With its recent addition of a Meyer Sound M’elodie line array loudspeaker system, the Adelaide Convention Centre has become an even more attractive events venue for Australia’s largest industry gatherings.
The centre took top honors at the 2009 South Australian Tourism Awards in the category of Meetings and Business Tourism and silver in the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism, and in November reported a new attendance record at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Situated on the banks of the picturesque River Torrens, the Adelaide Convention Centre hosts conferences, exhibitions, banquets, and award presentations for groups of 20 to 5,000 people, building on an active client base that spans the medical, travel, and financial industries and colleges.
When the center decided to upgrade its sound system, versatility became the key requirement specified by the committee of management and technicians. They soon found the best solution in the M’elodie line array loudspeaker after hearing it at a Meyer Sound audio applications seminar for local technicians.
“As a convention centre, spoken word is our foremost concern,” says Richard Builder, Adelaide Convention Centre’s technical services manager who oversaw the audio upgrade. “But of course patrons tend to remember events from the artists’ performances and forget about the speeches, so there is also a great need for the system to sound beautiful and rich at these times also.
“A large amount of consideration was taken for audio quality, and the ability to distribute sound evenly across an entirely flat plane,” continues Builder. “And sightlines were also considered, so were easy rigging and customer support. The Meyer Sound system ticked all of our boxes.”
The resulting system comprises 32 M’elodie line array loudspeakers and eight 500-HP subwoofers, serving as a portable system in the center’s event spaces of various sizes. Prior to each event, the technical crew uses the MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program to design the most ideal loudspeaker configuration, and drives the system using a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors.
In addition to its transparent sound quality, M’elodie’s tight control performs to Builder’s satisfaction: “Walls can be an issue as it is very difficult to cover an entire venue floor without creating reflections. Unlike most entertainment venues, our system operators are normally situated right up against the rear wall, and patrons are often very close to the walls as well.
“Even with acoustical treatment, standing waves and reflections can degrade the audio quality. M’elodie allows us to cover all areas on the floor evenly, yet keeping as much sound pressure off the walls as possible.”
The use of M’elodie line arrays has reduced the off-axis energy on the stage. “Apart from even dispersion,” says Builder, “the line array technology also brings good rejection of audio from the sides of the cabinets, hence giving us much greater headroom for the lectern microphones.
“The system has met all of our requirements, and surprises everyone in regards to the output. Most impressive is the smoothness of the transitions between cabinets in an array and also between stacks,” concludes Builder. “As normal when a production company purchases new equipment, you wonder how you got by without it in the past. We are already considering more next year.”