When the pandemic hit last year, Willamette University in Salem, OR looked for ways to expand and improve its remote learning capabilities, with the school’s 120-seat Paulus Lecture Hall in the College of Law receiving a sound system upgrade headed by Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Compact ICC12/3 arrays helping to facilitate better remote and limited in-person lectures and discussions.
“Before we implemented the new system, we were using a pretty rudimentary pair of trapezoid box speakers which were put into an alcove above the screen. It was really primitive and ineffective and caused a lot of issues with reflections and feedback and very low intelligibility,” explains Kyle House, Audio Video Specialist for Willamette University who worked with Cascade Sound (also based in Salem) on the project. “We needed a way to integrate the students in-person with those who are attending over Zoom. We needed a high-quality, highly-controlled audio solution so that way our microphone arrays can work properly in the space so everyone can be heard.”
The set of ICONYX Compact ICC12/3 arrays utilized in the upgrade provide the same sonic capabilities and flexibility of an ICONYX array but with a 40 percent smaller footprint. A 12-channel digital amplifier and DSP system powers the unit’s 12, 3-inch, full-range, high-sensitivity drivers. ICONYX Compact utilizes the full suite of RHAON II and Beamware, the Renkus-Heinz proprietary beam steering calculation and simulation program.
“We chose these speakers because we needed a solution that gave us extreme control over where the sound was placed in the room. This is an extremely challenging room with a fan-shape orientation, as well as stadium-style seating,” says House. “We have a lot of elevation change, and we also have a lot of highly reflective surfaces and even parabolic light soffits that were reflecting sound right back to the front of the room. Lapel mics weren’t even able to be used in the space.
“We used the RHAON software to configure the different steering lobes into the space, and it happened extremely quick,” he continues. “We had high intelligibility, great coverage, really quickly. Having the ability to integrate the speakers and our microphones over Dante has been a huge benefit. We were able to integrate the Audinate devices to send audio around the room to different locations. It’s been extremely beneficial and helpful to make this whole system work seamlessly.”