Headquartered in the heart of the nation’s capitol, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is committed to reducing poverty and inequality in Latin America and Caribbean countries by providing much needed loans, grants, technical assistance and research.
In 2005, when the organization first opened the IDB Conference Center at 1330 New York Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., its 500-seat Enrique V. Iglesias Auditorium was slated to host films, seminars, lectures, and town hall meetings, so the original PA system was primarily designed to accommodate spoken word and cinema playback.
In 2012, however, the decision was made to better utilize the facility for the presentation of concerts and other cultural events featuring live entertainment by Central and South American artists, musicians, and dancers.
Tasked with transforming an existing auditorium into a place for colorful live music and dance, Baltimore-based audiovisual consulting and engineering firm Pershing Technologies was selected to provide consulting support and design services.
Pershing Senior Systems Engineer Eric Echols explains, “The IDB wanted a system that would provide a much more cohesive and engaging sound, especially for musical events. Line arrays seemed like the ideal choice as they allowed us to reach the vast majority of the audience listening area without having to use fills.”
The project was not without its challenges. “We were constrained by the space as it was originally designed, which always presents challenges,” Echols points out. “With simultaneous interpretation booths located on either side of the audience area, there are large areas of glass parallel to each other, which created some interesting acoustical issues.
“Pershing Technologies has worked with other organizations that have similar interpretation booths in their conference facilities, like the IMF and World Bank, so this type of challenge was not entirely new.”
For the main arrays, Pershing specified six ultra-compact and lightweight L-Acoustics KIVA plus two KILO LF extension loudspeakers for each side. In order to meet the coverage objectives of reaching the floor and balcony levels with the same arrays, as well as working within the architectural and structural constraints of the venue, the KILO arrays were flown side-by-side with the KIVA hangs rather than above.
Diversified Systems of Kenilworth, New Jersey was tasked with providing the installation.
The next challenge was to provide performers and speakers with a monitoring solution that wouldn’t significantly impact aesthetics or stage space. To accomplish this, Echols adds, “We used the tiny coaxial 5XT systems for under-balcony fills as well as stage confidence monitors flown behind the main arrays. These fire back at the stage so the performers and presenters know they’re being heard, and so they can hear program material from other sources.”
To drive the KIVA/KILO and 5XT loudspeaker systems, L-Acoustics LA4 amplified controllers were chosen to power the system and provide loudspeaker processing.
“One of the most important reasons we chose L-Acoustics was form factor and aesthetic profile,” explains Echols. “The space is highly finished and detailed and demanded a solution that was visually appealing and unobtrusive. While we did not have prior direct experience with KIVA/KILO, we have heard many other L-Acoustics systems and were very impressed.
“We had great confidence that the small, visually appealing KIVA/KILO products would fit well within the architectural constraints and sonically perform very well. We also appreciated the great support from the manufacturer throughout the entire design process.”