The Berman Center for the Performing Arts, a newly built performance theater in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, is outfitted with a flexible sound reinforcement system headed by Renkus-Heinz loudspeakers.
The Berman Center, part of the Jewish Community Center that is a local nexus, is hosting a steady calendar of music, dance, performance, film festivals, and special events. The theater includes movable walls that close to form two adjacent ballrooms, or open to create a single large theater, with pull-out seating that expands the main room’s 300 seats to 600.
“It’s very much a multi-use facility,” explains Advanced Lighting and Sound’s Bob Sullivan, the systems contractor on the project. “The audio system had to be adaptable to several different room configurations, and sound good across a wide range of program material.”
“It’s a rather wide room, and that was a concern from an audio perspective,” adds Tim Hamilton of Grand Rapids, MI-based Acoustics By Design, the consultants behind the audio and video design. “But the client specified that the speakers have low visual impact. So the challenge was to provide adequate coverage using a minimal number of speakers.
“In addition, the speakers at the rear of the hall had to function as separate audio systems when the space was configured as two multipurpose rooms, or as delay speakers for the main system when it was configured as one large room—two very different scenarios.”
The main sound system is comprised of left and right arrays of two Renkus-Heinz ST4R three-way tri-amped loudspeakers. Further, Renkus-Heinz CFX212M two-way loudspeakers at the rear of the hall act as delays or provide separate coverage, depending on the configuration.
Crown Audio amplifiers power the CFX loudspeakers. A Yamaha M7CL 48-channel console was specified to handle front of house mixing, with DSP supplied by a Yamaha DME 24N processor. Several more CFX212M boxes provide monitoring on stage.
Hamilton says the venue’s relatively low ceiling added another challenge. “It was a bit tricky configuring the arrays to deliver a true stereo image from where we had to position them, but the ST4’s coverage and pattern control made it easier to accomplish.”
“Commissioning the system was a breeze,” Sullivan notes. “When you’re setting it up, you can pay attention to the room, not the presets. They’ve simplified the whole process - it’s all in the box.”
A 28-foot Da-Lite screen provides video, using a Sanyo PLX70 projector. A matrix of four Sanyo 400-series flat panel displays is used for digital signage, and as a single display for overflow.
Hamilton reports the feedback from the client has been overwhelmingly positive. “When they first saw the size of the system, there was some concern over whether it would be loud enough, and whether it would cover the whole room. Once we turned it on, it was clear that it was more than enough, and everyone was quite pleased.”
“The speakers sound great in the room,” concludes Sullivan. “Coverage is smooth and consistent across the entire area. It’s a very well thought out solution.”