imgAltoona, IA (September 16, 2013)—Iowa’s Prairie Meadows Raceway was originally designed as a horse racing facility in 1989, but grew into a  hotel with a casino, restaurants, lounges and concert venue. Keeping up with the changes, the facility recently installed a Renkus-Heinz audio system to accommodate the acoustics in its four-story glass pavilion.

Mike Pedersen, Senior Staff Engineer at Marshalltown, IA-based Mechdyne, the audio video integrators behind the project, explained, "It was built in phases over 20-plus years, and has a mix of seating styles, with stadium seating on one level, grandstand seating on another, as well as a multi-tiered dining area with tables. The original sound system has been expanded in a piecemeal fashion throughout the years, and had become untenable—coverage was inconsistent and intelligibility was next to nil.”

"They originally came to us with concerns about the quality and coverage of the tiered seating areas overlooking the racetrack," explains Mechdyne Designer Tim Taylor. "But they were also in the process of mapping out an expansion of the entire casino, which was going to require an audio system too. At that point, it made far more sense to suggest that they implement a larger system with networked distribution and processing."

The 70V distributed audio system is based around more than 40 TRX-121 two-way Complex Conic loudspeakers, with DSP and amplification handled by Biamp Tesira and Vocia networks.

In the casino area, several dozen TRX81 loudspeakers are flown from the ceiling to provide music and paging coverage. "It's a very high, open, unfinished ceiling, which limited our choices of loudspeakers," says Taylor. "The TRX81 has a very tight, controlled dispersion pattern, and by mounting them in a grid pointing straight down, we were able to achieve coverage across the entire open seating area, with no overlap or dead zones."