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Live Sound

Historic High School Upgrades Auditorium Audio

More than 80 years after it was first built, the art deco auditorium at C.K. McClatchy High School now sports a Yamaha Active Field Control system and specialized Audix mics to go with it.

Sacramento, CA (August 23, 2019)—C.K. McClatchy High School—the oldest high school in the City of Sacramento—recently renovated its art deco auditorium, originally built in 1937, with the installation of a new Yamaha Active Field Control (AFC3) system as part of the new AV system.

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AFC is an acoustic conditioning system that allows adjustments to room acoustics through manipulation of reflections and reverberations using a system of dedicated microphones, loudspeakers, and digital processing. With an AFC3 system, room acoustics can be manipulated to make the room sound like a large concert hall, an intimate jazz venue, or any number of other acoustic environments. This is a boon to clients looking to create a multifunction space without the cost and time of physical alterations.

A critical component of an AFC3 system are the microphones. Yamaha has a very small set of microphone models certified for use in their AFC3 system, including the Audix SCX1 studio condenser and the Audix M1280B miniaturized condenser. For the McClatchy project, both Yamaha systems design engineer Joe Rimstidt and the consultant, Brian Smith of Acoustic Engineering Consultants, specified the SCX1.

The AFC3 system employs eight Audix SCX1 mics – two matched pairs (SCX1CMP) of cardioids at the proscenium, and four SCX1 omni’s (SCX1O) about 30 feet offstage. Another critical component of the AFC3 system, the loudspeakers, presented a few installation challenges. Sixty-eight Yamaha loudspeakers were installed, including twenty-four IF2205 units flown on battens over the stage, twelve IF2108 early reflection units mounted on sidewalls, and thirty-two VXC8W flush-mount units installed in the ceiling over 30 feet above the sloped floor.

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Gary Roda, CTS, Audiovisual Sales Engineer for Quality Sound in Stockton, California, was the lead on the AFC project. The McClatchy auditorium was the first AFC project for Quality Sound; it was also the first AFC system in Northern California.