The recent 2009 University of Tennessee in Knoxville commencement ceremony for graduates of its School of Arts & Sciences, held at the university’s Thompson-Boiling Arena, offered sound reinforcement by Knoxville-based Sound Ventures, which supplied a system headed by WorxAudio Technologies TrueLine line array loudspeakers.
Also at this year’s commencement, the university conferred a formal degree of a doctorate of humane and musical letters upon Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter,and philanthropist Dolly Parton for her dedication to education, young people,
The Thompson-Boiling Arena, which normally seats 20,000 spectators, was specially configured for a considerably more intimate 12,000 people—specifically the graduates, their families, and select guests. Scott Grimsley, President of Sound Ventures, oversaw the project and discussed the sound reinforcement challenges it presented.
“Being an arena, the seating was divided into the main floor and upper level areas,” explained Grimsley. “This meant we needed a system with solid vertical dispersion in addition to being able to provide broad horizontal coverage. Equally important, speech intelligibility was critical so that the various speakers—Ms. Parton, the university officers, and others—could be clearly understood no matter where one might be seated in the audience. For this type of application, we’ve had excellent results with the WorxAudio TrueLine line array products, so that’s what we decided to use for this project.”
The Sound Ventures crew flew two primary line array clusters over the main stage area. Each cluster consisted of 12 self-powered WorxAudio Technologies TrueLine V10 Touring line array elements. The TrueLine V10T-P is a three-way, high efficiency, line array loudspeaker incorporating a large format 3-inch compression driver for the high frequencies, dual 8-inch cone transducers for the mids, and dual 10-inch cone transducers in a vented enclosure for high energy bass.
These two primary array clusters were augmented with a pair of WorxAudio’s TrueLine X5T-P line arrays that were positioned at the left and right extreme edges of the stage and served as audience sidefills for those people seated on the very far sides of the audience area. The WorxAudio Technologies X5T-P is a self-powered loudspeaker system that incorporates five modules, each with a medium format, 1-inch exit compression driver for the high frequencies that is paired with dual 8-inch cone transducers.
Grimsley was equally enthusiastic about the self-powered design of the WorxAudio TrueLine equipment. “Having the power amps integrated right into the back of the enclosures is a huge plus,” he explained Grimsley. “This eliminates the need for lugging multiple racks of heavy power amplifiers and it also speeds up the cabling process. We run our multi-cable up with a breakout to power each individual box, send the signal, and we’re done. Further, this system’s truck pack is very efficient and without all those amp racks, we transport less weight, which reduces costs. It’s a win-win situation.”
The Sound Ventures crew used both EASE Focus acoustic simulation software as well as Smaart acoustic measurement and sound system optimization software. For stage monitoring, eight WorxAudio UltraMax M1-P floor monitors were distributed evenly across the stage.
Grimsley commented on the ease of setting up and configuring the WorxAudio equipment. “The TrueLine system has some of the best rigging hardware we’ve seen,” he noted.“Between the optimization software and the rigging hardware, our crew is able to fly this system in no time. The software tells us where the pins should go to achieve the right line array curvature, and the process of connecting the individual elements together goes very quickly.”