Established in 1899, Brno University of Technology has evolved over the ensuing century to become one of the Czech Republic’s leading universities. Staff have consistently sought to match this cutting-edge reputation with high-end technology, and it was in this spirit that distributor Audio Digital and systems integrator APS recently provided the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communications’ new complex with a system that harnesses the power of Symetrix audio processing.
The scale of the installation was truly immense and encompassed 12 lecture halls with capacities ranging from 75 to 200 seats, along with many other smaller lecture rooms. But the undoubted centrepiece of the project – and its most challenging aspect in acoustical terms – was a 300-capacity auditorium designed in the shape of a large sphere.
“The volume and acoustics of the room are everything but standard, and yet a perfect coverage and intelligibility had to be achieved,” says Michal Zeman of Audio Digital. No small feat – yet Zeman was always aware that a system based around Symetrix SymNet Edge DSP technology could get the job done.
Modular in nature, SymNet Edge provides both the 48-channel digital audio matrix required today and the ability to scale up in the future should the need arise. Consisting of three Edge units located around the auditorium and connected over a standard Ethernet network using an Audinate Dante bus, Edge’s decentralised structureallowed Audio Digital and APS to keep analogue cable runs to an absolute minimum.
The Symetrix DSP – which is integrated into the auditorium’s overall Cue control system – is also advantageous to the teaching staff, who do not necessarily have extensive operational skills. “The choice of Symetrix really paid off here, too, as on one hand it offers user-friendly features such as automixing, and on the other allows external access to every single parameter needed, so there were no limits in adjusting the Cue’s user interface to the needs of the users,” says Zeman.
Carefully finetuning the Symetrix system to optimise the acoustics, Zeman andc ollaborators deployed AFMG’s EASE software to produce a loudspeaker design based around TOA line arrays and Dynacord subwoofers. Amplification comes from APart Audio amplifiers, while wired and wireless microphones by TOA, Electro-Voice and MIPRO complete the core specification.
Symetrix technology is by no means restricted to the main auditorium, however: two of the other lecture rooms feature SymNet Solus 16 standalone DSP units, while audio in ten smaller spaces is driven by Zone Mix 761 devices.
Paying tribute to the “feature-richness and competitive price level” of the Symetrix DSP technology, Zeman says that it was “from the very beginning our first and only choice for the DSP ‘brain’. No other brand I have encountered currently comes even close to what Symetrix can offer.”