VIDEO: Sound system update for Calgary concert hall


The Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has a new hybrid reinforcement system from Meyer Sound. The installation replaces a previous system from the company, based on the same concept, that was credited with contributing to the venue’s success for more than 16 years.

The Jack Singer Concert Hall is a 2,000-capacity venue, the largest in the Arts Commons complex. Both the replacement system and the prior one were designed by GerrAudio, Meyer Sound’s Canadian distributor, in consultation with the venue technical staff.

“Meyer Sound and Gerr had worked together back in 2004 on what proved to be a wonderful solution for this venue,” said Brian Beaulieu, associate director, venue operations at Arts Commons. “Everyone was very consultative and worked closely with our team to again come up with the best solution.”

The Jack Singer Concert Hall has capacity for 2,000 people

The Jack Singer Concert Hall has capacity for 2,000 people

As before, the theatre’s system is anchored by a flown centre cluster, this time configured using Meyer Sound’s latest generation of point source and low-frequency loudspeakers, including UPQ-D2, Ultra-X40 and Ultra-X42 loudspeakers and 900-LFC low-frequency control elements.

The primary system also includes additional 900-LFC elements on the floor as well as UPQ-D1 loudspeakers for side fills. More compact Ultra-X40 loudspeakers are installed throughout the auditorium and will be principally used for surround sound. New Ultra-X20 loudspeakers are deployed as fill systems, and 11 new MM 4XP miniature self-powered loudspeakers supplement 11 MM-4 loudspeakers remaining from the prior system as front fill. Meyer Sound’s new MAPP 3D prediction software was used throughout the design process to provide uniform coverage.

“After I started talking to Gerr about a new system for the concert hall in the spring of 2019, we carried out an extensive demo process through the end of that summer,” said Jack Jamieson, head sound technician for the Jack Singer Concert Hall. “We compared products from other manufacturers as well as the newest Meyer Sound products. In the end, we found the Meyer Sound solution to be what was needed for the variability required for this room.”

The hybrid reinforcement system comprises various components from Meyer Sound

The hybrid reinforcement system comprises various components from Meyer Sound

Because the theatre hosts a wide variety of programming, from symphony concerts to rock shows, the solution is required to accommodate a range of levels and audience seating configurations.

“We needed a system that had no sightline impact as well as ample volume, and there was no way we could come up with one design that would allow both simultaneously,” said Jamieson. “We could not permanently hang a line array without sightline impacts in a room that wraps all the way around the stage. So, we ended up doing a double system employing a Meyer Sound point source centre cluster, with the option to fly the Leopard line arrays to get the level needed for rock shows.”

Each line array comprises 16 Leopard loudspeakers that can be brought on stage quickly and flown as needed. Meyer Sound’s new Low-Mid Beam Control technology was implemented during commissioning, designed to provide uniform response throughout the room with minimal excitation of reflective surfaces.

The complete system, installed by Sapphire Sound under the supervision of Ben Burrell, head of Alberta operations, also includes five Galaxy 816 and one Galaxy 816-AES3 Network Platforms, three RMServer and two MPS-488HP signal distribution and power supply units.

“The system is exactly what we had hoped for,” said Jamieson. “We’re pleased that we will be growing with this system into the future, and we know that both Meyer Sound and GerrAudio will continue the high level of support we’ve experienced in the past.”

Leading the GerrAudio team throughout the process – including design, specification, installation and final tuning – were Shawn Hines, sales manager for Western Canada, and Ian Robertson, who serves as design, education and technical support specialist. Assisting in final system calibration on behalf of Meyer Sound was David Vincent, a Montréal-based senior technical support specialist.

The Jack Singer Concert Hall is home to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, recurring jazz and world music concert series, and touring concerts by international pop and rock artists. Spoken word events include TED Talks and National Geographic Live presentations. The Arts Commons also encompasses four smaller theatres, offices and rehearsal spaces.

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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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