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News in pictures 7 September 2011

Renkus-Heinz teaches audio lesson to New York State High School; ETC at world’s largest scenography festival; Symetrix take centre stage at one of the world’s biggest 3D screens; Onelan is a mine of information

The main 1500-seat facility auditorium at Hauppauge High School in New York State in the USA has been designed for versatility. It is capable of operating as one space or three separate rooms, hosting theatrical presentations, musical concerts from all over the school district, major annual fundraisers, and movie nights for the community.

Rich Reidel, owner and president of Riedel Audio and Acoustics, was lead AV designer for the project. As Reidel observes, the biggest challenge was designing a system with the flexibility required to work within the wide range of program material, both as a single system and as multiple spaces. With large drama and music departments and a music recording program all sharing the space, Reidel knew the audio system would need to be both powerful and versatile, so he began his design with a system based on a centre line array of five Renkus-Heinz PNX102LA loudspeakers, with two STX7/64 loudspeakers for sidefill, and a pair of TRX121T loudspeakers for delay.

Augmenting the main system are six TRX82 two-way cabinets, arranged in a left-center-right array, and six more TRX121 systems placed evenly to cover surround sound during cinema nights, as well as doing double duty as effects speakers during theatrical presentations. Renkus-Heinz provided custom colour-matched cabinets to ensure all speakers blended in with the ceiling colour scheme, providing a system that was both visually and aurally pleasing. Lab Gruppen amplification powers the system, with DSP provided by Biamp Audia Flex.

Every four years, the International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OISTAT) collaborates with the Prague Quadrennial, the world’s largest festival of Scenography to present Scenofest, an educational project of performances, workshops and special projects for students from across the world.

Part of this year’s festival was Six Acts, a collection of educational and artistic projects created by international groups of artists that were staged at cultural sites throughout the city. ETC lent a variety of lighting equipment to Scenofest that was used during several of the Six Acts and in student workshops.

ETC donated two lighting control desks – SmartFade and SmartFade ML – along with SmartPack dimmers, Source Four luminaires and Selador Lustr and Paletta LED fixtures.

The recently-renovated Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall is located in Qianmen Dongdajie, Chongwen District, just east of the old Qianmen Railway Station. Its exhibitions include light boxes, sculptures, and a highly detailed scale model of the city. Most notable, however, is the 3D multimedia auditorium on the top floor, which features one of the world’s largest 3D screens. When the auditorium’s audio processor had to be replaced, AV integrator Sanecore Group installed a new Symetrix Jupiter digital signal processor.

The 3D multimedia auditorium comfortably seats 200 visitors in a space of 400 square metres. The room is purpose-built to multitask. In addition to showing a 3D movie about Beijing, the room regularly shows feature films (both 3D and 2D) and provides a forum for conferences. Three Barco Galaxy projectors provide crisp, precise imaging. The room’s sound system is as impressive as it is flexible and features a full 5.1 surround sound system for a compelling 3D experience. When the 5.8 m by 20 m screen was installed in 2007, it was the largest 3D screen in the world. The city simulation movies that were created for the exhibition hall take visitors through the city, both old and new, in a way that is educational and entertaining.

Symetrix has engineered the Jupiter hardware to take on a multitude of audio processing tasks via application-specific software apps. Users select an appropriate app using the App Finder utility at the Symetrix website and upload it to the Jupiter hardware. In an instant, the Jupiter hardware is perfectly configured for the task at hand, and a plug ‘n play computer interface makes tweaking the audio simple. The 3D multimedia auditorium uses the Sound Reinforcement #9 App, which provides matrix mixing, equalization, and speaker management.

Sandvik Mining and Construction (SMC) is a leading global supplier of equipment, service and technical solutions for the excavation and sizing of rock and minerals in the mining and construction industries. SMC has operations in more than 130 countries and approximately 15,500 employees. With a vast amount of data that needs to be updated every hour, SMC Shanghai required a simple knowledge management solution able to disseminate information to staff quickly and easily.

After being suitably impressed by the Onelan system used in another SMC region; SMC Shanghai decided they wanted the same for themselves. They installed a Onelan Net-Top-Box (NTB) 5505 publisher and subscriber, in addition to three other NTB 510 subscribers to power eight screens throughout the office.

The publisher and subscriber units came furnished with a TV tuner and were placed in the rest area, so that even while taking a break and watching television, staff could still remain abreast of business developments. Out of the three 510 subscribers, one was used at the reception to display the corporate video and to welcome guests. The other two subscriber units were placed around the office to notify staff about SMC’s latest business data.