Louisiana State University (LSU) has equipped its new Louisiana Digital Media Center (DMC) with a Meyer Sound cinema set-up and Constellation acoustic system.
The installation allows the DMC to offer everything from film showings and interactive digital media presentations to experimental music concerts and intimate meetings. The AV systems at the Center, which is used by students, researchers, and corporate partners such as EA Sports, were designed and specified by Bill Schuermann, senior consultant at Houston-based HFP Acoustical Consultants.
The modern 200-seat auditorium at DMC is the first venue anywhere to install a full SMPTE-standard, 7.1-surround Meyer cinema system with Constellation system.
“With the Meyer Sound systems, we can present any works developed here at LSU, or coming to us via the worldwide CineGrid high-speed network, without being limited by what we can do with audio,” said Dr. Stephen Beck, director of LSU’s School of Music and faculty member of the Center for Computation and Technology (CCT). “Also, we have a significant investment in sound diffusion research, where we create different acoustic environments. We wanted a space where we didn’t have to set up a custom configuration for every concert.”
Another Constellation system can be found in LSU's 1,100-seat Union Theater, which was integrated in 2011. According to Meyer, Constellation can instantly transform a room from a concert space to a screening room. The DMC system also has a voice lift feature, allowing the auditorium to double up as an intimate meeting space in which both presenters and audience members can be heard easily, with no need for mics.
Beck continued: “We just had our first all-hands meeting of the CCT in the auditorium. Finally, we have a space where we can have free-flowing conversations and share any kind of media presentation with the whole group, with no technical limitations.”
Using the patented VRAS algorithm, a D-Mitri digital audio platform is at the centre of the Constellation system. The set-up also features 24 microphones, 12 Stella-8C and 26 Stella-4C installation loudspeakers, 16 UP-4XP 48 V speakers and eight MM-10XP 48 V subwoofers. A further ten UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and eight HMS-10 cinema surround loudspeakers are used for both the Constellation and cinema systems, delivering surround sound for the latter.
“With both Meyer Sound systems, we’re able to create audio for the digital arts formats and concepts of the future,” Beck added. “We are giving our students access to the most advanced technologies, so when they graduate they can move them into the commercial mainstream. We have the technology to do it right now, and we’ll let everyone else catch up to us.”
Like many high-end cinemas and Hollywood screening rooms, the room’s Meyer Sound cinema system consists of one Acheron 100 and two Acheron 80 screen channel loudspeakers, along with six X-800C cinema subwoofers. As both Constellation and the cinema system are hooked up to the D-Mitri platform, the two systems can be fully integrated to create custom immersive audio effects.
An additional 106 Meyer loudspeakers have been placed in other areas around the DMC, including Stella-8C loudspeakers, UPJ-1P speakers, and HD-1 monitors.
The three-storey, $29.3 million Digital Media Center was designed by Coleman Partners Architects of Baton Rouge, with Aston Taylor of HFP Acoustical handling the acoustical design. Arthur Cooper, executive director of the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center, guided the DMC project on behalf of the University, while the auditorium’s Meyer Sound systems were installed by Pro Sound and Video of Miami, Florida.
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