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Elon University Steers Clear of Reflective Surfaces with Meyer Sound CAL

At North Carolina’s Elon University, a steerable Meyer Sound CAL™ column array loudspeaker system provides clear speech and music in the Great Hall, a large common room with acoustically reflective architectural elements typically found in centuries-old European institutions.

“The plan was to use the room for everything from video game tournaments and movies to graduation-related ceremonies, and CAL has proven ideal on all counts,” says Joe Davis, assistant director of campus technology support and solutions architect for Elon University. “The vast expanse of windows on three sides, plus one largely flat, sheetrock wall create a highly reverberant space that could be over-excited by amplified sound. And any permanent system had to be practically invisible while still providing high-level, full bandwidth sound. The CALs disappear into the décor and really do the job.”

Two, color-matched CAL 96 loudspeakers are mounted 13 feet high alongside wood-finish columns flanking the hall’s massive fireplace. Programmed with a downward beam tilt, each CAL loudspeaker covers half the floor area, which measures a total of 88 x 158 feet with a peak ceiling height of 43 feet. Two UP-4XP loudspeakers fill in the extreme side corners, while two M1D-Sub subwoofers are concealed in the central columns. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 408 processor provides audio distribution and optimization. The room’s complete AV infrastructure was designed and installed by Audio & Light of Greensboro, N.C.

“The real calling card of CAL in the Great Hall is its intelligibility—it provides amazing clarity and natural voice quality right to the back corners of the room,” reports Brian Cox, sales engineer for Audio & Light. “We initially considered some other steerable column arrays for the room, but after hearing CAL at an InfoComm demo we were convinced it would provide a more powerful and musical solution. The end result was all we had expected—sound levels are practically flat across the entire room, and though it’s not meant to be a rock ’n’ roll system, it gives you the output and low end for music reproduction.”

The Great Hall audio system also incorporates a Biamp Tesira DSP unit for mixing and processing, with a variety of inputs available for connecting microphones, a Blu-ray player, or video game consoles. Two Shure wireless receivers are available, pairing with either SM58 handheld or WL185 lavalier transmitters. The audio system supports two NanoLumens video screens. A Crestron CP3N system handles overall AV control, with four user interfaces around the room.