Established in 1936 by local benefactor Alice Bemis Taylor, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (CSFAC) houses a gallery, artistic and theatrical teaching facilities, and a multi-use performance hall, which underwent a major remodel this past summer. The center brought in audio firm Audio Analysts.
The job presented myriad challenges and difficulties, the largest being the range of events presented in the facility; in any given month, the CSFAC stage hosts conferences, musical acts, full-scale theatrical performances and film presentations. The Audio Analysts staff knew that the space’s diverse sound needs called for a system that was both powerful and flexible, so they quickly turned to Meyer Sound. According to an Audio Analyst project manager, Ken Toal, “We’ve just had really good luck with Meyer. The customer support is second to none. We call up Meyer, say, ‘We’ve got this project’ and they’re right on it, helping us in any way they can. We take the speakers out of the boxes and they work every time.”
As CSFAC is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Audio Analyst’s crew was highly constrained as to the impact they could have on the building. In addition, the timeframe was limited, so the installers were forced to work around several other crews and trades involved in the large-scale remodel, which included a new rear wall, new rigging for the lights and theatrical scenery, new carpeting, replacement seating and a new boiler for the building. Given the large number of films presented at the CSFAC, management wanted a 5.1 surround sound system integrated within the structure, an ambitious goal that was further complicated by the need to match the acoustics of the newly installed flutter-free rear wall to those of the original African Mahogany wall panels.
To accommodate the diverse acoustical needs of the space, Audio Analysts took a “mix-and-match” approach with the equipment used. Two CQ-2 narrow-coverage main loudspeakers make up each of the left and right clusters, one CQ-1 wide-coverage main loudspeaker for the center channel, two USW-1P compact subwoofers and two UPM-1P ultra-compact wide-coverage loudspeakers for each of the rear left and right positions. Four MM-4 miniature wide-range loudspeakers along the stage lip provide frontfill for the first four rows of seats. Meyer Sound’s RMS™ remote monitoring system is a key tool when the staff reconfigures the system to meet a new presentation’s needs.
On rigging the Meyer system, Toal says, “We put [the whole system design] into Meyer’s MAPP Online Pro™ [acoustical prediction program] and [the prediction] was right on the money. We pretty much turned it on and had to do very, very little EQ,. I think there were maybe two or three points throughout the whole system [that needed equalization], which is a big testament to Meyer.”