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Live Sound

Texas County Fairgrounds Upgrades Livestock Pavilion Audio

Texas’ Fort Bend County livestock pavilion has been upgraded with a Bose RoomMatch sound system, enabling the facility to host more diverse events and broaden its reach in the community.

Framingham, MA—A $3.9 million renovation of the George Pavilion at the Fort Bend County (Texas) Fairgrounds has nearly doubled the size of the 30-year-old facility to 85,000 square feet and increased the number of bleacher seats to 460. Fort Bend County cattle hands will also enjoy a vastly improved sound system consisting of a large central cluster of RoomMatch loudspeakers from Bose Professional.

AV systems integrator Covenant Communications (Houston, TX) designed the cluster, with eight RoomMatch speakers divided into four quadrants, facing in four directions from a central hang in the arena’s roof, along with one Bose RoomMatch Utility RMU208 loudspeaker down firing into the arena’s center. These are powered by two Bose PowerMatch PM8500N networked amplifiers.

In addition, a dozen Bose FreeSpace DS 40F, 15 Bose FreeSpace DS 100SE and eight Bose Panaray 802 loudspeakers were installed in fill areas and in the three outdoor wash pens adjacent to the new livestock building, powered by two Bose PowerMatch PM4500N networked amplifiers.

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Covenant was able to cover the entire 85,000-square-foot facility with the single central RoomMatch cluster, which saved the venue and the county time, energy and money, according to Shawn Mullins, president of Covenant Communications. He says, “Bose technicians were with us every step of the way, helping us model various kinds of solutions for the space. But it quickly became clear that a compact but powerful central cluster of eight RoomMatch speakers and one RMU208 speaker would be able to meet the pavilion’s mandate of clear and intelligible sound that reaches into every corner of the space and above the din of a livestock show, where the sounds of people, animals and music mingle.

“We initially liked the idea of a distributed system, which could keep the sound close to the crowd without needing high SPL, but it would have required between 90 and 120 speakers to cover that much space adequately,” Mullins adds. “When you add in the labor to install all of them and the cabling to connect them, it drove the costs up considerably. But using the modeling that Bose provided, we could see that we could achieve the same or even better coverage with far fewer, larger speakers in a central cluster.”

The George Pavilion renovation was completed well in advance of the marquee event there, the Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo, which begins in late September.

Venue management was pleased with the location’s audio upgrade. “We’re extremely happy with the sound,” says James Knight, Fort Bend County director of facilities. “The low-end response is great for music, and the high end is sharp and clean for announcements. It’s a great balance between speech and music, and that was something we were definitely looking for in the new sound system. And visitors are telling us that no matter where they sit in the pavilion, the sound is even and consistent.”

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“They feel they have the best sound system in southwest Houston,” continues Mullins. “At events like these in big spaces like this, people often miss the cue for their exhibit class because they can’t hear the announcements. But this system assured the venue that every person participating in a livestock show would be able to hear when their names are called, whether they’re inside the building or out in the wash pens. That was of paramount importance to everyone, and with the Bose RoomMatch system, we achieved it easily. Each RoomMatch module has the horizontal left-right coverage we needed and a level of vertical dispersion control you don’t see in other systems. We also liked that you could tailor the speakers exactly to the room’s needs with the RoomMatch custom waveguides, which is so much better than using a one-size-fit-all approach.” And, he adds, in the perfect metaphor for the venue, “It’s got plenty of horsepower.”

Bose Professional •

Covenant Communications •