Whether you have kids or you’re just a child at heart, The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York is worth a trip, featuring the world’s largest collection of toys and home to the Center for the History of Electronic Games, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and more. This year it added the National Toy Hall of Fame, and with it undertook a major renovation of its sound reinforcement and lighting systems, using Ashly Audio processing, amplification, and user control, including a hardwired fader bank and a wireless Ashly Remote iPad app.
“Previously, The Strong used local sound generated by individual kiosks, and it had no specific lighting for any of the live performance spaces,” explains Jeff Stid, the service and installations manager at Applied Audio and Theatre Supply, which is also in Rochester and which designed and installed the new systems. “To keep things sounding calm and contained, we used a distributed audio approach to provide sound across the second floor area — which is now the National Toy Hall of Fame — and on the first floor area near the base of the stairs that lead to the Hall of Fame. The area has two ‘stages’ in close proximity that are used for different purposes.”
With the Ashly equipment, one of the project’s biggest challenges turned into one of its greatest assets. Because the two stages are so close to each other and because the main purpose of using a distributed system is to keep overall SPLs as low as possible, multiple loudspeakers would have to serve multiple functions. For example, one bank of loudspeakers serves as the delay for the bigger stage while also being the stage- right mains for the smaller stage.
“An Ashly ne24.24M network matrix processor provides all of the routing, signal processing, and preset configuration for the system,” says Stid. “We were careful about how we set things up so that, for example, one set of speakers would have appropriate volumes and delays to work for the back of the room when they’re using the main stage, but with different volumes and delays to work as the front of the other stage.”
In addition to the Ashly ne24.24M, the system uses one Ashly KLR-3200 two-channel 800W 70V amp, one Ashly SRA-2150 two-channel 150W amp, and one TRA-4150 four-channel 150W selectable output amp, for a total of eight amplifier channels. A Denon multimedia playback device pairs with four Shure wireless mic systems and a collection of hardwired jacks as inputs to the system, and a Denon recorder joins the amps on the output side. QSC Acoustic Design Series ceiling- and wall-mount loudspeakers finish the sound reinforcement system and are joined by new ETC Source Four LED lights.
PRODUCT AT WORK
Ashly Audio Protea ne24.24M
With Ashly’s ne24.24M matrix processor, modu- lar expansion cards allow for up to 24 channels of audio matrixing and processing, and fixed path architecture and extensive processing power per channel help reduce the amount of time it takes to set up a system.