MIAMI, NOVEMBER 4, 2011—Long before the curtains were first raised in Miami Beach’s New World Center, expectations were high that it would be a spectacular educational and performance facility, home to the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. While bringing to life its mission of becoming a destination for creativity and inspiration, the Center also debuted as a cultural icon, introducing Pulse, a unique spin on the orchestral experience within a nightclub setting. To help performers get the best monitor mixes in a hall where the acoustics are quite reverberant, Pro Sound and Video, a Miami-based company that specializes in providing high quality, technology solutions for audio, video, theater, club and broadcast projects, equipped the New World Center with an Aviom Pro16® personal mixing system.
Early in the New World Center’s first season, Aviom’s Personal Mixers played an important role on stage in performances by the prestigious New World Symphony and even more so during Pulse performances, when the concert hall transitioned into a nightclub and New World Symphony Fellows and a classically-trained DJ, Mason Bates, shared the stage.
“The intent behind the New World Center was to create the most technically sophisticated concert hall in North America,” says Brad Gallagher, managing director, Pro Sound and Video. “In a symphonic building, with such a long RT60, the sound that engineers hear from a reference monitor is going to be vastly different from what the musicians are hearing on stage. With so many elements taking place at once, the Aviom Personal Mixers are an absolutely ideal solution.”
Since the hall was designed with a NC-15 noise criterion, there is a virtually pure environment for the natural acoustics of the room. Though beautiful to listeners, the acoustics do pose some issues when monitoring. “The nominal reverb time of the room is 1.5 seconds, so when the Aviom A-16II Personal Mixers are used with headphones or in-ears, it allows us to totally eliminate any unnecessary stage volume, while keeping our options flexible for on-stage performances,” says Alan Miller, New World Center production technician and audio specialist.
Miller introduced the Aviom personal mixers to the performers for the very first Pulse show, giving each musician the option to customize personal mixes, as they were tasked with performing live in this unique setting. Aviom A-16II Personal Mixers helped musicians overcome the challenges brought on by the instruments, ambiance and unique distances between performers, as DJ Mason Bates and the performers were located on stage lifts, while other performers were located on the hall’s satellite stages.
“During the first performance, three percussionists played a rather difficult piece on Djembes (skin-covered drums played with bare hands) that were positioned on different performance platforms throughout the hall,” says Miller. The platforms surround the stage with about 50 feet separating each and are between audience seating areas. “We recognized that the percussionists would need to hear each other clearly while competing with the late-night crowd noise, so Aviom A-16II Personal Mixers were the perfect solution. We also provided an A-16II to the orchestra conductor,” adds Miller.
The music selected for the venue’s second Pulse event required a completely different setup, with two soloists playing on separate performance platforms in exact synchronization with the full orchestra on stage. “The distance time delay and reverb would not allow us to do this setup without any monitoring, so this time I pulled out the A-16CS Control Surfaces to be used in conjunction with our A-16R Personal Mixers that are rack mounted in our monitor console desk unit,” says Miller. “The DigiCo D1 allowed us to send the signal to these A-16R units and then the output of the A-16R can be routed back to the console so I could send it to our wedge monitors.”
Designed for flexibility by audio consultants Acoustic Dimensions and Sonitus, the New World Center’s system includes Aviom A-16D Pro A-Net® Distributors that route to an RJ-45 patch panel at the hall’s backstage left audio racks. The patch panel then has A-Net lines that run virtually everywhere in the performance hall. The stage consists of 10 electro-mechanical stage lifts, with each lift having anywhere from one to four floor pockets that allow the crew access to audio, video and electrical panels attached to each stage. Cat-5 cabling that originates at the patch panel is run to each floor pocket, allowing Miller and the audio team to position the Aviom units just about anywhere on or off stage as needed for the performers, including the performance platforms that have full audio/data connectivity. The main DigiRack that is shared by the consoles has an Aviom D-16c A-Net Card that allows the audio team to take up to 16 outputs that are assigned on the consoles and send them through the Aviom system.
For more information on the New World Center & Symphony, visit www.nws.edu.
Aviom pioneered personal mixing with its Pro16® Monitor Mixing System and continues to break new ground with the revolutionary Pro64® Series of audio networking products. With tens of thousands of products in the field today, Aviom has set the standard for high performance, scalable digital solutions. All Aviom systems harness the power of A-Net®, Aviom’s innovative digital audio technology that simplifies system design while enhancing flexibility and fidelity. All Aviom products are designed, tested, and manufactured in the USA. For more information, visit www.Aviom.com.