The multipurpose lecture theatre at Bangkok’s Thammasat University, one of Thailand’s oldest institutions of higher learning, was recently outfitted with dramatically upgraded sound reinforcement system utilizing Renkus-Heinz beam-steering technology.
The venue measures more then 6,000 square feet, with a sloped seating configuration that rises from the stage to the rear of the auditorium. A previously installed system, completed in 2010, had failed to adequately serve the space.
“The existing loudspeaker system had problems with speech clarity,” explains Patiyuth Gludnim of Thai distributor and systems integrator Vichai Trading (1983) Co. “There were uneven sound pressure levels and coverage problems.”
Called upon to propose a solution, Vichai turned to Renkus-Heinz Iconyx, with two IC16-RN columns mounted at either side of the lecture theater’s stage—not replacing the existing line array, but augmenting it.
“The primary purpose of the IC16-RN columns was for the all-important speech intelligibility during lectures, while the existing line array would be used for music playback,” adds Renkus-Heinz application engineer K.K. Tan. But even with the additional loudspeakers, the venue was hard to tame, particularly when it came to the rear seating.
“There simply wasn’t enough SPL in the room for a hall of this size when we used traditional multi-beam coverage,” continues Tan, “so instead we decided to try our new UniBeam format.”
Drawing on Renkus-Heinz beam-steering technology, RHAON software was used to set the IC16-RN to UniBeam (Universal Beam) mode, a feature of Iconyx Gen5. Unibeam is designed to counter the limitations of point source enclosures, in which optimal coverage is achieved with a trade-off between distance and accuracy. In contrast, UniBeam makes it possible to deliver “half-horn” coverage, with digital beam steering allowing the user to shape the preferred coverage pattern.
Within the Thammasat lecture theater, the results were positive, with Tan noting, “we achieved an additional 6 dB.” The coverage was achieved across the entire area.
“Using UniBeam means that there’s no undue stress on the system,” concludes Gludnim, “while the lecture theater now benefits from consistent and clear speech, right to the back of the hall.”