Houghton, MI (March 27, 2007)–Everybody likes snow cones on a hot summer day, but in the deep freeze of winter, a number of students at Michigan Tech University prefer snow horns. You see, Michigan Tech’s campus chapter of the AES recently built a nearly 20,000-watt speaker array made of the white fluffy stuff that falls from the sky. It seems they needed mega audio power for Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival, which has a snow sculpture competition; the speaker system, then, was the AES’ entry (losing to a frosty rendition of the hanging gardens of Babylon).
The AES chapter of Michigan Tech University built loudspeakers out of snow for the campus’ Winter Carnival.The university AES group used computer modeling to design the horns as well as the line-array speaker configuration, building them from formed snow and wood. The audio source came from an optical output of a student’s computer, which ran into two Behringer DCX2496 speaker management systems. The speakers were powered by nine Behringer EP2500 amps and one Crown XLS602.
The snow array had front and rear firing sections for covering the campus. The front pointing speakers consisted of eight Selenium 2″ dome compression drivers with 1″ throat horns; 16 5″ sealed back MCM cone drivers; six Selenium 15″s using a 4′ deep snow horn with 4′-by-8′ mouth and 7′-by-2″ throat; and a half-dozen Electro-Voice 18″s using a 15′ deep snow horn with 15′-by-6′ mouth and an 18″ throat. The rear pointing speakers consisted of three Eminence 2″ dome compression drivers with 1″ throat horns, and the lows were six Selenium/EV 15″s (not horn loaded).
The amazing snow array took variously between 6 to 15 AES members about four hours a night, for three weeks, to complete. According to Tommy Bartlet, one of the project members, it made quite a great dance system for the carnival party, which went into the early morning hours: “We pushed the nine EP2500’s just into clipping from 7 PM to 4 AM with no problems, even in freezing conditions. There’s nothing like seeing the red clip lights blink on nine EP2500’s.” Police were reported to have had complaints from three miles away due to the volume. It just goes to prove, there’s snow business like show business.
Michigan Tech University