The May 2010 Spring Commencement at the University of Georgia (UGA) marked the 225th anniversary of the school’s founding, and when 3,700 undergrads walked into Sanford Stadium, they were met by a crowd of over 35,000 family and friends.
Home to the Georgia Bulldogs football team, commencement festivities included the school’s 71-piece Wind Symphony from the School of Music and ceremony presenters.
Alton Brown, star of the Food Network show “Good Eats”, delivered the keynote address.
Ric Wallace, Technical Director for the Tate Student Center, chose to 19 NEXO GEO T line array speakers per side to support the 71-piece symphony along with accompanying vocalists.
The University owns 12 GEO T boxes and sub-rented the remaining 26 from ESI Audio in Tampa, Florida. Amplification for th e system was provided by CAMCO and NXamp 4×4 amplifiers.
“The existing stadium PA system has a very long delay time when you stand at mid-field,” states Wallace. “The NEXO system enabled me to achieve the sound pressure I needed in the upper seating levels.”
“The NEXO system keeps making us wonder how we ever lived without it all these years,” said Wallace. “Every time we deploy it, we are amazed at the precision of focus and uniform response these cabinets provide.”
“The speaker simply does not excite the walls and ceilings in reverberant rooms, and RT60 is massively reduced. Slapback phenomena from distant walls is a thing of the past because the laser inclinometer in the bumper paired with GEOSoft2 allow you to precisely focus the wavefront on the audience instead of the walls.”
“Getting the math right with this system means that many common acoustic problems disappear. The vocal detail and stereo image are truly stunning with the GEO T.”
I can get a thick, heavy mix working with plenty of guitar in the mix, and when I push that lead vocal fader on the console up, the voice literally jumps out of the PA system; just pops right out on top of the mix like a gem!”
Wallace typically walks the room he’s working in ‘to get a better feel for the mix.’ “With the GEO T, it sounds almost exactly the same everywhere in the sound field with very nearly the same SPL in the near field as 100 feet away.”
“Everyone in the audience needs to experience a great sounding performance, and it’s pretty nice to be able to deliver a really good performance on a consistent basis no mater what the room sounds like.”
“Let’s face it some rooms are really hard to mix sound in because of the horrible acoustics and long RT60 times. The NEXO system eliminates those problems when deployed correctly.”
UGA’s Yamaha PM5D was used at front of house running at 96kHz, utilizing Waves plug-ins. “Choosing a console is just like anything else in this business,” said Wallace.
“I chose the PM5D because it is more analog sounding and sounds much better at high levels when it’s clocked at 96kHz, compared to consoles that are limited to 48kHz operation. I use a BigBen external clock on the console to ensure that there’s no possibility of frame dropping.”
“Another critical point about the console is the ease of use. Try to patch your iPod, CD player, Talkback mic and Clearcom into a non-Yamaha digital console at front of house…. better have a spare hour or two.”
“Yamaha console recall is good thing; it’s good for not wasting time, good for treating opening acts with respect, and good for old-timers like me with impaired memories.”