DOYLESTOWN, Pennsylvania — The James A. Michener Art Museum
recently completed the construction of the Putnam Pavilion, a 2,700-square-foot
addition to the existing structure that was the recipient of the prestigious
2012 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Philadelphia Gold Merit Award. With its three 23-foot-high structural glass
walls, some of the largest such architectural glass panels in North America, the
building’s design is indeed visually striking. In order to maintain the
architectural integrity of the space, Philadelphia acoustical and A/V design
consulting firm Metropolitan Acoustics deployed HARMAN’s JBL AC28/95 compact
loudspeakers with a BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-100 signal processor and
BLU-BIB Break-In Box to overcome some unusual sonic and logistical challenges.
Saben Shawhan, Senior Consultant at Metropolitan Acoustics
explained how the building’s unique architecture played a major role in
specifying the audio system. “Wherever you have large expanses of glass, you
know you’re going to have to deal with the potential for excessive
reverberation. Additionally, to give the room a cleaner appearance the ceiling
has a series of narrow tracks that are painted black. These tracks house the
lighting as well as the sprinkler heads, smoke detectors and rigging points for
portable equipment – and the architects also wanted the speakers to be hidden in
Putnam Pavilion is used for art exhibits, corporate and special events. In
addition to background music, sound system uses include support for small
musical groups and presentations, so Shawhan needed speakers that would fit in
the limited space, and deliver clear, articulate sound with good coverage
throughout the space while maintaining a high degree of control. He found the solution in JBL’s AC28/95 compact loudspeakers.
“We used 16 of the JBL AC28/95s, which gave us significant output to cover the
room. These speakers provide a higher degree of control in the mid-range
frequencies than what is available from any other speaker in this size and
price range, and the speaker’s 90 x 50-degree waveguide gave us the control
over the high frequencies to keep them from bouncing off the glass.”
Because of the varying uses of the facility, audio
processing was a major consideration as well, and Metropolitan Acoustics
included a BSS Audio Soundweb London BLU-100 12 x 8 signal processor with a BSS
BLU-BIB in the system design. “We
expanded the capabilities of the AC28/95’s with the BLU-100’s extensive DSP capabilities,
and used a little more processing power than would normally be required in less
acoustically challenging spaces. For this installation we needed more than just
a simple mixer. We never know where people are going to set up in the room, so
we divided the system into six zones that can be operated independently. A user
can turn each zone down or off as needed, and this helps with feedback
control,” added Shawhan.
“The Putnam Pavilion is a high-end space and expectations
were high for sound quality. Because Soundweb London is a comprehensive
processing system, it gives us the zone management capabilities we needed for
the installation, and enables the speakers to achieve the best possible sound
in an acoustically challenging space,” stated Shawhan.
Caption: Acoustical and A/V design consulting firm Metropolitan Acoustics
deployed JBL AC28/95 compact loudspeakers with BSS Audio Soundweb London signal
processing at the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Putnam Pavilion.
(www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and
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of $4.4 billion for year ended June 30, 2012.