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Broken Arrow Expands Repertoire With a Sound System Update

Broken Arrow Expands Repertoire With a Sound System Update
  • The Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) acts as a cornerstone of the arts district in the downtown area of Broken Arrow, the largest suburb of Tulsa, OK.

The system includes 18 Bose RoomMatch loudspeakers installed in three arrays, plus eight RMS215 subwoofers.Completed in 2009, the 86,200-square-foot facility incorporates a 1,500- seat performing arts venue that has presented acoustical challenges as the theater’s entertainment programming has evolved over recent years. BAPAC’s administrators called in professional assistance and recently replaced the original sound system with a RoomMatch loudspeaker system from Bose Professional Systems Division.

“The original acoustical and sound system designs for the room were centered around the concept that the space was going to be used almost exclusively for orchestra, band, and choral performances,” explained Tulsabased Mark LaBouff, national sales manager at FBP Systems, an audio, video, and lighting solutions provider headquartered in Las Vegas, NV , and a subsidiary of the Morse Group. “Under the direction of their new executive director, Mark Frie, they ended up expanding the use of the facility. They have a pretty impressive concert series, and they still do a great deal of orchestra, band, and choral performances. They also have a big Broadway series and a lot of amplified music in there.”

The room and the installed sound system were not working well for the Broadway series applications, according to LaBouff, so BAPAC hired acoustical consultant Chips Davis of Concord, CA-based Chips Davis Design to evaluate the problems. “There was no absorption anywhere in the facility—apart from the audience. The room was very, very live,” reported Davis, noting that it was more suited to symphony concerts than as a multipurpose venue.

An attempt had been made to treat some of the liveliness, he continued: “They had retrofitted two-inch-thick, cloth-covered fiberglass panels to soften some of the balcony faces and to try to calm the room down a little bit.”

Using the RoomMatch system kept sound off the walls in the live space.Davis continued, “I knew they weren’t going to have a lot of money to change much of the physical acoustical treatment areas, so that gave more credence to using the RoomMatch system to keep sound off the walls and aimed where it should go. I knew from doing several demonstrations with the Bose system how well defined the directivity pattern of the units can be tailored to the space—hence the name RoomMatch.”

“Chips contacted Bose, and requested a demo at BAPAC; the customer was thrilled with what they heard,” said LaBouff. After the demo, Bose turned the project over to us, and introduced us to the client as the local integrator for RoomMatch. Tom Tyson of Bose collaborated with our senior engineer, Robert Coggins, to design the system. We installed the new sound system and also implemented the acoustical treatment that Chips had specified, including over 100 Lapendary panels on the proscenium wall and above the stage-house ceiling.”

The installed system includes 18 Bose RoomMatch loudspeakers installed in three arrays, plus eight RMS 215 subwoofers, powered by a total of 11 PM8500N amplifiers, with management via Bose ControlSpace software. “The system is set up with a center point-source array for vocal reproduction, and left and right stereo arrays for hard-panning musical effects,” LaBouff elaborated.

“It was a great project, and went really smoothly,” he continued. “When you get it up there, plug it in, and start sending signal to the system, it sounds great without a lot of tuning. It’s also a really easy product to install. Bose engineered it well in the way that it rigs together and goes up.”

LaBouff added, “We also used Bose Modeler sound system software; it’s a really intuitive program and easy to design in. The system behaved nearly identically to how it was predicted. And it has worked incredibly well for the client.”

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