Matanuska-Susitna College (MSC) has installed Alaska’s first Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system in its new Glenn Massay Theater, a 523-seat facility purpose-built for Constellation. With the goal of accommodating a broad range of educational activities and arts performances in a single venue, the venue uses the system to provide ideal acoustics for all its events, including orchestral and choral concerts, student assemblies, lectures, fine arts performances, and amplified rock music.
“We’re blown away by how great the room sounds,” says theatre director Matt Sale. “It’s hard to tell what is the room’s own acoustical response and what is due to Constellation. If you walk in not knowing Constellation is on, you wouldn’t think there was any enhancement. But when you turn it off, it’s like when you have to pop your ears when going up in elevation.”
A Constellation system was specified for the venue following intensive discussions involving college representatives, Anchorage-based architects Kumin Associates, and acoustical and media systems consultant McKay Conant Hoover (MCH).
“We started with the thought of using passive acoustics only, but we soon realized the reverberation times desired for some music performances would require room volumes that would get us into a cost-prohibitive situation,” comments Kyle Ridenour, senior consultant at MCH. “Constellation makes more sense financially, and has operational benefits as well.”
The system centers around a D-Mitri® digital audio platform which hosts the patented VRAS™ acoustical algorithms. Ambient acoustics are captured by 22 miniature condenser microphones, and early reflections and reverberation are delivered by 35 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, 19 Stella-8C installation loudspeakers, and 12 UMS-1XP subwoofers.
Anchorage-based Pyramid Audio & Video was system integrator, with engineering supervision and technical support from Stephen Weeks of Lynnwood, Wash.-based Morgan Sound.
“Everyone has been really excited about the system,” reports Ridenour. “Constellation has ultimately proved surprising to anybody unfamiliar with the concepts and technology behind it.”
Serving over 2,000 students per semester, Matanuska-Susitna College is an extended campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage in the city of Palmer.