The Florida Senate Chamber in Tallahassee, FL is a large, circular room, with desks for the 40 senators and lecterns for the senate president, the senate secretary, and invited speakers on the main floor. Visitor galleries surround the chamber.
Within these physical parameters, Tallahassee-based A/V integration firm and instrument retailer Music Masters recently deployed a new 7.1 surround sound system headed by Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers in a flown ring, delivering natural and intelligible sound reinforcement for senate business as well as A/V playback and live performances.
Music Masters renovated the Florida House of Representatives Chamber last year, replacing everything except the loudspeakers, which were of a newer vintage.
“We installed a 144x16 (Peavey) MediaMatrix DSP and tuned everything up so that the system sounds great,” explains Les Stephenson, owner of Music Masters. “However, the senate system needed a complete overhaul.”
“In the senate, you have 40 important people discussing vitally important business,” he adds. “Intelligibility and pattern control were therefore key, and that immediately led me to consider Danley Sound Labs. The center speaker would sit up above the president of the senate’s desk, but 26 feet was the very lowest it could be mounted. Danley’s excellent pattern control could fire from that height and cover the floor without energizing the glass and rotunda above.
“Moreover, Danley’s transparent sound would naturally allow the Senate to have intelligible conversations. I wouldn’t have to fight with the processing for a week to make it sound good.”
Music Masters mounted a Danley SH-46 horizontally for the center channel, which delivers a 60-degree horizontal by 40-degree vertical pattern. A pair of Danley SM-60s provides left and right channel coverage. Four Danley SM-100s serve as side and rear channels. A Danley TH-118 subwoofer fills out the low end from inside the projection room.
Stephenson ordered all but the SM-100s with self-power, and the fact that none of the units require bi- or tri-amplification added an element of simplicity to a system that was otherwise not very simple.
Music Masters installed a new Shure Beta 87 microphone at each desk, Shure MX418s on the podiums, and AKG CK47s on the president’s rostrum. Those microphones, together with new A/V inputs (suitable for musical accompaniment), feed a Peavey MediaMatrix NION digital processor.
In the 1990s, each desk had been wired for its own DSP channel, and Stephenson recognized how valuable that would be in a fully time-aligned system. Thus, the DSP contains 64 outputs, enough for every individual desk, where new five-inch OAP loudspeakers reside, as well as for the Danley 7.1 system. QSC Audio amplifiers drive the Danley SM-100s, while Biamp amplifiers power the small loudspeakers.
Stephenson also utilizes the MediaMatrix NION DSP to time-align all of the system’s many loudspeakers.
“When a senator is recognized,” he explains, “he or she is given the opportunity to speak. When that mic is switched on, the MediaMatrix automatically calculates appropriate delays at every loudspeaker, like ripples from a pebble dropped in calm water.
“Even the output from the Danley loudspeakers shifts so that listeners spatially locate the origin of the person speaking to his or her actual location in the chamber,” he continues. “It makes a tremendous difference in the transparency and impact of the system.”
Danley Sound Labs