Clemson University's Brooks Center Upgrades with Meyer Sound M'elodie
For several years, the 1,000-seat Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University made the most of its Meyer Sound system. The theatre delivered nearly 100 shows per year ranging from spoken word to Broadway-style plays to rock concerts through only a small center cluster of two UPA-1P loudspeakers and two USW-1P subwoofers.
"We asked an awful lot of that little system, and to its credit it always sounded good," says Production Manager Woody Moore. "That's one reason why, when it came time to upgrade, we were already leaning toward a Meyer Sound system."
With versatility being a prime consideration, the University called on Asheville, NC-based Real World Audio to install a left-center-right configuration comprising two hangs of ten M'elodie line array loudspeakers, with a center cluster of four CQ-1 loudspeakers. Three UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers act as balcony delays, with four M1D line array loudspeakers along the stage lip for front fills. Four 700-HP subwoofers on the floor cover low frequency, and the system is controlled by a Galileo loudspeaker management system. On stage, eight UM-1P stage monitors provide foldback.
Moore says the room's architecture presented minimal acoustical issues. "The original architects did a nice job in designing the space, which made planning the new system that much easier. The interesting challenge was locating the speakers, since the room had never had a line array before. As it turned out, the hardware slotted into a panel in the ceiling so perfectly, all you see is the speakers, not the rigging. We couldn't have planned it better if we'd tried!"
Talking about the system, Moore sounds every bit the proud papa. "After they completed the install, everyone left around five," he says. "I put on some CDs and sat there until almost midnight, just listening. I'll be honest, there were a few times when I turned it up really loud. As the dust started falling from the catwalk, and my pants legs started moving with the kick drum, I thought, 'I'm in heaven.'"
According to Moore, the Galileo is not only used to drive the M'elodie system during performances, but is also a great tool to educate the next generation of audio professionals. "I teach a class here about sound reinforcement. And being able to use the combination of the line arrays and the Galileo is just invaluable. Through the Galileo and Compass software, I can mute individual boxes to show them what comb filtering sounds like, demonstrate EQ and how it affects phase, and have a graphic display for a real-world scenario. It's one thing to explain these things as theory, but when I do it in the room, the students' eyes get big and you can see they really get it."