Bose's RoomMatch loudspeakers and PowerMatch amplifiers are being implemented by a variety of customers.
It's customers include front-of-house engineers, technical directors, venue and school administrators, system designers, and concert-goers. Those involved with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center, BAPAC, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and the Pike Performing Arts Center, PPAC, in the Indianapolis area, have implemented the systems. Both venues host a wide range of performance events.
The 86,200 square foot BAPAC, completed in 2009, includes a 1500-seat performing arts venue. It was recently received an AV upgrade with a new RoomMatch loudspeaker system with PowerMatch amplifiers and ControlSpace processing. The space was originally going to be used exclusively for orchestral-type performances, but the itinerary evolved in the past few years to include choral performances, Broadway shows and more.
BAPAC hired acoustical consultant Chips Davis of Concord, CA-based Chips Davis Design to evaluate the problems. He concluded that the room was far too 'live' for most uses, and acoustical treatment was not doing the trick. The resulting Bose system includes 18 RoomMatch loudspeakers installed in three arrays plus eight RMS215 subwoofers, powered by a total of 11 PowerMatch PM8500N amplifiers, with management via Bose ControlSpace software.
“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," said acoustical consultant, Chip Davis. "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. After the system was installed, the directional control of the arrays and the subs in the design was especially remarkable. I reviewed the modeling that was done for the venue. Keeping all of that energy from the speaker system, including the subs, from rolling back onto the stage was very impressive.”
“The first professional show we did with the Bose system was a big band musical revue, and it involved all the components that would have made me lose sleep with the former system because it involved a lot of horns on stage, all of them of course wanted to be individually mic’ed, and it involved six singers on head-worn microphones trying to do dialog over a 20-something-piece big band on stage," executive director, Mark Frie, BAPAC said. "That would have been a recipe for disaster. And I had folks come up to me after that show and say, ‘something’s different, we understood every word, and we could hear the balance between horns and the piano and singers.’ It was everything that it should be, and they didn’t know what it was. And that’s when you know you’ve got it right, because they can’t really put their finger on why they had such a great experience, just that they did. So it was a great first test for us!”
The Pike Performing Arts Center also installed the systems. The venue is affiliated with the K-12 school system in the area, but it also keeps its own schedule with a range of local and touring performances. The 1,449-seat main auditorium now has a Bose RoomMatch system installed by ESCO Communications of Indianapolis.
PPAC's installation was the first significant upgrade to the audio equipment at the facility since it was built in 1996. The original system consisted of long-throw horns and bass boxes behind a soffit. It had been enhanced at some point with additional boxes on either side of the stage, but it led to little improvement.
PPAC's old rig was inadequate. A full PA package would still have to be rented occasionally throughout the calendar year. As ESCO was trying out ideas for a RoomMatch system, they decided on a two-cluster configuration, with one cluster on each side of the stage, resulting in very even coverage from the front to the back of the hall.
“With PPAC’s previous system they always struggled with getting the back areas covered," said executive vice president, Gary Dunn, ESCO Communications. "They had some under-balcony speakers that they left in place, but the coverage is extremely good without turning them on. The control of the sound with these new boxes is so good. The ability to layer in the different horizontal and vertical patterns within the same array really helped; you can't do that with traditional line arrays.”
“I was extremely pleased with how enveloping and immersive the sound became with the new system,” director, Jared Duymovic, PPAC said. “It was almost instantaneously recognizable as being at a different level entirely from what we were used to. The experience that I had when I first listened was very much akin to putting on a set of Bose headphones. Everything was very full and clear with even dispersion throughout the hall, and the bass response was excellent without being overwhelming. We've only had a handful of events, but the benefit is clear already. It's just an enjoyable listening experience, which will help bring audience back time and time again.”
“I love the fact that you could cut it off from all the places that you didn’t want it to go," said PPAC's Duymovic. "You sit in the seat and you have sound; you stand up next to the wall and it goes away. It’s fantastic.”