Connecticut high school theatre audio updated

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The 660-seat theatre at South Windsor High School in South Windsor, Connecticut, has been updated with a new pro audio system featuring equipment from Renkus-Heinz.

“The previous audio system in the facility had very little directionality in the vertical plane, which caused intelligibility issues,” said Bobby Kuhl, president and senior audio engineer at KJR Engineering, the audio consultant on the project. “If you hit a snare drum on stage it came back to you just as loud. It wasn’t pretty. Further, there was a challenging mounting environment around the stage. We really only had a few specific areas where we could install the loudspeakers.”

Kuhl said those challenges led him to Renkus-Heinz. “When you have a problematic logistical environment for mounting, and problematic room acoustics, you know Renkus-Heinz is going to get the job done while sounding amazing,” said Kuhl. “And that’s what we got as a result. It sounds absolutely sensational in there now.”

Renkus-Heinz equipment was part of the installation at South Windsor High School

Renkus-Heinz equipment was part of the installation at South Windsor High School

The installation includes two Renkus-Heinz ICLive XL modules in arrays on both sides of the stage to cover the majority of the space. Two Renkus-Heinz ICLX118S subwoofers are installed in a central flown position above the stage in a cardioid end-fire arrangement. The intention with that was to minimise the energy of the subs on stage while still providing deep and powerful sub-bass to the rest of the room.

Both the ICLive XL and ICLX118S are part of the ICLive X Series from Renkus-Heinz, its latest evolution of the medium-format, steerable line array.

Three Renkus-Heinz CX62 two-way Complex Conic loudspeakers are also installed to provide complete coverage in the front few rows of the theatre. Complex Conic constant directivity waveguide design is a proprietary feature designed to ensure consistent coverage.

The system uses Audinate’s Dante for audio-over-IP connectivity throughout the space and connects to a QSC Q-SYS Core 110F for audio distribution, as well as both AV-over-IP native and third-party control over the entire system. A QSC CXD4.5Q amplifier powers the CX62 front fills.

Jereme Martineau, director of choral studies and theatre management at South Windsor High School, said the space will be used for many events, from meetings where speech intelligibility will be key, to impressive musical performances.

“I can’t wait for students to return so we can hear actual performances in here,” said Martineau. “My competition-level show choir is 50 students who are singing and dancing with professional lighting and a live rock band. This system is going to bring that event to another level. I am still amazed we got this level of quality and coverage from just a few speakers.”

Kuhl has confidence the system will perform in every situation. “Joe Fustolo from Renkus-Heinz came out to commission the system specifically for the space and when he was done the sound was just astonishing,” said Kuhl. “Everyone who hears this system is super impressed.”

“The support from Renkus-Heinz really is second to none,” said Don Gamsjager, president of DNR Laboratories, the system integrator. “This isn’t like what you see with other manufacturers where they just ship you product. Renkus-Heinz is there to support you every step of the way. And the result is symphonic. I am blown away by the SPL of the PA, the coverage and the actual dynamic range. Every seat receives the same performance. It’s a rich, warm sound that is both impressive and mighty from a small cabinet. I know we will be specifying these in more projects going forward.”

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Izzy became editor of Auditoria magazine in 2018, having previously served as assistant editor on the title earlier in her career. She is also the editor of Business Jet Interiors International, Railway Interiors International and new launch Cruise Liner Interiors International. Over the course of a decade as a business-to-business magazine editor, Izzy has covered everything from airline catering to car safety technologies, autonomous vehicles and business aviation airports. Outside of work, Izzy loves watercolour painting, live music and travel.

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