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All Pro Sound, Pensacola, Florida programmed and installed the Symetrix SymNet-based paging system at the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.

CARMEL, INDIANA – JULY 2011: With stunning architecture, flawless acoustics, and well-planned accessibility, the recently-completed $118 million Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the premier venues of New York, Los Angeles, and the world. Its location – Carmel, Indiana, a prominent suburb of Indianapolis – promises to reconfigure the geography of high culture. Already, the 1,600-seat, shoe-box-shaped venue has booked the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, Crystal Gayle, Spyro Gyra, Herbie Hancock, Pilobolus, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Isaak, Bruce Hornsby, and Bill Cosby, among many, many others. Consistent with the “cut no corners” philosophy that guided every other decision, the Palladium’s backstage and lobby paging system is built on Symetrix SymNet audio processing and Symetrix ARC wall panel remotes. It provides sophisticated, yet intuitive, paging from all strategic positions to ensure the high production values expected of the Palladium.

Artec Consultants spec’d and

designed the Palladium’s principal sound reinforcement system, which centers on Meyer powered loudspeakers and Peavey processing, with various Yamaha and Digidesign front-ends. However, when it came time to program and install the sophisticated paging system, Artec Consultants called upon All Pro Sound’s commercial systems design division with Dennis Ryan, Victor Puddy and Dustin Price handling various aspects of the project. Using a Symetrix SymNet 8×8 DSP, a collection of Symetrix ARC-XLR wall panel remotes with integrated XLR jack, and Shure 527B push-to-talk microphones, together with QSC CX series amplifiers and AMK Innovations distributed loudspeakers, the All Pro team fulfilled their request. Altogether, seven paging zones comprise the system: performance area, backstage, technical (scene & costume shops), program, administrative offices, and public lobbies.

Symetrix ARC-XLR wall panel remotes are located in the stage manager’s area, the audio control room, the lighting control room, the equipment room, the house manager’s area, and various other strategic locations. Each ARC-XLR wall panel remote contains a jack for the permanently mounted Shure microphones. Users select the zone or zones they wish to page using four push buttons and then speak with a push-to-talk button below the microphone. “Since two people can’t page the same zones at the same time, the challenge was getting the right force feedback on the panels to prevent them from trying,” said All Pro Sound’s Dennis Ryan. “The LEDs adjacent to the zone selection buttons change colors to let the users know which zones are available for paging and which are in use. For example, if I page the public lobby from panel one, panels two through eight show that the public lobby is in use and prevent anyone else from trying to page them at the same time.”

Because not every paging station has a need to page every zone, the four zone buttons suffice to provide all of the necessary options. Therein lies much of the system’s complexity. Had more options been required, Ryan could have easily expanded the menu of choices with another model of ARC wall panel remote. For pages from the house manager’s area, Ryan provided a chime using the SymNet 8×8 DSP’s relay outputs. Instead of selecting a zone, the fourth push button on the house manager’s ARC-XLR trips the relay to sound the chime. The chime signals patrons that a performance is about to begin.

“The Symetrix ARC wall panel remotes are my first choice,” said Ryan. “Their construction and flexibility are unmatched. It was fun to program the system using the SymNet Designer software. The project involved a lot of careful thinking to get all of the logic to work in the right way. All the LEDs have to change color appropriately, all of the proprietary lock-outs have to perform flawlessly, and each panel has to do something different based on its location and the locations that it can page to.”

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