Buena Park, CA (May 31, 2013)—The sound for Brian Williams' commencement address at North Carolina’s Elon University was delivered through a Yamaha CL5 digital audio console provided by the Draughon Brothers of Fayetteville, N.C. The console also supported other commencement activities including speeches and live music. Greensboro, N.C.-based Audio & Light, Inc. also provided equipment for the event.
“Our commencement activities take place in four different venues, with four ceremonies (MBA, Masters of Interactive Media, Undergraduate and School of Law), as well as a student marshaling location and rain plan location that is also used for Baccalaureate,” said Rick Earl, Elon's technical director for cultural and special programs. “There were approximately 12,000 people in attendance during the weekend.”
Yamaha digital consoles were used at all venues. The marshalling location and the rain plan venue were linked via a Dante network and have been for the past three years, this year using a Yamaha M7CL-48 and LS9-32. Two LS9s and an M7CL-48 were used for MBA, Media, and Baccalaureate commencements as well.
All commencement ceremonies featured live musicians. The primary venue is an outside location on Elon’s campus, called “Under the Oaks” which is where the CL5 resided. Adjacent to that venue is Whitley Auditorium that houses a Casavant pipe organ. The organ, along with a brass quintet, performed live in the auditorium. Herald trumpets were located in the outside venue in a balcony over the stage. The National Anthem and Alma Mater were sung from the stage accompanied by the organ and brass. The entire undergraduate commencement ceremony was simulcast and recorded in HD at the university’s on-campus television studio.
Earl noted, “Elon has an excellent IT department and takes pride in the technology on campus. The use of the CL5 was also to determine if it would fit in our plan to completely network all audio for the weekend’s events. After the main undergrad ceremony, we needed that capability in order to allow the musicians to stay in one venue in the event of rain. Television could also mix in the studio for broadcast.”
Earl said the overall benefit of the Yamaha CL5 was not just for the school and ceremonies but the students as well, as they were present in all phases of set up and interfacing. “Our Music Production, Recording Arts, and Communications students are hands on with state of the art technology and complex set ups. Other beneficial features of the CL is the ability to see the display, channel markers, and scribble strip in daylight, as well as the console’s size and weight.”
“I think I received more compliments on the quality of the sound this year over any other,” Earl said. “The Provost actually stopped at the mix during the recessional of the last ceremony and said how great it sounded! At least one CL5 is planned for Elon’s future, and the commencement weekend confirmed that choice.”
Yamaha Commercial Audio
Audio & Light, Inc.