New York, NYâ€“â€“One of the most prestigious music educational institutions in the U.S. if not the world, the Julliard School in New Yorkâ€™s Lincoln Center recently underwent a renovation that now includes 45,000 square feet of new facilities and 50,000 square feet of renovated spaces.
Housed in an ultra-modern, glass-enclosed three-story volume extension that hovers over a public plaza along Broadway, the building, as described by architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, is intended to â€œturn the school inside-outâ€? so that the â€œactivities within the halls, studios, and other education spaces are now revealed to the rest of the city. The public spaces below the expansion now experience 24 hours of public lifeâ€”people eat, lounge, play and are provided opportune moments to observe the inner workings of Juilliard.â€?
Altel Systems, a 58-year old company based in Brewster, New York that does a variety of top line integration projects, was
the installer for Alice Tully Hall and Julliard. Company President and CEO Andy Musci described the two-step process: â€œOriginally, it was a bid project and we were awarded the initial job four years ago where we worked with Turner Construction to fully fit out Alice Tully Hall with both a Performance Sound System and a Cinema Sound System including the 35mm Kinoton Film Systems and an 18,000 lumen Barco projector displaying a nearly 50 foot wide image onto over 110 feet from the booth. Although housed in the same building, Tully Hall is managed separately by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Juilliard is a separate and distinct entity.
â€œAltel also provided a substantial amount of the initial work in the other facilities in the building such as the Black Box Theater, so the infrastructure got handled during that first phase of the work. Then there was a secondary bid project, which came directly from the Julliard School to outfit the main studio, rehearsal halls, music technology suites and the Black Box Theater with gear.â€?
Typically, a primary consideration during the installation was for infrastructure, which is dominated by state-of-the-art technology equipment throughout, including enclosures from Middle Atlantic Products. Asked about Altelâ€™s reasons for choosing the companyâ€™s products, Musci commented, â€œFor one thing, Middle Atlantic always does a fine job engineering their products so that theyâ€™re built sturdy and well put together. Their cable management systems make for a very efficient in and out delivery of field cabling, and also for the internal wiring in the racks. So thereâ€™s a lot of efficiency there and frankly our shop technicians have been working with Middle Atlantic enclosures since the early mid 80s.
â€œThe keystone that has led to Middle Atlanticâ€™s success is the quality of their manufacture, their ability to deliver product quickly and intact, and they also have some very innovative items like drawers and racks that swivel that help us do our job a lot better,â€? Musci concludes.
In addition to its role as a critical part of the infrastructure, Middle Atlantic is also an important part of Julliardâ€™s Recording Department. Longtime Director Bob Taibbi, a 38-year veteran of the School, stresses that the departmentâ€™s role is not to teach recording, but â€œto record the public performances that we do here at the school for archival purposes, which include orchestral performances, lectures, master classes and anything they want for the archives.â€?
Describing the Recording Departmentâ€™s new quarters in the building, Taibbi elaborates: â€œWith the renovation, the School was going to build a new orchestra rehearsal room, so attached to that--because I always need more space--they gave us this whole A/V suite which includes my office, two audio edit rooms, a video edit room, control room thatâ€™s attached to the new orchestral rehearsal room and a video control room.
Taibbiâ€™s set up in the main control room includes top-line gear such as a Soundcraft Phantom console, ADAM Audio monitoring systems, Millennium preamps, Aphex and Lexicon outboard gear and Neumann, Schoeps, B&K, and AKG microphones right alongside Middle Atlantic enclosures and technical furniture in the Audio and Video edit suites.
Asked about equipment choices that involved everything down to the infrastructure components, Taibbi explained, â€œWhenever Iâ€™ve worked with Middle Atlantic, their products were always easier to deal with. Theyâ€™re rugged and well engineered throughout. Plus theyâ€™re always coming out with something new and innovative to add to their enclosures that work well with the existing equipment because other companies will come out with new stuff that doesnâ€™t always work well. Plus Middle Atlantic will always customize for you.
â€œA case and point was the edit desk in our audio edit suite where they made a special computer isolation box for my Mac. Theyâ€™re a great company to work with, theyâ€™re pretty quick to get you what you need and they stand behind their stuff if thereâ€™s a problem.â€?
For technical specifications and in-depth information about Middle Atlantic Products, please click to www.middleatlantic.com or call 1.800.266.7225.