Philly’s University of Sciences Undergoes Sonic Revolution

Philadelphia
‘s
University of the Sciences is best known for its respected pharmaceuticals
program, but their varsity sports teams are far from slouches. Men’s and women’s
teams in tennis, basketball, volleyball and softball have placed at or near the
top in CACC competitions for much of the past decade, and compete in several
NCAA regionals as well.
The school’s main athletic facility, the gymnasium
at Rosenberger Alumni Hall, recently received a sonic renovation, courtesy of
Philadelphia-based Clear Sound Inc. As Clear Sound’s Chris Dietze explains, the
facility has long been in need of better sound.
“The gym’s PA system has always been
underpowered and poorly placed,” Dietze says.`”For sporting events,
people tend to overlook bad sound and blame it on the ambient crowd noise, but
they use the gym for other events too, like convocations and student
orientations, and it’s then that the problem would become painfully
apparent.”
Clear Sound designed a system utilizing 12
Community R1-66 full-range two-way loudspeaker systems, mounted across the
gym’s peaked metal roof, with six loudspeakers covering the bleacher areas and
six more covering the court area.
“The difference in intelligibility is like
night and day,” Dietze says.
The loudspeakers are configured into multiple
zones, allowing the A/V staff to turn various sections off and on depending on
what’s needed for a given event. As Dietze explains, the building’s older
construction presented a few wiring challenges, which were met with a clever
application of digital technology.
“We only had a single 3/4-inch conduit to run
wiring through,” he says, “so we converted the signal to digital
using an Aviom Pro64 encoder in the rack, and another in the Yamaha LS9 digital
console. That enabled us to carry the signal on a single Cat5 cable. The only
connection to the console rack is two pieces of Cat5 and power cables. It solved
any potential grounding problems as well.”
Dietze says the school has been very impressed with
the new system. “Even at the louder sporting events, people have commented
on how much better it sounds. The R1 has made a big difference.”