Haas elaborates, “The first and second levels each include left, center, and right, as well as four surrounds. On the third level the dome is much tighter, so we opted for just left and right with two surrounds. For low frequencies, we placed all three subwoofers on the second level. There simply wasn’t enough room for discreet subs on each level, so we configured each one as the point sources for the adjacent levels, and delayed the LF signal appropriately from the first level, second level and third level. It actually worked quite well.”
Once installed, Haas and his team were able to take full advantage of the Iconyx system’s beam steering capabilities to dial in the perfect output at the ground floor and both balconies.
“We needed to make sure that we had a very tight pattern-at least vertically-so that the experiences at each level did not interact with each other in any appreciable way.” Haas explains. “We were able to get the second and third levels sounding fantastic with little difficulty. The first level was a bit more challenging, but the Iconyx beam steering, combined, with the careful addition of diffusion materials, made all the difference.”
After the system was configured, Haas worked with the museum production staff to save a number of unique output presets that could be easily retrieved to accommodate different program types.
“There are several different modes including a presentation mode and a media mode,” says Haas. “We even gave the producers the opportunity to have a secondary beam from some of the upper arrays-like from the second level down to the first level-in case they wanted a spot effect or some other secondary sound source.”
In the end the results speak for themselves. The new NRC wing and Daily Planet exhibits are big hits with museum attendees and management alike. And for Haas, this is yet another seemingly impossible acoustic challenge conquered through a synergy of great technology, real-world know how and savvy partnerships.
Haas sums it up: “We like challenges, and we have a very long history of working successfully with Electrosonic on unique projects like this. We absolutely love coming up with unique solutions, and as a technology partner, Renkus-Heinz has always been there with fantastic tools. They’re just great to work with.”