CANANDAIGUA, NEW YORK – APRIL 2013: Given its exceptional faculty and its extensive facilities for Music and Music Recording Technology, the Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, New York is rare among community colleges. The résumés of its faculty include some of the best-known commercial recording studios in the world, and the campus is home to the Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC), a popular outdoor venue that seats 5,000, and a John Storyk-designed recording studio. Recently, the school committed to building a new Student Life Center building, which, among many other amenities, includes a 410-seat Performing Arts Center and a smaller multipurpose room with flexible seating. The performing arts center is acoustically- and technologically-flexible and capable of effectively delivering acoustic music, high-SPL rock, and everything in-between. Both rooms rely on Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers to convey high-fidelity sound reinforcement with precise pattern control.
“It was only after we had designed the room for acoustic music that the school added high SPL amplified music to the list of requirements,” explained Seth Waltz, principal of AVL Designs (Penfield, New York). “It was originally designed as a classic recital hall, and we did all of the acoustic work with that in mind. Our initial plan called for a small central cluster of loudspeakers that would be used strictly for voice reinforcement. But then they changed things and wanted to be able to accommodate rock bands and dramatic theater. So we had to move backwards, working around the acoustics and the lighting positions that were already in place.” JMZ Architects (Glens Falls, New York) led the project, and AVL Designs designed the acoustics, rigging, lighting, video, and sound reinforcement for both rooms. Platinum Sound (Victor, New York) installed the audio and video systems, and BMI Supply installed the rigging and lighting.
“Given the new requirements, we had to find a very well-controlled loudspeaker that would keep energy off the walls and ceiling, yet deliver tremendous SPL with audiophile fidelity,” said Waltz. “Because of sight lines, lighting positions, and the geometry of the room, a line array was out of the question. Danley Sound Labs’ Synergy Horn technology was the obvious, and perhaps only choice.” AVL designed stereo clusters mounted at either edge of the proscenium, each composed of a Danley SH-64 with a Danley SH-95 for downfill. Four Danley TH-112 subwoofers support the low end from below the stage.
A Digidesign Venue SC48 sits at FOH and feeds an Ashly ne24.24M modular I/O processor configured four eight inputs and sixteen outputs. “In terms of sound quality for the dollar, I love the Ashly processors,” said Waltz. “The Ashly ne24.24M is the perfect FOH processor.” A pair of four-channel Lab.gruppen c48:4s power the Danley TH-112 subwoofers and the Danley SH-64 loudspeakers, and a c28:4 powers the SH-95s. Crestron control integrates all of the A/V system functionality and lights. A high-definition Christie Digital LX1500 projector illuminates a Da-Lite 270-inch screen for cinema-quality video, and ETC lighting with 192 channels of dimming allow for flexible and dramatic staging.
The design goal was not merely to make the Performing Arts Center acceptable for a wide range of music and performances, but to make it excellent across that range. Because they have such low distortion and because it is largely independent of the output volume, the Danley loudspeakers and subwoofers contribute significantly toward that goal. Going further, AVL Designs incorporated a Yamaha AFC electronic reverberation system for the room. A series of sixteen hidden microphones feed a processing engine that outputs to approximately forty hidden loudspeakers with small subwoofers built in. Using the Yamaha system, the room’s reverb can be adjusted between 1 and 2.5 seconds.
Although much smaller in scope, the multipurpose room was the first space in which the college’s discriminating faculty had an opportunity to hear Danley loudspeakers installed. A pair of Danley SH-100Bs provide stereo output with integrated subwoofer support. “The faculty – and these are all veteran recording engineers – were blown away by the Danley SH-100Bs,” said Waltz. “And when these people say that they like the way a loudspeaker sounds, it really means something!” A Yamaha 24-channel digital console feeds another Ashly ne24.24M, this time configured as 8x12. A QSC PLX 3102 amplifier powers the system.
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