Originally known as the Liberal Arts Building, the 1,800-seat Arts and Sciences Auditorium on the campus of University of Wyoming was constructed as a federal Public Works Administration project during the Great Depression.
Time marched on, but more slowly than elsewhere for the A&S Auditorium, whose aging PA system often had to be augmented with rental gear but still fell short of the requirements of the kinds of theatrical and music touring productions the school sought to entice. This past January, that all changed with the installation of a brand new L-Acoustics Kara-based sound system.
UW’s new PA was designed and installed by the newly established installed-AV division of 2018 Parnelli “Hometown Hero Sound Company of the Year” award winner, Brown Note Productions. The system comprises a left-right line array of 12 Kara per side, with six end-stacked KS28 subs, six coaxial X8 stage-lip fills, and X12 loudspeakers as monitors, plus six LA4X and two LA12X amplified controllers in a rack. Denver-based Brown Note Productions also installed a DiGiCo S31 front of house audio console to mix the new PA.
“This was our first-ever L-Acoustics installation in the state of Wyoming, and it couldn’t have turned out better,” says Ryan Knutson, president of Brown Note Productions and its subsidiary, Brown Note Productions Integration.
“We’ve been known in the industry for years for our touring and rental capabilities, supplying production for world-renowned artists, venues, and music festivals, many of which have used our L-Acoustics systems. But we’ve also been doing great work on the installed-sound side for more than six years now, so we’ve formalized that with Brown Note Productions Integration. The Arts and Sciences Auditorium on the campus of University of Wyoming with the L-Acoustics Kara system is one of our showcase projects.”
Knutson says the auditorium’s main challenge was in getting new hang points installed, which would allow them to perfectly position and fly the Kara system, getting the components completely off the stage. “They wanted a system that could be placed as close as possible to the proscenium opening and in front of the downstage curtain line, so none of the system would interfere with either production or sightlines,” he explains. “That was impossible with their old ground-stacked system, but the Kara is perfect for that—compact and powerful, easy to rig, and providing excellent coverage.”
As importantly, the new L-Acoustics sound system brings with it the imprimatur of a true “rider-ready” system, one that’s widely acknowledged for its sonic performance. “Management at the Arts and Sciences Auditorium had long dreamed about being able to bring in the top music and theatrical touring shows,” he says. “Now they can. Everyone knows the L-Acoustics brand, and everyone knows it means the highest sound quality possible. Now this historical venue is going to be able to attract the level of productions it deserves.”