Caesars Atlantic City Renovates its 1,600-Seat Theater With Harman Pro Group HiQnet™ SYSTEM FEATURING, dbx, Crown, JBL
27 August 2007, Northridge, California, United States
In an example of how Harman Pro Group HiQnet™ audio system configuration and control protocol provides systems integrators with unbeatable uniformity for system design, programming and performance, the Stevie Eller Dance Theater at the University of Arizona in Tucson has just completed the installation of a HiQnet system comprising Crown I-Tech amplifiers and BSS Audio Soundweb London processors. The new audio system for the 300-seat venue, which also includes JBL Professional VERTEC® VT4887 line arrays, was designed by Mark Miceli, technical director for sound at the University's School of Dance.
Leading tour sound company Sound Image is on the road with pop/rock sensation Gwen Stefani and a rig that includes Harman Pro Group HiQnet™-enabled components from Crown International, dbx, and AKG. With System Architect as the main control application, all the Harman products integrate seamlessly to enable a network that allows the sound engineer to access the system from a variety of positions in a venue.
Home to the UA Dance Ensemble and the UA School of Dance - ranked among the top five programs in the United States - the Theater was opened in 2004.
"We're going all digital," said Miceli. "I wanted to take advantage of Harman's HiQnet System Architect, so I went with all the Crown I-Tech power amplifiers: the I-T6000 and I-T8000 amps, which are pretty hefty amplifiers." The main digital signal processor for the system is the BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-80 device.
One of the problems with the original system was poor coverage partly due to comb filtering caused by the horizontal speaker arrays. In the summer of 2006, Miceli put together a model of the dance theater and came up with a small line array system that is just right for the space. There are eight JBL VECTEC line array boxes, four per side. With EASE modeling and TEF measurements, Miceli was able to find just the right orientation for the line arrays that allowed good coverage from front to back. "I didn't have any dead spots. There's very good stereo imaging. It's not a large venue and with the new sound system it's not much different than sitting in a really good recording studio." The audio/video systems at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater are supported by Jim and Norma Slone of Tucson.
The space is somewhat acoustically challenging because of the geometry of the room. Over the audience, the ceiling is very tall with a lot of catwalks and industrial air conditioning ducts overhead.
Miceli needed to have very good control over the vertical coverage of the system in the dance theater to minimize the sound splashing up into all the ducting and catwalk. Using the JBL loudspeakers, "this is where the line arrays have really proved themselves," he said. "They've allowed me to focus the sound energy into the seating area and minimize splashing into areas that did not require coverage."
For most of the performances, music tracks are played through the system. "That is where the quality of the system shines, when a high quality recording is played through that system, it sounds like a control room," said Miceli. "It sounds very good."
Harman HiQnet™ is the world's first connectivity and control protocol that integrates all product categories in the signal chain for professional audio systems of all types, size, and applications. Harman HiQnet no longer requires the user to manage multiple disparate operating systems or be responsible for programming individual signal processors, speaker controllers, wireless microphone systems, and mixing consoles. HiQnet was developed by engineers from across the Harman Pro Group and is coordinated by the System Development and Integration Group (SDIG), a team of dedicated systems specialists based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
About the Harman Pro Group:
The Harman Pro Group (www.harmanpro.com) is the world's largest provider of professional audio products and system solutions for commercial sound, contracting, tour sound, recording and broadcast, musician, portable PA and cinema applications. The Group is headquartered in Northridge, California and includes industry leaders AKG Acoustics, BSS Audio, Crown International, dbx, DigiTech, JBL Professional, Lexicon, Soundcraft, and Studer. The Group is part of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE: HAR), a leading supplier of high-quality, high fidelity audio products and infotainment systems for the automotive, home and professional markets.