Meeting Topic: Tour of a Clair Brothers Audio Installation in the Deep Space Auditorium
Moderator Name: Steve Banik
Speaker Name: Greg Reynolds, Live Sound/FOH and Monitor Engineer/RF Coordination Engineer
Other business or activities at the meeting: Confirmed March 16th meeting at Wisconsin Public Radio with Director of Engineering and Operations, Steve Johnston, for a tour of the production and air studios.
Meeting Location: Deep Space Auditorium, Verona, WI
The audio system in the Clair Brothers installation at this venue can shake the fireproofing off the beams in the lobby. The 4 subs under the stage and the flown cardioid sub array are capable of bouncing the concrete stage deck, which is about 8 inches thick and roughly 75 ft by 20 ft. It has also been known to offset one's equilibrium. However, the majority of events are run at 72dB, or at most 100 dB C-weighted for movies.
There are 144 Lab.gruppen PLM 10k amps powering the system. The speakers hanging are part of the 8 million pound roof structure that was raised by strand jacks. Sightline issues for a proposed balcony hindered the original plan to use Clair Brothers i218-i's for the entire room. Instead, there are 4 i218-i clusters lining the second row, with additional clusters of Clair Brothers. i212s raining sound over the remainder of the room. A cardioid sub array is suspended to prevent a low-end flood on stage.
It took over a month to wire the sound booth, but Clair Brothers did a fabulous job. Reynolds combined the main console with the unmanned monitor board from the side of the stage at FOH. DiGiCo helped them rewrite the software to use both SD-7's as one board as well as two optical loops and a MADI output to the studio at the same time. Each console now only uses one of its engines so the two consoles become one while providing a redundant mixing surface with two optical loops also providing redundant paths to and from the stage racks.
To get the system to work over the Dante network, it took two or three months with Lab.gruppen's help to locate an obscure setting within the network switch that was preventing the Dante signal from reaching the amps. Lab.gruppen set up a testing scenario at their factory where they could test 144 amps with this same switch. The adjustment and a new firmware solved the problem. The system runs over a Dante network with AES as a backup path.
With the upcoming 600 MHz spectrum loss, they'll lose about 125 wireless mic channels and are looking to the Shure ULX-D wireless product to squeeze more mics into an ever tightening frequency bandwidth.
Written By: L.Schmidt