BOWLING SPRINGS, NORTH CAROLINA – NOVEMBER 2012: Gardner-Webb University, a private institution serving 4,300 students in North Carolina, recently completed a $30 million construction project at the heart of the campus. University President Dr. Frank Bonner described the new Tucker Student Center as “the single-most impressive and most transformational building ever built on Gardner-Webb’s campus.” The building’s high-fidelity sound reinforcement system is consonant with that description. Its event space is equipped with a 7.2 surround sound system that is perfect for movie screenings and rider-ready for high-profile bands. Local A/V firm A Sound Experience designed and installed the system around a pair of Symetrix SymNet Edge processors networked together and with a Yamaha CL5 console via the new Dante protocol.
The heart of the audio system resides in the event space, which is a complex of divisible and combinable rooms that will host movie screenings, performing arts events, concerts, and meetings. However, its tendrils extend throughout the student center to provide high-quality background music in the building’s restaurants, store, recreation area, and common areas. “The new system at the Tucker Student Center is tremendously powerful and flexible, and just a few years ago a comparable system would have cost two or three times as much,” said Preston Hinson, systems engineer at A Sound Experience. “The SymNet Edge possesses a tremendous amount of processing power, and the use of the Dante network reduced the labor costs substantially while simultaneously improving system performance.”
Inputs to the system include six wireless microphones, Dante ports located in each of the divisible rooms, output from a 7.2 surround sound processor, several media inputs, and stage boxes. The SymNet Edge frame possesses a modular I/O topology, and one frame, dubbed “Dante In,” is fully loaded with sixteen analog inputs. Its considerable processing power is devoted to conditioning each input, which is then available anywhere in the system via the Dante network. “I’ve worked with virtually all of the older digital audio distribution protocols, and they were always tedious and somewhat problematic, said Hinson. “ In contrast, I simply plugged in Dante and it worked. The simplicity and robustness of it blew my mind. The Yamaha CL5 integrated seamlessly. This was the first job I have completed in which all of the patching is done via Cat5.”
The second SymNet Edge frame is dubbed “Signal Management” and handles all of the routing, combining, and output conditioning for the system. “Symetrix’ new SymNet Composer design software proved to be very intuitive,” said Hinson. “It was all drag-and-drop.” The second Edge’s modular I/O slots are outfitted with sixteen outputs for distribution to several loudspeakers and zones. The heart of the system is in the surround-sound room, where the Yamaha CL5 resides. Its loudspeaker complement is comprised of iSP HDL 3112 line array cabinets, iSP HDM 210 fills, and iSP dual twelve-inch horn-loaded subwoofers. Other rooms in the complex that combine also use the iSP HDM 210s. Elsewhere in the building, output from the SymNet Edge feed an iSP HDDS system, which distributes audio to iSP ceiling speakers via Cat5 cabling.
For expert users, the Yamaha CL5 provides the main point of control for the system. Keys allow different users to access different levels of control, ranging from full concert mixing access to modest volume changes for meetings. Students and staff access the video playback system from the surround sound processor, which has the look and feel of a consumer-grade stereo component. Elsewhere in the building, iSP wall plates allow users to plug in any line level source with an eighth-inch jack. However, when Hinson and the school’s A/V staff realized the potential of Symetrix’ ARC-WEB technology, they plan on using it in conjunction with ARC-WEB.
“ARC-WEB allows us to give staff and students customized control of the audio system – and anything with RS-232 control, such as the video playback system – via any smartphone or Internet-connected device,” said Hinson. “They are very excited about that. In addition to providing control of the video system, we may move all audio input sources to a common location and then let an ARC-WEB interface provide input selection and volume control.”
ABOUT SYMETRIX Sound professionals rely upon the performance, value and reliability of audio mixing, routing and processing products from Symetrix. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.