Rock On A Budget

NASHVILLE, TN-When The Musicians Hall of Fame opened in June in Nashville's quickly gentrifying downtown, it faced some challenges in making plans to commemorate a half-century's worth of great musicianship.

"I can't tell you what the budget was, but I can tell you it wasn't a lot," commented T.S. Furlong, president of his self-named company, based in Lake Forest, IL, recalling how he took on the task of outfitting the sound for the museum-perhaps the most critical media aspect of a facility dedicated to musicians.

One strategy was to appeal to equipment manufacturers to help out, and the museum was able to garner sponsorships from several key names, including Sennheiser and SLS, which both donated gear and expertise. But the other strategy was to make the most of basic installation technology.

He managed to get considerable bang for the buck. In the museum itself, a total of 10 Turbosound TCS-C50T ceiling-mount speakers were fitted into floating board-mounted baffles inside custom enclosures suspended from the ceiling and positioned directly over each exhibit. "The ceilings are pretty high, and lowering the speaker and placing it over each location was a cost-effective and efficient way to narrow the sound dispersion at each exhibit," Furlong explained.

Instead of a central source for the audio, each exhibit has its own sound source, a tactic also used for the video, which is comprised of Sylvania consumer-grade flat-screen monitors with built-in DVD players that have an auto-loop function to continuously replay the programs. Video is used at only a few of the exhibits; the route through the museum is made up of a combination of active (with video and audio) and passive displays (audio only) whose speakers were positioned and relative volumes adjusted so that beyond their immediate areas the music and commentary blend to become a soundtrack to the museum experience," as Furlong described it.

"The use of more audio than video encourages people to use their imaginations," Furlong said. The museum is divided into regional displays. The performance hall seats 355 with a Turbosound PS comprised of four TA-500 Aspect Wide cabinets split between two sides of the stage, six Turbosound 12-inch monitors and two TSB-118 18-inch subs. Four TCS-30 speakers handle front fill duties and a combination of six TFM-212 and two TXD-15M speakers are used for monitors. Turbosound T-25 and T-45 amplifiers power the system, which is managed by Turbosound LMS-D24 and LMS-D26 controllers.