Durham, NC (June 3, 2016)––Springtime for live sound providers is all about graduation ceremonies, and that’s the case, too, for the audio team at RMB Audio in Selma, NC. The company recently provided a sizable audio system for Duke University’s commencement ceremonies in the school’s Wallace Wade Stadium. While it might seem to be a simple project, given that the ceremony is backdropped by faux towers, RMB Audio owner Cooper Cannady needed to come up with a viable alternative when informed that Duke wanted no PA systems on Brooks Field visible to graduates, parents and friends.
As Cannady noted, “The client didn’t want any PA systems on the new grass field that would also impede sightlines and be in camera range. So we came up with two PA array lift towers 230 feet apart at the extreme left and right of the stage which is an amazing distance apart, especially in terms of providing balanced coverage throughout the stadium. The stage was on the 45-yard line with the arrays lined up mid-stage on each side. In terms of the PA, the coverage pattern was from 20 feet in front of the downstage edge of the stage for the first rows––which worked out incredibly well in terms of clarity and dispersion––all the way to the top of the stadium at the rear of the field over 350 feet away, and it sounded amazing!”
The main system consisted of 12 MLA Compact a side on the lift towers with two MSX subs/power modules and eight MLA Mini cabinets above ground-stacked on small platforms behind the arrays positioned so as to not impact the sightlines from above and below. A pair of Martin Audio DD12’s was used as front fill on the downstage edge.
Cannady concludes. “We were originally going to rig MLA Compact on the rear platform, but we got more vertical lift and angles out of the MLA Minis, and they easily projected the distances we needed despite their compact size. The audio quality and balance was absolutely seamless between both systems and the University was very pleased with the outcome.”