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University of Limerick installs Electro-Voice XLD solution

With the university's auditorium requiring a flexible system to handle the various lectures and evening performances that take place there, the local integrator opted for an 'unusual' EV-centric solution.

The University of Limerick, which is said to be one of Ireland’s most renowned educational establishments, has installed an Electro-Voice XLD line array system in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the university’s founding.

The education institution offers its 11,000 students numerous lecture halls and seminar rooms. Among its facilities is a 1,000-seater auditorium, the University Concert Hall, which provides space for lectures in the daytime and serves as a concert hall in the evenings. Performances at the venue range from rock bands and classical orchestras to choirs and a mix of folk musicians, jazzmen and chamber ensembles.

Limerick-based Murt Whelan Sound, which had previously handled aspects of music production for the university, won the tendor for a project to install a new sound reinforcement system in the concert hall.

“They wanted even coverage throughout the entire hall, the highest possible degree of intelligibility being essential in view of its daytime duties as a lecture hall and plenty of power and headroom for concerts in the evening,” commented Murt Whelan owner of the eponymous company. “All that, and first class sound quality at all times!”

To achieve minimum reverberation, the designers opted for an unusual solution: a mono hang flown above the stage, composed of Electro-Voice XLD elements. For this, nine Electro-Voice XLD281 three-way elements were flown in a central array, flanked by Electro-Voice XCS312 cardioid subwoofers.

The Electro-Voice loudspeakers in the University Concert Hall provide even coverage of the main seating area with plenty of sound pressure in the lower frequency range. There are two ground stacks flanking the stage comprising in each case four Electro-Voice XLD elements and an Xsub – the latter to handle the bass frequencies. Meanwhile, FRi-2082 two-way loudspeakers have been used for lip fills.

For the hard-to-cover balcony area, Whelan opted for two TS400 vertical array loudspeakers from Dynacord as well as four EVF-1152S systems. These front-loaded loudspeakers represent a comfortable solution to a diverse range of installation tasks, recognised for their combination of high sound pressure levels with low distortion. The installation was rounded off by four Electro-Voice ZX1 loudspeakers, five Dynacord CXM 15 monitors and two Electro-Voice ZXA1 boxes in the control room.

The system is driven by fifteen Electro-Voice CPS 2.12 amplifiers plus three Electro-Voice PA2250T units for the 100-volt lines. It is governed by two NetMax N8000 digital matrix controllers from Electro-Voice configured using IRIS-Net software. “The custom-configured network here makes it easy to switch between different input sources,” said Whelan. “Whether from the control room or the front-of-house position, you can load any of a variety of set-ups.” You don’t even have to be a technician to use the system; ordinary users quickly find their way around it, “and this, too, is important,” finishd Whelan, “as the hall is in use around the clock.”