Approximately $2 million (€1.5 million) was recently pumped into restoring the Clowes Memorial Hall – a professional performing arts venue located at Bulter University, Indianapolis. The project at the 2,200-seat, four-level auditorium made provision for a new sound system which resulted in the deployment of a new L-Acoustics KARAi system.
The venue hosts a wide range of Broadway-style theatrical events, touring concert productions and guest lecturers each season. A revamp of the venue was decided upon as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.
The acoustical and audio enhancement portion of the project was spearheaded by David Wright of Indianapolis-based Wright Consulting Associates (WCA). The company called upon local tour sound provider Mid-America Sound Corporation (MAS) to provide system expertise and, ultimately, the recommendation for a new L-Acoustics KARAi house sound system.
The installation paired eight KARAi and two SB18i subs per side with a center-flown KARAi array of 14 enclosures for paramount coverage and vocal intelligibility.
According to WCA’s Wright, who specified KARAi with Russ Hoppel after MAS’ Kerry Darrenkamp and Jason Wells provided a comprehensive demo of the system in the space: “We chose L-Acoustics for two reasons, the first being that KARAi is very rider-friendly and well accepted. Second, and more importantly, we found KARAi’s full bandwidth control superior for this room, over many other systems that are well accepted on Broadway and road tours. With very exact localisation and a full LCR approach, performance became better than 95 percent of the halls we usually see. The results exceeded our prediction.”
Wright added that much work was done well in advance of choosing the L-Acoustics system. For example, after commissioning a full software model for electro-acoustics, more than 22,000 perforations were hand-drilled into the auditorium’s rear wall to create a sophisticated acoustically tuned absorption system. Lapendaries were hung between the ceiling and the reflective “clouds” as well as above the proscenium face. “Mechanical noise was the first major obstacle to overcome,” he said. “But Clowes Hall is now one of the quietest rooms in the country [NC-20] and an ideal setting for a premium system like KARAi.”