Meeting Review, June 16, 2005
innovative outdoor concert venue
that is the centerpiece of
80 attendees, the largest turnout of the season, were treated to a presentation and tour by three
members of the design team.
Audio System Designer Jonathan Laney of TALASKE began the presentation with a history and
evolution of outdoor concert venues. Steve Barbar of LARES Associates then discussed some of
the world’s more advanced sound systems for outdoor reinforcement. Mr. Laney then explained
the goals behind the Pritzker design, including the desire to recreate an indoor concert hall
experience outdoors. Greg Miller of TALASKE then discussed how the stage house and riser
system were designed to allow the orchestra musicians to hear each other.
To recreate the indoor experience, the LARES system was chosen and Mr. Barbar explained its
operation. In addition to the main speaker clusters at the stage, an array of speakers are
distributed on a trellis above the entire seating area and lawn. About half of the distributed
speakers provide further reinforcement, whereas the others project an “enhancement” signal
which is generated using hanging on-stage microphones and specialized signal processing to
emulate both early reflections and reverberation.
The tour started at the stage area, where Mr. Miller answered questions about the acoustical
design. Next came the backstage area to see the racks of mic preamps and amplifiers, and then
an equipment room located on one side of the lawn. Moving outside, the hosts answered several
questions about the speakers, cabling, and trellis. The last stop was the mix location to see the
console and the LARES computer.
The Pritzker Pavilion is truly remarkable and our hosts were clearly proud of their achievement.