Students rehearse at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium, which now sports a Yamaha Active Field Control reverberation enhancement system.Kalamazoo MI (April 18, 2008)–Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium seats 3,500 people and is used for a variety of sizable productions that would typically fill such a venue. Recently, it received a new custom-designed Yamaha Active Field Control (AFC) reverberation enhancement system to enhance its acoustics.
Some of the problems reported by staff and visiting artists were that the existing hall was a dry acoustical environment. In addition, performers were having difficulty on-stage hearing properly which was affecting performance due to low energy return from the house. Sound dramatically fell off in the under balcony area, and enhancement of the loudness in the space was needed to provide a more uniform experience at Miller Auditorium.
Stage Lighting and Sound, Inc. (Kalamazoo, MI) worked with acoustic engineers from Yamaha for a number of years on the project, with Yamaha engineers visiting WMU at one point to analyze and design the components for reverberation enhancement at Miller Auditorium. Final installation took place in July 2007, and for several weeks afterward, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems had engineers on campus fine-tuning the system to Miller Auditorium’s performance space, ensuring the most precise acoustic results possible.
Miller Auditorium has two AFC Systems. One is a reverberation system for enhancement in the seating area; the other is an energy exchange system for improvement of the uniformity between the stage and seating area. The reverberation system consists of eight (8) microphones and 62 speakers. Forty-two speakers serve in the main seating area and 20 speakers serve in the under balcony area. Three processors are used to manage the input mixing, sound processing, and output controls. Eight (8) microphones are located at the proscenium arch to collect the sound from the stage at around the critical distance where the direct sound energy equals that of the diffused sound.
The energy exchange system consists of an additional four (4) microphones located further into the house. These are used with eight speakers (8) installed over the stage area to provide a more uniform response between the house sound and the stage. Two processors are used to manage the input mixing, the sound processing, and the output controls. The four microphones are located at the ceiling in the seating area to collect the diffused sound in this part of the room. Eight speakers are also located at the stage shell ceiling to enhance the reverberance on stage.
System components include (12) Audio Technica ES945 mics, (2) HA & AD Yamaha AD8HRs, (5) Main Unit Yamaha AFC1s, (2) Yamaha MY8AE-CA interface cards, (9) Yamaha MY8DA96-CA interface cards, (3) Cascade Cables, (2) AES D24 Cables, (9) Breakout DA96 Cables, (18) 4-channel Yamaha XM4080 power amps, (42)
Yamaha S8AFC loudspeakers, and (28) Yamaha S8AFC-D loudspeaker drivers.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.,