Toronto, Canada (September 5, 2017)—Ryerson University's Responsive Ecologies Lab (RE/Lab) explores use and development of sensory technologies and interactions. As part of the team there, audio engineer Kenneth Emig designs and implements the facility’s equipment infrastructure to support the audio aspects of such research, and as part of that effort, he’s been using Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers.
For RE/Lab, Emig specified two different types of audio systems, one employing near field monitors for close-up work and another based on six Renkus-Heinz CF61-2 powered, two-way, Complex Conic point-source loudspeakers. "This way, we have different listening conditions, depending on what's needed," Emig said. "The nearfields provide clarity and imaging close up. For the equivalent of a multichannel sound-reinforcement system, we have the Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers. This offers a diversity of tools. Whatever the researchers want to do, I try to anticipate that and make sure they have the best equipment to accomplish it."
Emig is quick to note that he doesn't necessarily create systems at RE/Lab; rather, he creates an infrastructure of equipment to create opportunities for exploration: "We're designing a laboratory that is as flexible as possible and can grow into the future. Researchers know where they want to start but they don't really know where they will end up; most likely, they end up somewhere they don't expect. I want to give them a diverse toolkit to best explore sound, refine their understanding, and then we'll refine the required tools in the future when they understand more."
The lab's ceiling offers a flown grid constructed of Unistrut, enabling the CF61s to be located wherever needed. A stage box mounted in the ceiling enables multichannel recording and playback. "If you have six channels, you can configure all six CF61-2s in a circle, you can configure them in an array, you can change the directivity—you can do whatever you want," said Emig. "Right now, I have four CF61-2s mounted above a wall of 12 55-inch MultiTaction touchscreen displays, which I designed the mounting for and installed last year. The design is always being refined; it's a living, ever-evolving space….a work in progress, combining technical knowledge with awareness and understanding."