Wenger Corporation is about to complete the first installation of its new Transcend Active Acoustic System for indoor performance spaces at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. The digital signal processing technology has been developed in partnership with Harman specifically to create variable acoustics.
The college will use Transcend’s active acoustic simulations to transform its mid-century Neumann Auditorium into a state-of-the-art, multipurpose performance space for its music programmes, speeches and special events. Transcend is designed for easy, minimally invasive installation, and will be operational this autumn.
According to Wenger, Transcend gives facility managers the ability to enhance acoustic environments in virtually any space. For existing facilities, it makes the performance space a multipurpose venue without the need for extensive renovations; while for new multipurpose facilities under development, it offers a high-performance, affordable solution for acoustical flexibility.
Transcend’s active acoustics algorithm results in a system that uses fewer microphones and speakers than other systems on the market, allowing for streamlined, lower-cost installations. It also features a BLU-link digital audio bus.
Transcend uses Lexicon active acoustic processing, bundled with premium audio components. Using BLU-link high-speed digital audio transport, all components communicate with a dedicated processor for active acoustics. Through Audio Architect software and HiQnet, the entire system can be managed remotely with a tablet and visual monitoring. The system features up to 16 inputs and expandable, independent four-zone capability. Operation is said to be simple and intuitive, and can be tailored to customer preferences – from basic pushbutton to touchscreen interface.
“With advanced Harman technology, Transcend provides superior performance with excellent value compared to other systems on the market,” commented Ron Freiheit, director of design engineering at Wenger and fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. “To make the system as cost-effective as possible, we developed a purpose-designed DSP system explicitly for active acoustics. This provides for a reliable, affordable, easy-to-operate system. Transcend is simply a sound investment.”
With Transcend, any room can have acoustics tailored for any type of performance, from a live band to a full choir to the spoken word. The listening experience for the audience will also be energised throughout the entire venue, says Wenger – even in hard-to-hear sections such as under the balcony.
“You can virtually create any acoustic you want. It’s limitless,” said Wartburg director of choral activities Dr Lee Nelson. “I was blown away by the authentic sound of the acoustic. That’s what we’re always doing as performers: trying to create a natural feel. You can make it as ‘wet’ or as ‘dry’ as you want. I’m very excited about the possibilities this brings to our concert hall.”