Loyola Blakefield, a Jesuit preparatory school for boys that’s located in Towson, MD, recently upgraded the sound system in the large Dining Hall on its 60-acre campus with Renkus-Heinz ICLive X Series loudspeakers with digital beam steering technology implemented by Lee Hartman & Sons of Roanoke, VA.
The hall is not a traditional school cafeteria, but rather a flexible and dynamic setting offering a crisp, modern look that incorporates attractive woodwork and stained-glass windows. The need to keep audio away from those reverberant surfaces was key to the sound design, which supports a range of programming on a daily basis as well as special events.
“This system allows our facility to be used for everything from morning prayer to emergency announcement,” explains Steve Morill, IT director for Loyola Blakefield, “It’s a popular space for special events of many sizes with ever-changing seating arrangements. We want to offer the best possible learning environment for our students, and this space posed many challenges — the Lee Hartman and Renkus-Heinz teams did a great job for us.”
“We explored a couple of manufacturers when we first looked at the space,” adds Mike Flaherty, sales engineer at Lee Hartman & Sons. “We had concerns about the aesthetics, and we didn’t want to invade the space with too many speakers. However, we wanted to ensure that the sound worked well in this acoustically challenging area. It became obvious with those needs that we’d be going with Renkus-Heinz.”
The Renkus-Heinz’ ICLive X Series deployed on the project incorporates digital beam steering technology that helps direct sound on the audience and off of reflective surfaces. Renkus-Heinz also allows for custom colors so that the loudspeakers blend in with the surrounding space.
The hall now utilizes two arrays of ICLive X loudspeakers, each array comprised of two ICLX units. In addition, Renkus-Heinz TA62 loudspeakers are installed in the front side corners of the space to provide fill and complement the ICLXs. And, a pair of TX61 loudspeakers installed on the balcony level help ensure coverage across the entire area.
“Once we had the speakers installed, we spent about 20 minutes aiming the beams through the RHAON software,” concludes John Hurley, engineer at Lee Hartman & Sons. “The sound went from pretty good when they weren’t aimed at all, to truly amazing.”