Lynn Haven, FL—October 2018… The City of Lynn Haven began in 1911 as the third of three colonies established in the South for aging Union Army Civil War veterans. Now a thriving city of more than 20,000 people, about 6.5 miles north of Panama City, Lynn Haven is governed by a city commission consisting of four commissioners and the mayor, under which serves the city manager.
The commission meets in the Lynn Haven Chambers, housed in the former sanctuary of a 1920s-vintage church building that also houses the city police administration and special-purpose events. Recently, Panama City systems integrators Neves Media Productions designed and built a new sound system for the Chambers based on Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Gen5 digitally steered line arrays.
Unsurprisingly for a repurposed church sanctuary, the Chamber has a peaked wooden ceiling and hard surfaces all around that create challenging acoustics. “Originally being a church, the room was designed for music and not for speech intelligibility, which presented a huge problem when it became the commission Chambers,” observes Neves Media Productions owner Todd Neves. “For a number of years, the commission struggled with an old sound system that created more of an echo problem than they originally had. An employee spent every commission meeting trying to fight echoes and feedback and get the sound to be bearable. The public and the commissioners were frustrated beyond belief. The challenge for us was to reduce echo in the room, increase speech intelligibility, and do that within a budget.”
Neves demoed a pair of Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Gen5-series IC8-RN digitally steered line arrays for the city manager. “We went back and forth between the existing system and the Renkus-Heinz ICONYX system,” Neves recalls. “Within a matter of 10 or 15 minutes, they were sold, the demo was over, and the project was a go.”
The biggest challenge was to deal with reflections—a classic application for Renkus-Heinz’s steerable beam technology. “Part of the design included being able to steer the sound so that the focus of the energy began where the crowd sits and ended at a rear wall that was about 56 feet back,” Neves relates, “so we had to really focus the sound tightly. The ICONYX arrays gave us the perfect way to accomplish this.”
The Renkus-Heinz ICONYX IC8-RN features eight four-inch coaxial transducers, each with three high-frequency tweeters, and can deliver up to four beams with multiple acoustic beam centers. Beam control is effective down to 800 Hz. Neves Media Productions installed one IC8-RN on each side of the commission’s table area, where the church altar once stood. By carefully aiming the beams, Neves kept the sound on the people and away from the hard walls and peaked ceiling.
The new Renkus-Heinz system worked like a charm, delivering clear, intelligible audio where sonic chaos had previously reigned. “The Renkus-Heinz solution allows the employees to focus on what they need to do, and it allows the commissioners to communicate with the public and to hear from the public in an efficient manner, so meetings flow smoothly.” Neves reports. “Renkus-Heinz ICONYX was the perfect solution, and the city couldn’t be happier.”