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Meyer Sound’s CAL system provides answer to university’s intelligibility issues

Duncan Proctor 5 August 2015
Meyer Sound’s CAL system provides answer to university’s intelligibility issues

Elon University in North Carolina has turned to Meyer Sound for a solution to the challenging acoustics in the university’s Great Hall stemming from the room’s reflective surfaces. The answer was Meyer Sound’s CAL column array loudspeaker system, which provides the space with clear speech and music.

“The plan was to use the room for everything from video game tournaments and movies to graduation-related ceremonies, and CAL has proven ideal on all counts,” said Joe Davis, assistant director of campus technology support and solutions architect for Elon University. “The vast expanse of windows on three sides, plus one largely flat, sheetrock wall create a highly reverberant space that could be over-excited by amplified sound. And any permanent system had to be practically invisible while still providing high-level, full bandwidth sound. The CALs disappear into the décor and really do the job.”

Two, colour-matched CAL 96 loudspeakers are mounted 13ft high alongside wood-finish columns flanking the hall’s massive fireplace. Programmed with a downward beam tilt, each CAL loudspeaker covers half the floor area, which is 88 x 158ft in total with a peak ceiling height of 43ft. Two UP-4XP loudspeakers fill in the extreme side corners, while two M1D-Sub subwoofers are concealed in the central columns. A Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 408 processor provides audio distribution and optimisation. The room’s complete AV infrastructure was designed and installed by Audio & Light of Greensboro, N.C.

“The real calling card of CAL in the Great Hall is its intelligibility, it provides amazing clarity and natural voice quality right to the back corners of the room,” added Brian Cox, sales engineer for Audio & Light. “We initially considered some other steerable column arrays for the room, but after hearing CAL at an InfoComm demo we were convinced it would provide a more powerful and musical solution. The end result was all we had expected, sound levels are practically flat across the entire room, and though it’s not meant to be a rock ’n’ roll system, it gives you the output and low end for music reproduction.”

The Great Hall audio system also incorporates a Biamp Tesira DSP unit for mixing and processing, with a variety of inputs available for connecting microphones, a Blu-ray player, or video game consoles. Two Shure wireless receivers are available, pairing with either SM58 handheld or WL185 lavalier transmitters. The audio system supports two NanoLumens video screens. A Crestron CP3N system handles overall AV control, with four user interfaces around the room.

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