Indianapolis, IN (August 25, 2014)—To mark the 50th anniversary of the Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University's professional performing arts venue, the university embarked on a $2M restoration project under the direction of Elise Kushigian and daily supervision of all 18 contractors by Karen Steele, director of Operations.
The restoration included much-needed updates to its roof, walls, seating, carpet, acoustics and audio enhancement system. The acoustical and audio enhancement portion of the project was spearheaded by David Wright of Indianapolis-based Wright Consulting Associates, Inc. (WCA) who called upon local sound provider Mid-America Sound Corporation (MAS) to consult and ultimately install a new L-Acoustics KARAi house sound system.
Prior to the installation, which paired eight KARAi and two SB18i subs per side with a center-flown KARAi array of 14 enclosures for paramount coverage and vocal intelligibility, MAS served as a longtime rental vendor for the 2,200-seat, four-level auditorium, which hosts Broadway-style theatrical events, touring concert productions and guest lecturers each season.
After commissioning a full software model for electro-acoustics, more than 22,000 perforations were hand-drilled into the auditorium's rear wall to create an acoustically tuned absorption system. Lapendaries were hung between the ceiling and the reflective "clouds" as well as above the proscenium face.
"Mechanical noise was the first major obstacle to overcome," said Wright. "But Clowes Hall is now one of the quietest rooms in the country [NC-20] and an ideal setting for a system like KARAi."