An expanding audience base and ageing AV components, some of which had been around since the 1970s, have prompted the Atlanta History Center, located in Georgia, US, to install new AV and stage lighting systems, with a Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 DSP platform at the heart of the audio network.
The centre is currently experiencing tremendous growth as a result of its mission to link people, history, and culture through innovative programming, meaning the facility now connects with 228,000 visitors, including 60,000 school children, every year.
The Atlantic History Center enlisted Cape Dixson Associates (CDA) – an acoustic consultant based in Atlanta – to assess the 400-seat Woodruff Auditorium, where a wide range of lectures, presentations, and other types of events take place.
After finding it necessary to replace the existing AV and lighting systems, the Atlanta History Center was given a grant by community education support group The Goizueta Foundation. Brought on board to oversee installation of the new systems was Sound Design & Innovation (SDI).
The CDA team decided on Symetrix’ Radius 12x8 Dante network audio DSP as the best 'fit' for the project. The key element of the Symetrix system is Dante audio networking protocol, for which SDI wired the facility with Cat6 cabling.
The Symetrix Radius 12x8 has a powerful open-architecture DSP. It is fully and reliably controllable from a third-party application and its I/O is flexible and expandable for the future via the Dante network. It handles all of the processing for the main auditorium and the two overflow rooms, including room combining, with only 20% of its DSP horsepower in use.
“Because the whole place is now wired with Cat6, AHC can easily expand or bring in additional Dante-compatible equipment for larger events,” commented SDI founder Aaron Catlin.
In terms of loudspeakers, Bose digital amplifiers power a pair of discreet three-element Bose column arrays and subwoofers that provide a sound quality improvement in the space. “We set up a demonstration of the Bose system for AHC and the decision to use it was made on the spot,” commented Cape Dixon Associates' president and owner, Rogers Dixson.
Six new Shure ULX-D series wireless microphones provide the workhorse, day-in-day-out inputs to the system. “Because Atlanta History Center is in the Buckhead area of Atlanta – an area that can be an RF interference nightmare – I was glad to have Shure’s new Dante-based system to provide a reliable front end,” said Catlin. Outputs from video players, microphones from two overflow event rooms, and a stage box comprise the remaining inputs to the system. Since they interface seamlessly into a Dante network, the Shure system is fully available for processing and matrixing within the Symetrix Radius 12x8 DSP and doesn’t use any of its twelve physical inputs.
A Key Digital Compass Control system provides iPad and iPod-based touch control of every aspect of the room’s functionality. It controls a new Digital Projection E-Vision 8000-lumen video projector, new DMX-controlled stage lighting, the existing stage curtains, the projection screen, and a variety of music and video playback devices. It also integrates with the Symetrix SymNet Radius 12x8 DSP to control room combining, input selection, volume, and other relevant system controls.
“With this new technology, we can deliver high-quality programs that will engage a broader audience. It allows us to explore the ways in which we convey history – whether through lectures, music series, film series, our newly launched museum theatre performances, and a variety of other types of event,” said Hardwick. “This system was not only conceived and designed to meet AHC’s needs for a long time to come, it brings AHC into the 21st Century, where a cutting-edge history centre belongs,” Catlin concluded.