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Archive of the NSCA Newslink Category

Community Expands Distributed Design Family with Pendant Loudspeaker

Chester, PA – December 2011….Community Professional Loudspeakers  has introduced the newest addition to their highly acclaimed Distributed Design Series of ceiling and surface mount loudspeakers.

Featuring identical componentry to the D6 ceiling model, the DP6 pendant loudspeaker offers the superior sound quality, exceptional intelligibility and unparalleled performance that has quickly established the Distributed Design Series as a favorite among installed sound professionals.

A true coaxial loudspeaker with an HF compression driver, the DP6 offers Community’s patented Carbon Ring Cone Technology™ and Tru-Phase™ high-frequency waveguide for consistent, wide dispersion up to 16 kHz. Uniform voicing allows the entire range of Distributed Design ceiling, surface and pendant mount loudspeakers to be combined in a single installation with no compromise of consistency from zone to zone.

The DP6 is equipped with a built-in autoformer, allowing the loudspeaker’s full output and performance to be realized with 70V or 100V distribution lines. An easily accessible selector switch on the face of the loudspeaker makes it simple to choose between 8 ohm or 70V/100V operation, while the integrated rear cover conceals wiring and hanging hardware for a clean, aesthetically pleasing installation. Two 15-foot high tensile galvanized steel wire rope suspension cables with integrated spring clips are included.

Available in standard black and white finishes, the Distributed Design DP6′s contoured, contemporary pendant form factor is ideal for restaurants, bars, hotels, ballrooms, casinos, retail and commercial establishments, meeting rooms, convention centers and any other open architecture environments.

For more information, visit www.communitypro.com

 

 

Yamaha LS9 Digital Console Breathes New Life into The Living Christmas Tree

BUENA PARK, Calif.—The Living Christmas Tree at Grace Bible Church in Oxnard, California recently added a Yamaha LS9-32 digital audio console to enhance its six annual performances. The church, built in 1970, began The Living Christmas Tree program in 1973. Housed in a tree-like structure designed and built by several church members, the set can hold over 70 singers.

The sanctuary was modified to accommodate 48 1,000-watt Leko theatrical lighting fixtures, two follow spots, associated dimmers, and a 24” mirror ball. Sadly, the modifications didn’t include permanently installed audio, so for The Living Tree and other special theater events, a large portable sound system was brought in. The earlier productions were accompanied by musicians with some very elaborate stage sets that included a ski slope, toboggan run, and ice rink. In 2003, the original “Tree” structure was replaced by a new commercially built structure that was easier to assemble and more convenient for the singers to climb into.

“Changing times meant that we had to handle production differently than in the past,” states Alan Hatmaker, Chairman of the Elder Board and lead audio tech. “For instance, with an all-volunteer production team, we cut costs and production complications by moving from a live orchestra to professional backup tracks.” Since Grace Bible Church is a small 100-member church, they opened up the cast to members of other churches in the area. This year, the member cast of over 60 singers is made up of members from 14 churches.

“Instead of purchasing tickets, we ask the audience to bring cans of food for Ventura County (CA) Food Share,” says Hatmaker. “For the last nine years, the audiences have given over 20,000 pounds of food (3,000 pounds last year alone), and enough offerings to keep the program going. We also asked the local Rescue Mission to provide support for help set up and dismantling of the Tree structure and portable staging.”

Hatmaker designed a sound system back in 1981 that consisted of a large portable system built around a Yamaha MQ Series console. “We chose the MQ for its many professional features and overall quality. In 1991, the church decided to upgrade the installed sound system. The centerpiece of the system was a Yamaha PM1200-32 console. Since the PM1200 was an “entry level” pro series console, it gave us great value with its high-quality construction (weighing in at around 150 pounds) and great features. The PM1200 served us well for the past 20+ years until this year when it was replaced by the Yamaha LS9-32. We chose the LS9 since it, like the PM1200, is an “entry level”, high-quality Yamaha professional series console, that will provide us the same long-term service we had with the PM1200.”

Hatmaker said that one of the biggest features of the Yamaha LS9 for his purpose is the console’s built-in effects, ‘more than I could have ever imagined.’ “This feature alone allows us to remove five pieces of outboard gear between the console and amplifiers, resulting in higher reliability of our overall system. The LS9 is great for going from “Tree” setup to Sunday service setup. We use the Scene function to “toggle” between the two set-ups.” He also sights compressors, available for each channel, as another feature the audio team appreciates. Hatmaker noted that he received a few of hours of initial training on the Yamaha console and trains all of the volunteer audio operators.

Times and consoles have certainly evolved. “With the PM1200, I had to write down all of the channel settings for the Tree so I could return to them after the Sunday service!”

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About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. The company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker products. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

ASHLY KLR-5000 AMPS POWER LSU’S PETE MARAVICH ASSEMBLY CENTER

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 2011: Although the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC) in Baton Rouge served as the United State’s largest ever triage center and field hospital during the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the 13,500-seat arena is better known as the venue to watch Louisiana State University Tigers basketball. Built in the early 1970s, the PMAC’s original sound system was cutting-edge for its time, but a botched renovation in the mid-1980s left the PMAC sonically lacking… for decades. Although inspired by the Tiger’s roaring fans, the PMAC’s nickname, “The Deaf Dome,” was an apt, if less flattering, descriptor of that sound system. To provide the team and its fans with a spark of inspiration, an anonymous donor provided the funds for a first-rate, modern sound reinforcement system. Tim Landry, principal of audio integrator Tim Landry Sound Construction (Mandeville, LA), provided the donor with a system design centered on thirty-four Ashly Audio KLR-5000 amplifiers, Ashly Audio processing, and Sound Bridge loudspeakers.

“The sound system that went in during the 1980s was a terrible design executed terribly,” observed the characteristically candid Landry. “For example, the original design called for five speakers each in four separate horizontal arrays. For reasons unknown, the installers changed it and put two speakers on top and three on the bottom of each array. It changed the entire nature of the system. Tilting of the clusters disastrously affected the outer speakers. Beyond that, the boxes were arranged in ways that the manufacturer never intended, which led to bizarre frequency interactions. As a result, some seats were covered poorly and some seats were not covered at all.” A system of physical relays meant to facilitate scene changes for different types of events went south quickly. “You could just tap the thing and amps would blink on and off,” complained Landry, who, prior to the renovation, helped maintain the crippled system with jumper wires (literally) and bubble gum (figuratively).

In recent years, the school raised funds to upgrade several aspects of the aging PMAC facility. It replaced the seating and ceiling. It installed a new efficient HVAC system. The school even installed a brilliant new Daktronics scoreboard. “It was time to get some excitement into the building,” said Landry. “And the sound system was the obvious fix. Fortunately, a generous and well-to-do LSU alum donated the money to do it.” The donor’s only request? Install a sound system to beat all sound systems! To meet that request, Landry rented several loudspeaker systems anonymously and evaluated their performance in the PMAC. The clear winner was Sound Bridge.

Landry drew up the original plans with a well-known, but pricey amplifier manufacturer in mind. “But then I spoke to Ashly,” he recalled. “I have a lot of respect for Ashly’s gear and the people behind it because in all the years I’ve been installing Ashly amps and processors, the only units that ever failed went underwater during Katrina. Even still, two of those units came back to life and are working to this day! Anyway, Ashly said the new KLR-5000s amplifiers would be coming on line, and they seemed perfect for the job.” Landry ordered thirty-five of the new amplifiers, thirty-four for the system and one for backup. “On system critical installations, I always include a backup unit,” he said. “But when Ashly is involved, I have yet to need it!”

For processing, Landry turned to the Ashly ne24.24M. Two units provide all of the processing for the PMAC. “There are two modes,” he said. “One for the student operators that contains some limiting to prevent them from blowing anyone’s eardrums out and a second, more liberal setting. We called it ‘Terrance Turbo Mode’ in honor of the system’s primary operator. Terrance has a key that effectively removes that limiting and gives him full access to the full 165,000 watts of power surging through the KLR-5000s. Terrance is very pleased.” In addition, the ne24.24Ms replace the old physical relays that caused so many problems. Now the operators can select which clusters play via the software.

The logistics of the installation were particularly demanding because LSU books the PMAC with an event almost every day. “We definitely had to work around their schedule and not the other way around,” said Landry. “I admit I was a bit nervous about receiving serial numbers one through thirty-five on the KLR-5000s, but, as I said, I’ve come to trust the folks at Ashly. They really came through and made sure we had the units when we needed them – it would have been a bloodbath if they hadn’t. And the amps worked flawlessly from day one and continue to do so.”

ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO With a greater than thirty-seven year history, Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of quality signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets.

www.ashly.com

WIRELESS FIRST USES NEW CLAIR GLOBAL WIRELESS ANTENNA TO HANDLE EIGHTY-SIX RF CHANNELS AT ROCKEFELLER TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

rockcenter_xmaslighting_2011.JPGNEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 2011: When construction workers decorated a twenty-foot tree with paper garlands, cranberry strings, and the tinfoil ends of blasting caps in the early years of the Great Depression, they had no way of knowing they were starting a beloved holiday tradition. Today, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in midtown Manhattan is a national symbol of the season. The tree’s lighting ceremony in late November has blossomed into a two-hour television special, complete with nostalgic hosts, the Radio City Rockettes, and performances by pop music icons, both contemporary and enduring. As in years past, NBC hired Wireless First, a Clair Global Company, to wrangle eighty-six channels of mission-critical wireless RF that spanned a full city block. In addition to an encyclopedic knowledge of all things RF and decades of in-the-trenches experience, Wireless First’s successful package included the new, innovative more

Canadian Indie Music Fest Rifflandia Gets Amped With DiGiCo

Canada’s Rifflandia Festival has been called Victoria’s version of SXSW, featuring some of the best and brightest Canadian and international indie artists. This year’s stellar lineup included 4 days of 110 artists on 9 stages and showcased bands from City and Colour and Cold War Kids to De La Soul and Blackalicious. Doug Lyngard of Victoria’s D.L. Sound & Lighting Productions handled three stages of the audio production for the event, rounding up two DiGiCo SD9s from its inventory, supplemented by an additional SD9 and SD11 provided by Vancouver’s Gerr Audio. The feedback from engineers handling the event—as well as the guest engineers who sat in with their bands—was nothing short of glowing, with all citing the ease of use and stellar sound among their favorite DiGiCo traits.

Lyngard purchased the SD9s back in 2010 and has used them on myriad festivals and events over the last year with great success. “The sonic quality of the console is the main reason why I purchased them,” he explained, “and of course, the DiGiCo name. I also like the fact that once you learn one SD console, you’re good to go on the rest of the series.”

At FOH on the festival Side Stage was Craig Brittain on an SD9. No stranger to DiGiCo, he’s been using DiGiCo consoles handling monitors for the better part of the last four years with Michael Buble. “After falling in love with DiGiCo and a D5 on a European tour with Michael, it became my go-to console of choice for any tour/artist. I am a big fan of the DiGiCo sound and currently am using an SD7 as we tour around the world.

At Rifflandia, having a chance to spend a bit of time on the smaller SD9, I was impressed at how DiGiCo have managed to keep the sonic quality utilizing the Stealth Digital Processing. It’s nice with the DiGiCo to know what you are getting yourself into and how things are going to sound. From the SD9 to the SD7—and now the new additions to the SD line—nothing matches where DiGiCo is at sonically. Having taken the next step in processing using Stealth technology, it’s easy to forget the limits of traditional DSP chip configurations. I have said it before and will repeat it until I am blue in the face, but nothing on the market compares to that of any DiGiCo consoles!”

“When looking at the festival line-up I was responsible for, and knowing I was going to be using an SD9, I simply came up with a template the day/night before the first day of shows that I programmed in to accommodate all of the bands and was good to go for the first soundcheck the following day. I knew that my knowledge of the console would aid the visiting engineers with little or no experience on the desk. Any artist with the luxury of a morning soundcheck, I simply stored the snapshot and carried about the rest of the day!”

Over at the Metro Theatre stage on an SD11, it was FOH engineer Jim Kent’s first time on a DiGiCo. With only a day of preparation prior to the fest, he found the console’s interface and layout extremely intuitive to use. “The graphic interface was fantastic! I found it very helpful that the screen was speaking to me in an analog/graphic way. I really liked the channel layouts and found them very natural for mixing on the fly. I had some guest FOH engineers with a few of the bands and they found it very easy to navigate. We all particularly liked the fact that the controls were right below the compressor graphics, i.e. threshold/ratio/attack. I also found the FX rack to be very easy to manipulate the same way, and was able to pull live echo repeats and reverb effects on the fly. Being a festival setup, we went from 4 channels to 32 in less than 30 minutes… add a vintage guitar pedal as a vocal effect and a video feed, and all was accomplished well within time. The SD9 performed perfectly and did not get in the way of the creative process. The DiGiCo, too, sounded great. I had a solo artist on stage at one point and the console was able to reproduce voice and guitar with all the meat one needs and get the spit in the throat that I like to hear on an intimate vocal.”

Another DiGiCo newbie was engineer Tim Herron, stationed on an SD9 at monitor world at the Alix Goolden Hall. Given the task of operating both lights and monitors for multiple bands an evening—and with no hands-on time prior to the event—Herron found the console allowed him to work quickly and efficiently. “Arriving at 1pm we did the first show at 9pm and that was without even having seen the board before. I was able to learn how to navigate everything I needed and get up to speed relatively easily without having to have a dumbed-down feature set, and the SD9 had a nice combination of great features combined with pure usability. I felt like the board was working for me and not the other way around (which is not always the case with digital consoles). The SD9 had the look and feel of an analog console with its ability to label and save during soundcheck. During the festival, we had some very hardcore analog-console-using FOH engineers. One said that it was the best-sounding digital board he had encountered and another said that it was the most sonically transparent console she had used. My impressions were that the sound quality was superior to the other digitals I have used and that the console certainly was an excellent choice for an event like Rifflandia where sonic quality was the major consideration in intimate event venues. I know that I will be looking forward to using this console again.”

Mixing FOH at the Alix Goolden Hall was Paul Gatien on another SD9. Gatien’s extensive experience mixing on the console for the 2010-2011 summer seasons at Victoria’s Butchart Gardens proved invaluable—with a diverse entertainment schedule showcasing around 64 shows from folk and Jazz to classic rock and the Victoria Symphony. “The SD9 proved handy especially for the store and recall ability when dealing with the repeat and weekly shows, both at Butchart and Rifflandia. The sonic quality of the SD9 was amazing, too; it didn’t have that ‘digital edge’ that I have encountered with other digital consoles.”

Handling up to 32 channels of inputs from the stage at Rifflandia, Gatien opted for a basic festival stage microphone patch as they were missing some of the technical riders from the artists. Fortunately, most bands were able to soundcheck prior to their sets, which helped with changeovers.

“To avoid gain sharing, we used a passive splitter snake and sent a monitor split to a D-Rack located at the monitor mix position and another split to a D-Rack located at the FOH position. At FOH I used 2 line outs from the D-Rack for the Left and Right speaker mains and 1 output for the lip fill speakers. I also used 2 line outputs for the balcony fills. I ran all of these outputs as Matrix outputs off the Master fader. Being able to store the soundcheck and then recall the settings for the show was probably my favorite feature of the SD9. I stored each soundcheck as a session file and then recalled it for the show. In order to be consistent, I made up a session file template and at the end of each soundcheck made sure that I was consistent in what channels I had muted and/or left turned on, such as the music from the laptop. This way as I was loading the next band’s session file all parameters would stay the same and there was no noticeable transition from one bands session file to the next.”

SYMETRIX ANNOUNCES 2011 INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR AND REP AWARD WINNERS

(Pictured from left to right) Hock Thang and Paul Roberts of Symetrix, Jun Zhu and Alan Ho from Sanecore Audio Ltd.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 2011: Symetrix announced its international distributor and sales representative award winners for fiscal year 2011. UK-based World Marketing Associates earned International Rep of the Year for the tremendous strides it made in introducing Symetrix’ innovative solutions to a broad range of industry professionals in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Norway-based Fotophono earned Symetrix’ Distributor of the Year Award in Europe. For the second consecutive year, China-based Sanecore Audio Ltd. in the Asia-Pacific region and Canada-based SF Marketing in the Americas earned International Distributor of the Year Awards.

“We’re doing everything we can to build DSP solutions for a wide range of applications,” said Paul Roberts, director of sales and marketing for Symetrix. “But all of our efforts are for naught if our products don’t find their way into the hands of industry professionals. Therefore, we are grateful for the efforts and successes of our reps and international distributors as exemplified by World Marketing Associates, Fotophono, Sanecore, and SF Marketing and are excited for 2012.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX
Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1.425.778.7728.

Capitol Theatre Chooses Yamaha PM5D for Sound and Reliability

BUENA PARK, Calif.—The Capitol Theatre in Moncton, Canada, is an architectural jewel and one of only a few examples anywhere in Canada of pre-war theatres that have been authentically and historically restored. The 800-seat beauty has been completely improved upon over the past two years and most recently, added a Yamaha PM5D digital audio console for front of house, joining the previously-installed LS9 digital console used as the house monitor console.

Purchased by the City of Moncton in 1991, the theatre hosts over 200 events per year ranging from local graduations to full theatre productions, regional and national touring companies—musical events counting for 80% of the hall’s performances. The venue’s Capitol School of Performing Arts offers various programs for children as well as adults on a continual basis.

“We knew we wanted go to digital,” states Eric Hache, technical director of the Capitol Theatre. “We looked at what products were available on the market and were given demonstrations of various products. We spoke with the touring staff coming into the theatre and knew the product we wanted had to be user friendly, and that within minutes, the engineer would be able to control the board even if they had never experienced it previously. The console also had to sound good and be reliable.”

Hache said they had heard the Yamaha PM5D on various tours and although there were newer consoles on the market, it became clear that the Yamaha PM5D was the logical choice. “Installing and using it for the past six months in the Capitol Theatre confirmed our decision. I didn’t want a console that was overly computerized, and I wanted it to be much like analog in its operational
aspect.”

The Capitol Theatre has a wide range of microphones consisting of AKG, Shure, Neumann, and Sennheiser. The theatre also added a new Christie DHD700 projector, with three screens to choose from, the latest being a 13×21 DaLite Series 300. The lighting system consists of an ETC ION with two universal 20 fader wings, six Mac250 Entour movers, 12 SGM Palco 3s, 15 LumiLED700s, and 96 ETC conventional fixtures.

For more information on the Capitol Theatre, visit www.capitol.nb.ca.

For more information on Yamaha digital consoles, visit www.yamahaca.com.

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About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.

CLAIR GLOBAL INTRODUCES THE CF 1090 FRACTAL ANTENNA

cf1090_fractalantenna.JPGLITITZ, PENNSYLVANIA – DECEMBER 2011: Clair Global is introducing the CF 1090 Fractal Antenna for live entertainment applications worldwide. The creation of the CF 1090 is a study in guided serendipity.

In the summer of 2010, Clair Global acquired Wireless First. Both the company’s founder, Kevin Sanford and his chief engineer Josh Flower had been working on a new wireless antenna in their shop for several years. Now, as part of the Clair team, they moved quickly to take advantage of Clair’s innovative spirit and talented staff. The final stroke of genius was the inclusion of Dr. Nathan Cohen, whose decades of experience as founder of Fractal Antenna Systems Inc. make him one of the world’s foremost experts on the technology at the CF 1090′s heart. Using fractal technologies, whereby self-similar scaling of antenna elements both reduces housing size and increases frequency range, more

Philadelphia’s Annenberg PAC Celebrates 40th Anniversary With 
Complete Audio Overhaul

The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Pennsylvania celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. As one of the nation’s preeminent urban performing arts centers on a major university campus, the center has a storied history in the performing arts, presenting world-renowned and emerging artists and companies in its four-decade history. Leading up to the anniversary, the goal was to bring one of its main venues, the Zellerbach—a 900-seat proscenium theatre that accommodates a wide array of events, including dance, theatre, music, comedy, lectures, meetings and teleconferences—up to date and revamp its nearly 20-year-old audio system in its entirety. This complete renovation encompassed the upgrade of the FOH console to a DiGiCo SD9, and replacing the archaic PA with a Clair Brothers R2T PA system in a LCR configuration, comprising Clair CS18-II subs, QSC PL series amps and BSS London processing. 



“The Zellerbach Theatre has a rich history in the Philadelphia area and the hopes for the upgrade were to have all the elements in place for the anniversary—as a sort of unveiling,” explained Annenberg sound engineer, Daniel Araco, who ran point on the project and worked with both Clair and the Annenberg’s finance department to secure funding and approve work schedules. “The project was sparked by Madison Cario, Director of Operations and Special Artistic Initiatives at the Center. Replacing the system would have been the most desirable outcome, however that was not in the budget, so renovation was the best option. Since Roy Clair installed the original system, we scheduled Clair Bros. to tackle the project. Clair’s Project Manager/System Designer Timothy Owen Mazur put together a scope of work to replace the speaker and horn components, repower the system and upgrade the amplifiers/DSP, and to purchase a new console. The goal of trying to achieve a lot with a limited budget was the challenge.”

For consideration as a console option, Mazur pointed Araco in the direction of a DiGiCo SD9 as a viable solution and with the capability to handle both FOH and monitor functionalities from its location on the theatre’s right side under the balcony. Taking several consoles for trial runs, Araco knew immediately that the SD9 would fill the bill and more.

“The SD9 had many of the desirable features we were looking for and the price point was right in line with what was budgeted for our space,” Araco added. “However, one function was most important to us when we considered the best choice console for the theatre: for a multi-disciplinary venue like the Annenberg Center—where everyday we serve the needs of theatre, dance, university events, student productions, many different music genres and even televised events—flexibility was a key factor. Being able to quickly and easily serve all of those artists is not just cost-effective it’s what we’ve built our reputation upon. The large full-color 15″ LCD touch screen and scribble strips ensured that all functions of the system were available immediately without having to scroll through multiple menus or having to use a mouse. The automation and ‘snapshot’ capabilities made it easy to store cues for multiple theatrical situations with ease, and the sonic performance/transparency that the SD9 provided to my ear is what sold me on the worksurface immediately. To my ear, the DiGiCo sold itself. Probably the most challenging hurdle in spec’ing the SD9 was the digital divide. I’ve spent my entire career on an analog desk, so for me it was like going from a typewriter to computer. The DiGiCo was the best possible solution to drag me into 21st century and the transition was very smooth with Clair Audio Systems and DiGiCo. We have gone through the DiGiCo training and they have always been available for questions should we need it, and this has really solidified our relationship.”

In addition, and with monies saved, Araco was able to put together an on-stage monitor system with the house analog console and the purchase of a split to add-on to their existing floor monitors a few additional db Technologies speakers.

Now that the theatre’s new system is up and running and the 2011/2012 Season is well underway, everyone involved is thrilled with the outcome. “Everyone is pleased with the sonic performance of the new systems, and other engineers are excited to see the new workspace and eager to check out the interface—even first-time engineers are able to understand the basics of the console with a few short lessons. The venue staff are happy to see the replacement of several large snakes near the aisle with a nearly invisible CAT-5 cable. But perhaps the biggest endorsement is from the stage crews, who no longer have to lug massive, heavy analog rentals up and down two flights of stairs to reach the mix position!”

“The project, which started with discussion and budgets during the summer of 2010,” Araco recalled, “was completed in several stages over the course of the spring and summer of 2011. We are now poised to show off the completed renovation for our 40th anniversary season… just as we had hoped.”

SYMETRIX SYMNET WITH SYMVUE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY HELPS HYATT REGENCY CALGARY KEEP IT SIMPLE

CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA – NOVEMBER 2011: The Hyatt Regency Calgary is one of the finest hotels in the Canadian city for which it is named and, as such, hosts a tremendous volume of extravagant and top-drawer affairs. The hotel’s nine combinable ballrooms and six combinable meeting rooms are constantly in use for business meetings, weddings, and other events. However, until recently, the Hyatt’s management and staff struggled to control the audio system that delivered sound reinforcement to those spaces. It had been a challenge from day one and only became more frustrating as time passed. While in the process of undergoing a seven million dollar renovation to the ballrooms and meeting rooms, hotel management made the decision that it was also time for a major change in regards to the sound and video systems. Hyatt management asked Calgary’s DBI Systems Integration to design and install the new systems. Using Symetrix SymNet DSP technology, Symetrix SymVue user interface technology, and Symetrix ARC-SWK wall panel remotes, DBI Systems Integration provided an audio system that was simultaneously comprehensive enough to allow infinitely flexible use of the event spaces but simple enough to be controlled even by non-technical staff.

“The old system was first-generation digital technology, with one manufacturer for the DSP and one manufacturer for the user control,” said Jerry Van Dyke, owner of DBI Systems Integration. “The interfacing between the sets of technology was very cumbersome and unreliable at best and the hotel had spent a small fortune just keeping it limping along since its original installation by another company.” Our goal was to give them everything that was so obviously lacking in the old system. The systems would have to be simple to operate, flexible, and reliable while still being powerful enough to handle the complex tasks required.”

A significant component of the design solution was to avoid involving two manufacturers, as had been done previously. “Even today, equipment from different manufacturers doesn’t always integrate as seamlessly as it should,” he said. “Often when a problem does arise, each manufacturer will claim that it is the other company’s fault. There have been instances where each company washes its hands of the problem, and you’re left in the middle with an unhappy client. I was impressed with Symetrix’ significant strengths in both the processing and the interface sides. Based on past experience I knew that if I ran into any trouble, Symetrix would be there to help us solve any issues!”

Van Dyke called on three Symetrix SymNet Express 8×8 CobraNet devices to provide the appropriate input/output count with powerful open-architecture processing to customize the routing logic for the Hyatt Regency Calgary. The three units gather inputs from the nine ballroom sections, the six meeting rooms, and four divisible sections of a grand foyer and allow them to be routed anywhere. On average there is one to two inputs in each zone with some zones having up to three inputs with some inputs being summed. To keep it simple, a 15-inch touch screen computer was employed and they overlaid a schematic of the rooms with buttons that allow them to be easily combined or decoupled via the Symetrix SymVue interface technology. “Via the touch panel they just press the rooms they want to combine and those rooms change to a common color to indicate that they are combined,” he said. “They can un-combine them in the same way, or press a reset button to start fresh.” There’s one page for the ballrooms and foyer and another page for the meeting rooms.

In addition, Symetrix ARC-SWK remote wall panels provide each room with local control of input sources and master volume. When rooms are combined, their ARC-SWKs become redundant. A combination CD-player/iPod-player back at the control room provides common background music that each room can tap if needed. “The routing logic and processing at the Hyatt Regency Calgary is actually tremendously complex,” said Van Dyke. “But with Symetrix’ well thought-out interface technologies, we were able to keep all of that under the hood and hidden from view. The controls that we have designated as presets are so intuitive that truly, anyone can figure them out with an absolute minimum of training.”

Two-hundred-watt AMK twelve-inch coaxial ceiling speakers went in with the old sound system, and Van Dyke was happy to tell the hotel that they could be utilized in the new sound system. “Those speakers are very good quality, but the previous installer had tapped them at 30-watts and then used 100-watt amps to power groups of three,” he said. “It was like running a race car on a 40-mph governor when you consider the problem of getting high SPL to the floor cleanly when the Hyatt’s ballroom ceilings are twenty-two feet high.” “The Hyatt often has events where a significant level of SPL is required and we wanted to be sure that this would no longer be a problem for them to achieve.” To give the Hyatt the performance of “new” loudspeakers for a song, he added five 4-channel QSC CX204V and six 2-channel QSC CX302V amplifiers. He added 200-watt transformers to each loudspeaker and then tapped them at a much more generous 100-watts with there being an option to tap them higher if it was required “Even if I ignore the contribution of the new processing, it’s an obvious and drastic improvement to the overall system sound,” said Van Dyke. “Whereas before the Hyatt would suggest that clients bring in their own rented sound system for music-heavy events, the newly-adjusted ceiling speakers sound so good that they often don’t need to.”

“It’s easy to focus on Symetrix’ sophisticated user control, but the sound quality is top-notch as well. Symetrix started in the broadcast and recording markets, where sound quality is a really big component of what matters. That legacy helps to make Symetrix processors sound fantastic,” Van Dyke concluded.

ABOUT SYMETRIX
Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1.425.778.7728.

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