Small Auditorium Sound, Part 2

Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium recently had a complete renovation and Bob Capotosto and Gene Ingham from RCI Systems handled installation of L-Acoustics speaker arrays. 6/19/2012 7:00 AM Eastern

Small Auditorium Sound, Part 2

Jun 19, 2012 11:00 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium recently had a complete renovation and Bob Capotosto and Gene Ingham from RCI Systems handled installation of L-Acoustics speaker arrays. They’re here for part two on how the job turned out, right now on the SVC Podcast.

SVC: Bob and Gene, thanks for being back with me on the SVC Podcast on the Cramton Auditorium sound system upgrade at Howard University in Washington, DC. The job used L-Acoustics gear and we talked about the Kudo boxes in Part 1 and how you adjusted those for mid and high directivity and some rigging support had to be put in. But that wasn’t the only model of L-Acoustics gear that you used on this job. How did the system sound when you had to temporarily set up the arrays horizontally on the stage?

Bob: Yes, we did. It was quite impressive. The university staff was not familiar with the product and this was a difference they noticed immediately over the existing system. I think at one time they were talking about why did we have to fly them, it sounded so good. [Timestamp: 1:27]

Yeah, sound is such a subjective thing and you can explain and describe a system’s sound all day long but when you go in and actually hear it, there’s no substitute and you can get some surprising results when people actually listen to it. You added some 8XTi enclosures on this job, too. Now how did you use those?

Bob: Well they were primarily added as front fills and we needed to count for the curvature of the stage so we put them in three separate time domains. [Timestamp: 1:52]

OK and that’s a fairly wide stage isn’t it?

Bob: Yes it is and the beautiful thing about the XTi’s they threw all the way up to the fifth row with a impressive amount of low end for such a small speaker. [Timestamp: 2:03]

I know you have to get in there and listen and maybe make a few adjustments but as far as the bottom end you used, what was that, the SB28s?

Gene: That’s correct; it was the L-Acoustic SB28’s. [Timestamp: 2:15]

Did you have those mounted in the arrays or did you put those somewhere else?

Gene: Well we actually, we flew them right beside the arrays off stage and there were some discussion whether we should ground stack and it was considered for a while but the final decision was made to fly the subs which really worked out very well in this installation and we were able to do time alignment between the low mid’s and the subwoofers and it’s very consistent throughout the entire house. [Timestamp: 2:41]

And since it was a complete renovation and you were there from the start, I guess you didn’t have to deal with any power issues at all.

Gene: Well, power issues were taken care of through the renovation. We actually had transformer isolated power for this so we really had absolutely no noise problems at all and the system is extremely quiet so you’re not going to hear any kind of hum or buzz. [Timestamp: 3:03]

Small Auditorium Sound, Part 2

Jun 19, 2012 11:00 AM, With Bennett Liles

And where do they control all of this from?

Bob: Well FOH is actually located directly above the center entrance way to the house, speaker drives are stage left but the main drives are about 200 ft. away from the FOH with this. [Timestamp: 3:17]

And how long are the cable runs involved?

Bob: Each are about 200 ft, speaker runs go from stage left all the way up to the second floor. [Timestamp: 3:24]

You drive those with the L-Acoustics LA8 amplifiers?

Bob: Yes, LA8’s were the amplifiers chosen. [Timestamp: 3:30]

And where in the setup are those located?

Bob: We have those positioned on stage left. There is a rack room located with the wireless receivers at the 70 volt system for background music and intercom. [Timestamp: 3:42]

With all of the varied types of performances and events in the Cramton Auditorium, is there anything else you had to do to make the system capable of handling all this or did you just put in the control and let them have at it?

Gene: Pretty much, once we got the final commissioning done, I mean it’s just been hanging out we pretty much set it and let it. It’s worked fine and we haven’t had to go back at all to make any kinds of tweaks or changes so it’s been fine. All the networking and control is working as designed. [Timestamp: 4:12]

Well, that’s always good when the phone doesn’t ring.


So what else is going on for RCI Systems? Have you got anything else in the works that you can tell us about?

Gene: Not anything great detail, I mean we obviously have things in the pipeline and there’s some L-Acoustics projects that we’re looking at but it’s a little premature to get into any kind of detail on them at this point. [Timestamp: 4:32]

But you’re staying busy.

Gene: We’re absolutely busy. [Timestamp: 4:34]

How big an outfit is RCI Systems? You got a lot of people working on a lot of different things?

Gene: Sure on the production side we, I believe we have at least 13 or 14 full time engineers and we have a director of engineering, management team. There’s probably 30+ employees here. [Timestamp: 4:50]

Well, that’s a pretty big team but still lean enough to get in and get jobs done and respond on short notice. Sometimes with the really big outfits you can have some communication issues come up. You know how that goes.

Gene: Absolutely. We’re pretty flexible. [Timestamp: 5:04]

Well, it’s been great having you both here to tell us about the L-Acoustics sound upgrade you did at Cramton Auditorium. Bob Capotosto and Gene Ingham from RCI Systems, thanks for being with us.

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