NORTHRIDGE, California â€“ In a dramatic restoration of one of the most historic vaudeville theaters in the country, SIA Acoustics recently consulted on a unique 2-part acoustic renovation at the Rialto Theatre in Tucson, Arizona. The upgrade is part of the not-for-profit theaterâ€™s third year in operation as part of the City of Tucsonâ€™s Rio Nuevo project to help revitalize downtown Tucson.
Originally built in 1920, the Rialto Theatre still boasts its original historic interior with an art deco motif, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. It was voted â€œBest Indoor Venueâ€? for 2008 in the Best of Tucson awards. Recent and upcoming entertainment acts featured at the 1,800-seat facility represent a broad range of artists including Bruce Cockburn, the Jason Mraz Trio, GWAR, Eric Johnson, Candlebox, the Robert Cray Band and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. In addition to being a renowned concert facility, the theatre also hosts dance, performing arts and film screening events. In keeping with its recent renovation and prestigious honors, the new audio system at the proscenium-stage venue features JBL VERTECÂ® DP Series powered line arrays.
â€œThe Rialto presents a wide range of musical and spoken word productions, so we selected a sound system capable of serving these varied types, providing both improved intelligibility and musical impact,â€? said Sam Berkow of SIA Acoustics. â€œThe new JBL system will provide both clear, intelligible speech to every seat, while still being able to provide tonally balanced and high impact music.â€?
The $300,000 upgrade to the audio system includes a line array configuration of 16 JBL VERTEC VT4888DP-AN midsize powered line array elements equipped with JBL DrivePackÂ® technology (eight per side). The system was configured using HiQnetâ„¢ System Architectâ„¢ software and is fully networked for remote control and monitoring. The system also features a dbx DriveRack 4800 for system EQ, signal routing and loudspeaker management.
The VERTEC system was chosen for its rider-friendly features and ease of installation. â€œâ€œWe selected the JBL cabinets based on their excellent audio performance and their acceptance by the tour sound community,â€? said Bruce Momich, Production Manager for the Rialto Theatre. â€œAt the Rialto we want to provide an extremely high-quality experience for our audience, and we feel this system will help us meet that goal.â€?
Acoustically, SIA Acoustics improved the tonal balance of the Theatre, helping the room support a more powerful sound system. The result is a system that is optimized to deliver intelligible speech and high-impact musical productions. â€œThe room was a good space for amplified performances as we found it, so we only made a few changes, mostly to help control mid and low frequency reverberation, and help the room support a much more powerful sound system,â€? Berkow noted. â€œThe addition of a large â€˜bass trapâ€™ at the rear of the balcony will act to improve the sound throughout the Theatre.â€?
For more information on SIA Acoustics, please visit www.siaacoustics.com