Newcastle, UK (June 26, 2006)–Newcastle University’s interdisciplinary research grounded in digital technologies is known as Culture Lab–a 4-million pound, multi-application, multi-user digital media facility, designed for development of new digital technologies for solutions to arts, humanities and social science research problems. All of Culture Lab’s spaces are networked using EtherSound over standard CAT6 cable; specific facilities include a testing and recording studio for digital sound and labs for multimedia audiovisual projects.
Newcastle University’s Culture Lab sports an EAW NT series PA for its unique live performance space, used for continuing research.The facility boasts a live event space for performances, lectures and interactive displays, and workshops where people can customize hard- and software. Digital Village, a UK supplier of professional recording equipment, supplied and installed a full professional post-production and recording facility, and also outfitted the new live performance space with an EAW NT Series self-powered loudspeaker system, along with a Mackie TT24 digital mixing console. The system comprises six NT26 two-way cabinets, a half-dozen NT59 cabinets, and six NTS22 subwoofers. All NT Series loudspeakers feature EAW’s onboard DSP technology known as Gunness Focusing.
Newcastle University’s John Ayers, who spec’d the system, explained that given the huge diversity of applications for which the system would be used, flexibility and superlative audio quality were the main focus points throughout. “We required something that could go from being a classic sound reinforcement system to being a creative part of a complex electro-acoustic production,” said Ayers. “That meant that each component had to sound as good individually as the sum of the parts. We were looking for a system that could provide as close as possible to studio monitor-like sound quality but with the output of a PA speaker. We tested a number of different systems from several manufacturers, AB-ing each one against Genelec studio monitors, and the EAW NT solution was the only one that came close. While other systems had the output, none could combine it with the audio quality of the NT Series.”
He also noted that the Mackie TT24 digital mixing console was selected using much the same criteria: “We needed a console that visiting researchers would be able to get to grips with relatively quickly. The TT24 suited us very well in that it is flexible enough to handle everything from traditional FoH PA configurations to surround sound diffusion for electro-acoustic music, yet remains simple enough to configure and set up that first-time users can be productive very quickly.”
Ayers concluded by saying, “Culture Lab is a truly unique facility and a very exiting project to be involved in. It was enlightening to work on such a high-spec facility as we had the opportunity to look at the best the industry has to over before making our choices. EAW’s NT Series loudspeaker and the Mackie TT24 console fitted the bill perfectly.”