Portland, OR (October 17, 2017)–Built more than a century ago, Portland’s 1,500-capacity McMenamins Crystal Ballroom recently got an audio refresh with the arrival of a Bose Professional ShowMatch system designed and installed by Tone Proper AV (Gresham, OR).
The room’s dimensions presented a challenge as it’s essentially a 130-foot trapezoid, the curved stage is in a corner, and there’s eight massive windows down one wall. “If you were to install a traditional line array in this room, you would have wasted 50 percent of that array’s energy just blasting the glass,” observed Nick Moon, owner of Tone Proper AV.
Working with Bose Modeler software and team at Bose Professional, he configured the left and right hangs with eight Bose ShowMatch modules each: six SM5 (with five degrees of vertical dispersion), one SM10 (10 degrees) and an SM20 (20 degrees) per array. The horizontal waveguides on each module of the stage’s right array direct the energy away from the windows. “It’s asymmetrical, that blows people’s minds a little bit,” he says.
The waveguides on the upper six SM5 boxes are set at 55 degrees and 70 degrees, and the SM10 and SM20 at the bottom are 100 degrees and 120 degrees, respectively. “Doing it mechanically with the waveguide is cost-effective, and it works—and the proof is in the pudding, because we’re putting the energy where we want it and it sounds really good,” said Moon.
A dozen ShowMatch SMS118 subwoofers are ground-stacked six wide and two high against the curved front of the stage. “We time-aligned all of them and got everything phase-aligned,” Moon said. “We deployed a cardioid array to create a null at the lead singer position on stage. If you’re playing bass-heavy music and you’re where the singer is, it’s tight, not boomy.” A pair of SM20 modules provide front fill, and a trio of Room Match Utility RMU208s providing under-balcony coverage 100 feet back. All of it is powered with a dozen PowerMatch PM8500N amplifiers, and a Bose ControlSpace ESP-00 II engineered sound processor is on hand, configured with a single AES3 8-channel input card as well as a Dante card, one ESPlink 8-channel output card, two four-channel mic/line input cards, and two four-channel line output cards.