The Royden B. Davis S.J. Performing Arts Center opened on November 12, 2005, on the campus of Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.). The center provides advanced facilities for both the music and theater arts programs at Georgetown via two separate theaters within the center. Both spaces have highly flexible sound, thanks to the inclusion of XTA’s DP Series loudspeaker management systems and the XTA GQ600 EQ.
The new building features Georgetown’s first proscenium theater, equipped with orchestra pit and fly space; a “black box” studio theater lending itself to broader range of productions; four traditional classrooms and three lab spaces, including a scene shop and a theater art design space; and a box office, dressing rooms and faculty offices. The sound systems in the theaters—EAW MK Series speakers in an LCR configuration—required the ability to adapt to a wide range of uses for the spaces by both departments.
Howard Rose, senior electro-acoustic consultant for Jaffe Holden Acoustics, which designed the Center’s acoustics, needed precise speaker control and exceptional sonic performance, spec’d the XTA DP Series speaker management processors—a DP226 and two DP224 units were used—and the XTA GQ600 EQ, with two placed in each theater. The Davis Center’s broad range of users also required that the system have sophisticated software and a high level of secure access.
“The proscenium theater has a hydraulic pit that can go from being an orchestra pit to becoming an extension of the front of the stage, and that has a significant effect on the sound in the theater, especially the front-fills,” Rose explains. “We wrote a preset for each setting, allowing the system to instantly reset itself for however the theater is being used. That’s important in an academic setting, because each department has very different ways they use the same space. We also created a no-delay setting, so that visiting performers can set their own delay values according to their performance needs.”