CapitaMall Asia, JCube differentiates itself from the usual shopping and dining mall experience with the ice rink in the center of the building. The 60 x 30 meter rink has a 460-seat gallery and can be used simply for community skating, or for more competitive sporting events including speed or figure skating and ice hockey. It can also host live streaming events and concerts in the space.

The sound system at JCube rink provides both high intelligibility speech and entertainment quality music, and additionally allows for the multi-use requirements of the venue. To meet the specifications of the rinks management, E&E worked closely with Community’s Singapore-based Director of Business Development, Thomas Mittelmann, who liaised with the technical team at Community’s HQ in the US.

Seventeen Community WET W2-2W8 loudspeakers are mounted around the rink edge. The W2-2W8’s dual 8-inch horizontal drivers with centrally located 1-inch horn provide the optimum 120-degree wide horizontal dispersion required for the venue. Additionally the W2-2W8’s extreme all-weather capabilities handle the environmental conditions of the rink and its provision in white ensured the loudspeakers blended perfectly with the venue’s aesthetics.

In addition to the distributed W2-2W8 system, the audio design includes a ceiling loudspeaker system for the audience areas. The upper spectator stand comprises thirteen Community D8 8-inch coaxial ceiling loudspeakers. The D8 loudspeakers deliver consistent coverage with their Tru-Phase high frequency waveguide providing a wide uniform dispersion. In the lower stand there are thirteen Community D6 ceiling loudspeakers, providing the same consistent quality as their larger sibling, but equipped with a 6.5-inch low frequency driver. A further ten Community D4 ceiling loudspeakers and four Community DS8 surface mount loudspeakers are installed at back of house.

Five Ashly Audio NE2400 2-channel amplifiers power the Community loudspeakers. The network enabled amplifiers feature full control and monitoring capabilities via standard 10/100 Ethernet protocol and Protea software. An Ashly Audio NE4250 amplifier powers the back of house system.

Processing is provided by a Symetrix Symnet 8×8 digital signal processor, supplied with SymNet Designer software which equips the rink with more than 300 DSP modules, including feedback elimination, loudspeaker management and auto mixing. The built-in modules enable the audio engineer at the rink to switch quickly and easily from one processing mode to another depending on the function of the rink at any given time.

Completing the audio system are a Mackie 1642-VLZ3 I6-channel compact recording mixer and Shure SLX24/SM58 handheld wireless microphones for concert type events.

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Timothy Dorwart Appointed Community CEO

Community Professional Loudspeakers is pleased to announce the appointment of Timothy Dorwart as CEO. Dorwart brings over 30 years of sales, manufacturing and management experience in the pro audio and music industries. In his new role, Dorwart is tasked with overseeing the company’s overall business and sales strategies, and leading Community into a new era of exceptional growth.

Dorwart’s previous roles have included director and VP positions with Bose Corporation and DMX Music. Since 2007, he led the Stanton Group through a successful turnaround as their CEO. Dorwart joins Community from Gibson Guitar Corporation where he held the position of General Manager, Pro Audio and guided the integration of Stanton Group assets to form Gibson’s new Pro Audio Division.

“I am delighted to join Community at a pivotal time in their history,” said Dorwart. “The company is poised for considerable expansion and I look forward to leading the company into the future.”

Dorwart joins Community at an important stage of the company’s development. The company started as a loudspeaker component and lighting company 45 years ago when it was founded by current president and chief engineer Bruce Howze. Today Community is a prominent loudspeaker manufacturer with an advanced product range, supplying acoustic solutions to high profile installations worldwide and enjoying its highest level of sales in domestic and international markets.

“Community has continued to grow throughout the economic recession, with its diverse profile of high value, high performance outdoor and installation products,” remarked Howze. “I’m confident that under Tim’s leadership, Community will not only continue its strong performance, but start an upward trajectory of unprecedented growth. Tim will be the major driving force in the company’s future. I’m thrilled to welcome him to Community.”

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St Joseph’s University Gets Dual Community Sound Systems

Philadelphia, PA, – When St Joseph’s University decided to transform their McGuire campus’ former chapel into a contemporary multi-use student center, they called upon Maryland-based RJC Designs to create an A/V and media solution that could address a multitude of challenges, from the acoustical and logistical to the aesthetic, while maintaining the room’s classic architectural lines.

Video is centered on a Panasonic WUXGA DLP projector sending HD video to a Draper retractable 108″ x 192″ screen. The rear wall and both wings are hung with additional 60″ LED monitors, each of which can be tied into the main display or used as separate presentation areas. Digital technologies were used within the development of the infrastructure to support the various displays and also reduce the size and cost of the pathways. All the LED monitors are tied into the campus signage and information network. HDMI, DVI, Component, and other analog and digital sources are available on the buffer wall and in the front presentation areas.

Audio is provided via dual integrated sound systems, each addressing a critical niche. A pair of Community ENTASYS high-performance column line arrays mounted to either side of the proscenium hones in on spoken word intelligibility, augmented by VLF208 subwoofers. High-level musical performance is covered by a pair of iBOX iHP3594 three-way cabinets, with low frequency muscle from a couple of i215LVS dual 15-inch subwoofers. Crown CTs amplification powers the system, with DSP covered by a Biamp AudiaFLEX CM.

RJC Designs President Rich Coluzzi remarked, “clear and intelligible sound along with dynamic program audio makes for an exciting audio experience for the Saint Joseph’s University students and other attendants.”

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ENTASYS Helps Bring Modern Technology to Historic Church

The rolling hills and fertile farmlands along the Delaware River were among the first to be settled by European colonists, and the area is rich in historic buildings and landmarks. Among them is Alexandria First Presbyterian Church, whose main sanctuary was built in the late 1800s, and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Despite being one of the older buildings in the area, Alexandria First Presbyterian is all modern on the inside, thanks to a sophisticated audio and video system designed and installed by Blackwood, NJ-based JD Sound and Video. The system includes distributed HD video, with multiple screens throughout, as well as a sound system featuring Community Professional Loudspeakers’ ENTASYS column arrays and VLF Series subwoofers.

“It’s not a large building, and it’s not very ornate,” says JD Sound’s Joe DiSabatino. “But they’ve invested wisely with the technology they’ve installed.”

As DiSabatino explains, the building’s old stone walls and hard surfaces make for a highly reflective acoustical environment, and achieving good spoken word intelligibility has long been a challenge. “It’s a large, boxy room with high ceilings, hard plaster walls, and lots of hard wood,” says DiSabatino. “It sounds great for the choir, but not for the sermon.”

JD Sound recommended a pair of Community ENTASYS column loudspeakers to cover the entire space. “We set up a temporary system for them to use during a service, and they were immediately convinced,” says DiSabatino.

The church uses quite a bit of music in their program, and DiSabatino recommended a pair of VLF208 subwoofers to fill out the frequency range. “We built the subs into the altar, underneath the stage,” he says. “They provide just that little bit of extra low end and kick.”

The ENTASYS also addressed the church’s aesthetic concerns. “The columns are painted to match the walls, and are barely visible,” says DiSabatino. Crown amps power the system, and a Rane HAL system provides DSP and enables the church to make multi-channel recordings of their services, with an eye toward webcasting in the future.

The church’s previous system, a pair of Community CSX loudspeakers, has been repurposed. “The kids have a gathering spot down in the basement, and the original Community system is still working fine, so it was perfect for that,” says DiSabatino.

“The ENTASYS system was the perfect solution,” DiSabatino concludes. “Coverage is consistent to every seat, even under the balcony, and we’ve got far more gain before feedback. And they sound terrific.”

Community Seeks EN54-24 Compliance for R-Series Loudspeakers

Large venues of every kind need intelligible voice evacuation and mass notification capabilities, yet many typical fire-alarm voice-evacuation systems provide neither the voice intelligibility nor the sound levels (volume) needed to effectively communicate with very large numbers of people over the ambient levels of a real-life emergency situation.

Throughout Europe, venues such as stadia, sports and convention centers already have high intelligibility, high-level sound systems for entertainment and voice paging which can communicate effectively. For such systems installers could comply with the BS EN 60849 Standard for the installation, but there was no common laboratory test for the loudspeaker equipment. This remained subject to different requirements in every country. The introduction of the EN54-24 Standard dramatically changed this, providing a harmonized EU standard to test to.

To enable its loudspeakers to be used in voice alarm systems in venues across Europe, Community Professional Loudspeakers has applied for EN54-24 Certification of many of its large-scale loudspeaker systems through the international laboratory network of European Notified Body, Intertek. Their newly opened Life Safety & Security testing facility in Leatherhead UK had been developed to accommodate larger products used in fire detection and evacuation and had the capacity to test Community’s loudspeakers which weigh between 40 and 145 kilos.

EN54-24 specifies the minimum requirements for voice alarm loudspeaker as a component of a voice alarm system to provide intelligible warning when a fire emergency has occurred and provides a common method of testing their operational performance. It also specifies the common requirements for construction and robustness under climatic or mechanical conditions that might occur in a service environment.

With EN54-24 addressing the performance of products before and after they have been conditioned by factors such as corrosion, changes in temperature, vibration and impact, Intertek’s test and assessment engineers worked closely with the technical experts at Community to put various models through their paces.

Intertek’s newly built acoustic chamber enables test engineers to take audio readings at 4m as required by EN54-24 and their 998cm3 SO2 corrosion chamber (double the size of most corrosion chambers operating) is capable of conditioning larger products to simulate environmental aging.

Community is ahead of the compliance curve in this project having considered the EN54-24 requirements over a year ago and immediately initiating their plans, ahead of many other large-scale manufacturers selling into Europe.
“Sometimes new standards seem to result in nothing but red tape and bureaucracy”, said Chris Foreman, Community’s COO, “But EN-54-24 actually allows high quality professional audio systems – systems that often exceed the output capabilities of standard emergency products – to be used in emergency applications. Community systems, particularly R-Series Systems, are already the go-to product in Europe for outdoor entertainment systems. Given their exceptional voice capability, we expect that we will continue to enjoy great success as this directive progresses.”
– Ends -
www.communitypro.com
www.intertek.com/life-safety/

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Barber Motorsports Park is Loud and Proud with Community’s R-Series

Birmingham, AL – It was George Barber’s lifelong passion for racing that led him to become a driver with the Sports Car Club of America in the 1960s.

After his father’s death in 1972, the Birmingham native put his racing career on the back burner to take over the family dairy business. But by the late 1980s Barber’s obsession with collecting and restoring vintage cars and motorcycles eventually resulted in one of the most impressive collections in the world, and in 1995 he opened the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum.

In 2003 Barber sold his dairy business and invested more than $50 million to build the Barber Motorsports Park. The sprawling 740 acre park, just east of Birmingham, is home to the Museum, as well as a 16-turn, 2.38-mile racetrack that has hosted both motorcycle and car racing events ranging from Grand-Am and NASCAR to AMA Superbike and Mustang Club of America.

“The state of Alabama has never had a race course as pristine as this one,” says Lee Brock of Birmingham-based Music Alley, the designer and installer behind the track’s high-end audio system. “It started out as a motorcycle course, but in no time at all it evolved to become one of the area’s most unique racing rings.”

As Brock explains, the track’s fast-growing popularity inspired a series of upgrades including a large-scale sound system covering the entire area. “When Indy got involved a couple of years ago, management decided it was time to get away from those old horns they were using and put in a system with full-range, high-quality sound,” says Brock. “They demoed a whole bunch of different loudspeaker products, and when we showed them the Community R-Series, that’s what decided it.”

The system is comprised of more than 100 Community R-Series loudspeakers, including a mix of R.25, R.5 and R.5SUB models. The R-Series’ legendary power and intelligibility was key to its selection, Brock observes. “The R-Series is unmatched when it comes to getting the announcers’ voices out there so people can understand it,” he says. “It delivers without having to work very hard.” QSC RMX and ISA-Series amplification powers the system, with a Rane RPM-88 providing digital signal processing.

The track hosts a wide range of events, from high-testosterone to more family-oriented fare, and Brock adds that the sound system had to be versatile enough to deliver both power and musicality. “Of course, for a racetrack environment volume is critical,” he says. “But their program material also employs quite a bit of music, from singing the National Anthem to a lot of high-energy material, and sound quality was an important consideration.”

Another major consideration was durability, says Brock. “We don’t get a lot of snow here, but we do get a lot of extreme heat and humidity in the summer, and some heavy winds in the spring. The R-Series loudspeakers survived the tornadoes we had in April, and were still sitting on the wheel fence. Honestly, the system’s been in place for a year now and we haven’t had to replace a single component.”

The track’s wide acreage presented one of the project’s biggest challenges, says Brock. “We had a number of speaker runs that were going to be well over half a mile, and that just wasn’t feasible using copper wire,” he explains. “But we were able to use the park’s existing fiber connections from Race Control over to four corner stations around the park, and convert it to analog from there. There are a lot of nice hills and turns where the fans can sit on the grass, put out a blanket and have a picnic, and now we can get them good quality sound wherever they are.”

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Community Delivers Powerful Sound for Salvation Army Kroc Center

McDonald’s founders Ray and Joan Kroc were known for supporting a variety of charitable causes, and their legacy continues with a multi-billion dollar donation to the Salvation Army for the construction of several community centers in cities across America. The latest Kroc Center, recently opened in North Philadelphia, is one of the largest facilities of its kind on the East Coast. Its 130,000 square feet includes a world-class aquatics center, state-of-the-art fitness center, worship and performing arts facilities, café and culinary education center, as well as a wide range of programs for kids, adults and senior citizens.

Powerful sound was a big part of the plan for the facility, explains RTS Unified Communications’ Joe Zamborsky. RTS specified a selection of Community Professional Loudspeakers for the project, including R-Series, WET-Series and CLOUD6 in-ceiling systems to cover the pool areas, worship center, fitness center gymnasium and numerous other areas.

“In any major project like this one, there are a number of challenges,” says Zamborsky. Clearly, the project’s tight six-month schedule was a demanding one, as was the need to be exceptionally flexible in the face of numerous logistical challenges. On more than one occasion, plans had to be altered due to unforeseen surprises during the construction process. “The number one most important thing is communication,” he observes. “We maintained a daily, ongoing dialogue with everyone involved in the project, and that was key to our ability to keep things moving.”

The Community loudspeakers fit the bill on multiple levels, says Zamborsky. “Particularly in the pool areas, which combined a tremendously reverberant environment with an exceptionally high humidity, the R-Series was the only choice. Not only do they look great, but they sound terrific.”

The competition pool area offered up additional challenges as well. “Aside from having to cover the pool area itself, we were tasked with creating a separate system to cover the stands, which are tucked away in their own alcove,” says Zamborsky. “We chose the Community WET Series to cover that area, because they provided both a tight, focused coverage pattern and a high degree of intelligibility.”

Not surprisingly, the facility has been overwhelmingly embraced by the local community. “This is a great place and a tremendous asset for the city of Philadelphia,” says Zamborsky. “We’re proud to have been a part of it, and proud to be able to deliver a great sounding environment for everyone using the facility.”

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First Lutheran Church Finds “Solutions” with Community Loudspeakers

First Lutheran Church, Ellicott, Maryland

The leafy green hills west of Baltimore are home to First Lutheran, one of the area’s oldest and beloved churches. Established in 1874, the church has grown steadily over the years, moving to its current site in the mid-1950s. The campus is home to several buildings, including the Ellicott City Children’s House, Montessori School, and the current sanctuary, dedicated in 1996.

The octagonally-shaped sanctuary is as beautiful as it is acoustically challenging. Designed to feature the church’s exquisite pipe organ and choir, the building’s wood and glass ceiling, brick walls and rock and tile floor create a reflective environment that wreaks havoc with spoken word intelligibility. As Senior Pastor Eugene Kern explains, the issue was one that was initially not easy to discern.

“Since my arrival to First Lutheran in early 2009, there were complaints passed on to me about the sound system,” says Kern. “It took some time to interpret the specifics behind generalized statements like ‘I can’t hear,’ but we eventually determined that we did, indeed, have a number of ‘dead’ zones in the sanctuary where the quality of the sound was reduced. To make matters even more confusing, we also determined that we had a number of volunteers attempting to remedy the situation by making adjustments to the mixing console – with an astounding variety of results.”

Once the problems were identified, the church turned to Frederick, MD-based Audio-Video Group, who designed and installed a system based around Community Professional Loudspeakers’ Solutions Series SLS920 three-way high performance loudspeakers. A ring of eight SLS920 cabinets flown over the stage provides consistent, even coverage to the entire sanctuary.

“The system covers every seat, with no dead zones,” says Kern. “The sound is clear, and volume is controlled electronically. Intelligibility is vastly improved, and we are able to expand our inputs to two, three, six or even seven microphones just by turning a knob. The automation is an unexpected plus – we come in on Sunday morning, turn on the system, and we’re ready to go. We no longer have to rely on volunteers to turn knobs and adjust levels.”

As is often the case, aesthetics also played a key role in the system design. “When this sanctuary was completed in the mid-1990s, it won awards for its design – it really is a special place,” says Kern. “The original sound system, which I’m told was state-of-the-art for its time, was designed to make the loudspeakers look like light fixtures. In fact, visitors sometimes commented on how many lights were out in the sanctuary. But while it was interesting from a visual perspective, it wasn’t very effective, and AVG’s engineers made it clear that the best solution was a radically different approach, with a ring of speakers projecting out toward the pews. The new system sounds great, and you can hear clearly from every seat.”

Kern gives high marks to the AVG crew as well. “Eric Johnson and his team were a great fit for us,” he says. “They understand church – what goes on here, and what the needs are across multiple generations. They really listened to us, and took the time to get to the root of the issues affecting us. They offered us the best solution, and stood behind it with integrity, competence and professionalism.”

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Community Expands its Range of VLF Subwoofers

Community has introduced three new products to its VLF Series of Versatile Low Frequency systems. The dual 8-inch VLF208LV, the single 15-inch VLF115 and the single 18-inch VLF118 join the existing VLF products to create a comprehensive family of high performance subwoofers featuring a compact, low profile design.
more

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Yakima Valley SunDome Boosts Sound with Community R-Series Loudspeakers

Located in Central Washington’s State Fair Park, the 6,195-seat Yakima Valley SunDome is an impressive stadium that hosts touring concerts, basketball, wrestling and volleyball tournaments, truck-pulls, trade shows and other regional events.

As Leo Lee, owner and General Manager of Sousley Sound & Communications explains, the SunDome’s sound system was historically a bit of an Achilles Heel for the venue. “The SunDome was built in the 1990s, and at the time it was fairly typical to install center-cluster loudspeaker systems in domed stadiums,” he says. “Most center-cluster technology isn’t able to meet the current audio demands for a venue like the SunDome.” As Lee observes, to achieve the volume levels they needed, the cluster system was throwing sound too far, causing major reverberation problems within the SunDome’s largely concrete environment.

Sousley Sound & Communications was contracted by the city of Yakima to design and install a new distributed audio system capable of providing the zoned coverage needed for the venue’s various events, without compromising speech intelligibility or musicality. The newly commissioned system includes 24 Community R-Series Loudspeakers and six iHP Series dual-15″ subwoofers. The weather-resistant R-series, a popular choice for outdoor venues, is also frequently selected by designers for indoor arenas and other reverberant spaces because of its sound projection, pattern control, exceptional clarity and high quality music reproduction.

The loudspeakers are powered by 13 Ashly Audio amplifiers, with matrix routing and configuration presets provided by Ashly Protea DSPs. In addition, the system was the first installation to utilize Community’s new dSPEC 226 Loudspeaker Processor. dSPEC is an Ethernet-controlled processor that provides the standard functions expected of a high-quality DSP, while implementing a number of unique features to speed up the process of system configuration, multi-level limiter setting, and system commissioning. Among these is the first commercial-audio application of RealSoundLab’s CONEQ technology. Effectively a high-resolution tuning tool, as implemented in dSPEC, CONEQ processing provides loudspeaker presets that optimize frequency response while making each speaker’s sound-field more consistent. In practice, the dSPEC features enabled the various speaker types within a difficult venue to be quickly optimized, balanced, and commissioned.

Lee reports that the new Community system works exactly as it was designed and that everyone involved is very happy with the sound quality. “We’ve received many accolades about the new audio system,” he says. “You can hear every word clearly no matter where you sit in the arena. The sound distribution is exceptionally even. We’re very pleased, and more importantly, the SunDome management is very pleased.”

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