The Lewis & Clark Library in Helena, MT has been outfitted with a new public address paging system that was designed and installed by locally based AV integration company Montana Pro Audio that utilizes Martin Audio loudspeakers throughout.
The library, which was established in 1868 before Montana became a U.S. territory, had received a higher-than-expected bid for the desired AV integration design, with Montana Pro Audio subsequently commissioned to undertake a number of revisions and redesigns.
“The original scope of contract was for a public address paging system throughout the library, as well as AV for their large community room that would double as a presentation space and small theater and a small community room that would be used for meetings and presentations,” explains Aaron Fisher, who was responsible for the design and project management. “The library is in the home stretch of a full-scale remodel project that started nearly three years ago. This will be the first AV installation in its history.”
Assisted by Ryan Johnston (and with support from Martin Audio North America’s Jim Sage), this was the integrator’s first experience working with Martin Audio. Twenty-four ADORN 55 loudspeakers run in 70-volt line mode have been distributed discreetly throughout eight zones on two floors, in a combination of black and white finishes to suit the environment.
“I have always appreciated the quality of sound, construction and aesthetics of Martin Audio products,” Fisher says. “The ADORN A55 hit the mark in terms of design, size, sound quality and budget. Integration is a new focus for me, coming from the production side of the audio industry, I really appreciate that the ADORN A55 has the look of a professional production loudspeaker and not a ‘playful’ 70-volt loudspeaker design.”
The room acoustics of the library are suprisingly good, he adds: “In fact it is a great-sounding facility. Despite all of the hard surfaces and openness of the main atrium, the space is so broken up with different angles and multiple surface textures that it is hardly reverberant and there are minimal reflections. We used the available ADORN DSP presets, and with minimal EQ this system is well balanced, reproduces speech very well and sounds extremely natural.
“It was important that this system did not sound like a ‘grocery store’ paging system,” he continues. “Because this is a library, and will generally be a quiet environment, it is vital that the PA is relatively quiet and doesn’t surprise anyone when an announcement is made. The intelligibility of dispersion of the ADORN A55 made it possible to achieve these goals.
Coverage is provided throughout a number of areas, including the lobby/cafe, main atrium, children’s area, teen lounge, two zones in the young adult section, teen lounge, mezzanine, and mezzanine lounge.
However, because of the pandemic, the client decided to split the contract into two separate phases, and the next stage for Montana Pro Audio will be providing a system for the library’s large community room which can be routed into different configurations. The requirements include a single sound system that can be used in 7.1 surround mode for movies as well as a system for presentations, and this time the integrators have opted for Martin Audio CDD series loudspeakers.
“The pattern control on this series, especially in the lower frequencies, make it an ideal choice,” Fisher notes. Low end extension will be achieved with the addition of an SX210 subwoofer.
The room is relatively small with lower ceilings. “The CDD8 and SX210 are the perfect size and will deliver plenty of impact,” he explains. “Also, because the system needs to act as a presentation system as well, with use of wireless mics and video playback, we needed a speaker that was not just film-specific but could give us quality results for multiple types of use.”