The American School Foundation, located in Mexico City, is an academically rigorous, international, university preparatory school that prides itself on dedication to the three A’s of education: Academics, Arts and Athletics.
Recently, in support of the arts, the school built the Ángeles Espinosa Yglesias Fine Arts Center which includes a 650-seat theater that includes box seats and a balcony. An art gallery is also located on the second floor of the building. When it was time to determine sound reinforcement for the new auditorium, the board of trustees called upon Showco SA de CV to design the system.
“We decided to install an Adamson Metrix line array system because it fit the needs of the room perfectly,” explains Mauricio Alva, Audio Manager of Showco. “The sound quality is amazing and it is flexible enough to accommodate the variety of performances the venue will host. The system provides more than enough SPL for the venue size with excellent vocal clarity and a smooth frequency response.”
Alva, along with Francisco Rojas Showco Technical support, designed a left-right line array system consisting of two Metrix-i Sub on the top, followed by eight Metrix-i, and four Metrix-i W for downfill. An additional four Metrix-i W were hung separately for front fill.
Adamson’s Metrix Series 2-way active enclosures are loaded with one 8” Kevlar Neodymium driver to handle the low-mid frequency range while a 1.4” exit compression driver provides smooth top end. Metrix-i boxes have a coverage pattern of 5° vertical by 120° horizontal and produce a slightly curved, iso-phase wave front, while the Metrix-i Wave expands vertical coverage to 15° to act as a perfect downfill solution.
Four Metrix-i Subwoofers are flown to support the low end of the system. The Metrix-i Sub contains two 15” Kevlar Neodymium woofers in a tuned, vented cabinet, which contains both front and back Neutrik NL8™ inputs for easy cardioid use.
“We designed the system using Adamson’s Shooter and Blue Print software – which was very accurate,” adds Alva. “In this type of an installation we need specific, precise coverage in the vertical plane, we could not add any more boxes to the arrays. The software was a key component in ensuring the system design would do what the school required.”
In addition to the standard simulation features found in the company’s Shooter program, Blueprint also includes more advanced features such as 3D mapping, multiple virtual microphone locations for examining frequency response throughout the venue, and multiple source setups. The Shooter files can be uploaded for instant use in Blueprint, which simplifies using both programs.
“The venue is interesting in that is offers a number of different seating configurations along with a mobile floor that moves when an orchestra pit is required,” explains Alva. “Sometimes the box seats are in use and sometimes not. Flexibility was paramount to the design.”
The system is powered by Powersoft K3 DSP+AESOP amplifiers, rack-mounted located on the bridge sound structure. Alva notes that “we have absolute control of all the amps and DSP and monitor gain structure and do impedance tests to the transducers of the line array without having to take down the system. It’s terrific.”
At front-of-house, located in the balcony, Showco specified a Yamaha LS9 console. Audio Technica 5000 Series wireless microphones systems round out the audio package. Teletec de Mexico SA de CV provided installation. The Teletec team hung the line arrays utilizing Adamson’s optional EIR™ Plate System, a reduced cost and weight solution ideal for permanent installations.
“The new system is exactly what we were looking for,” explains Hugo Cabrera at The American School Foundation. “Now we can do any kind of production without any compromise of SPL, frequency response or headroom.”