Missouri Valley College (Marshall, Mo.), a privately funded liberal arts institution, has renovated the adjoining 27-year-old antiquated performing arts center, Mabee Memorial Chapel.
MediaOne, a Kansas City-based company, was contracted to design and implement a new system from the ground up. Chris Isom, Jim Surber and Nick Whitaker were the principal designers of this project. All of the existing audio and videoequipment was stripped out and rewired. Al Eckilson, A MediaOne principal, said that the installation of an ATC array was critical to the success of the project.
“This was an interesting project for us because the standards we were asked to adhere to were very high,” said Eckilson. “The performance space has two major applications: audio reinforcement for live theater and concert events, and audio playback. We were asked to provide a 7.1 speaker system that would provide the best surround sound available for a giant 22-foot digital-projection system.”
When it was built, the Mabee Memorial Chapel used a JBL horn-based speaker system. “That was state-of-the-art at the time,” said Eckilson, “but we wanted to eliminate the horn-based speaker concept entirely. Horns color the sound too dramatically. All you have to do is speak with your hands in front of your mouth to realize that while horns are effective in directing sound, they change the nature of an audio signal.”
MediaOne installed three ATC SCM 300ASL speakers above the stage for left, center and right channels and four SCM 0.1/15 powered subwoofers under the stage, because “we really wanted to make sure that the bass impact was powerful. We custom designed the enclosures to accommodate the subs, and the sound is superb.” Three pairs of ATC SCM 20 Pros were installed to handle the surround information being sent to the sides of the theater, and a fourth pair was installed in the rear. “We’re using the new DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 surround processing, which essentially outputs as the rear center channel. We’re alsogoing through a MediaMatrix DSP processor, which is handling all of our phasing, delay and room equalization. All of this is sent to the ATC array through a Soundcraft 64-channel mixer.”
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