North Dakota's Legislative Assembly building, which is located in the capital city of Bismarck, US, is home to the state's Senate and House of Representative chambers. A recent technical upgrade at the facility saw Fargo-based audio specialist, Tricorne Audio, install a Renkus-Heinz ICONYX steerable line array loudspeaker system to meet the facility's challenging acoustics.
Known as the Skyscraper on the Prairie, the 19-story tower stands as the tallest building in North Dakota. Both the semi-circular Senate and House chamber rooms feature high ceilings and walls of American chestnut, walnut, and oak throughout. A balcony area hangs over the main seating floor in each chamber.
While visually impressive, the wood paneling and high ceilings in both chamber rooms were a source of coverage and reverberation issues. Additionally, the low ceiling in the under-balcony areas blocked sound from the main system, and the few small supplemental speakers in the upper balcony area struggled to provide adequate coverage. ICONYX steered array technology enables precise steering of the sound toward the audience and away from walls and other reflective surfaces, reducing reflections and improving intelligibility.
"Our client wanted better coverage overall," explained Tricorne Audio's Dallas Anderson. "With the ICONYX IC24 arrays, we were able to address the reflections, dead spots, and hot spots by steering the sound - a beam for the balcony, and separate beams for the floor and under balcony areas."
The ICONYX IC24s were installed in both the House and Senate chambers on the wall behind the rostrum. The cabinets were custom painted to match the color of the wood paneling, addressing the requirement that the speakers blend in with the décor.
To round out the system in both the House and Senate chambers, Tricorne installed Biamp Tesira servers with IO cards, Audio Technica PRO Series 6in gooseneck mics, and a Shure wireless mic system.
"It's a pretty basic and straightforward system in both the House and Senate chambers," said Anderson. "With the ICONYX IC24s, the sound is very consistent, very even throughout."