RMB Covers Duke University Presidential Inauguration with Martin Audio - AvNetwork.com

RMB Covers Duke University Presidential Inauguration with Martin Audio

Publish date:
Image placeholder title

Durham, NC–– For the inauguration of Duke University’s 10th President, RMB Audio was faced with the challenging task of providing clear, articulate speech reinforcement and accurate musical reproduction for the audience with all the equipment out of the camera shots.

As described by RMB system tech Wayne Sowder, “The inauguration took place on 160 ft. wide by 400 ft. deep quad in front of the Duke University Chapel with 5,000 seats and people standing. To get the consistent coverage and exceptional audio quality the University expected, we needed a wide selection of Martin Audio products that included MLA Compact, MLA Mini, DD12, DD6 and CDD-LIVE 8 speakers.

“Because of the visual restrictions, we had to go with a wide stage using six MLA Compact for the main PA stacked on risers in front of the stage at each end out of camera range with 160 ft. between each stack. We also used four MLA Mini under the stage behind scrims to cover the open area in front of the stage with the first seating about 30 ft. away.”

The stage consisted of three different sections with a wind symphony stage right, the speaker podium in the center, and a jazz band and 50-voice chorus stage left. Four speaker stands with two Martin Audio DD6 each were used discreetly at the edge of each section on stage for side fills.

Further complicating the coverage were trees blocking the audio lines, so as Wayne reports, “we did a lot of site surveys and calculations to make sure everything worked perfectly. The main PA stacks were canted in at a 20-degree angle firing across the audience with a DD12 on each platform cutting toward the center of each speaker section to ensure smooth coverage on the front rows with all the VIPs.

“Then, halfway out from the PA, we had two delay stacks of MLA Mini with two MSX subs and eight MLA Mini boxes on top facing inwards at a 20-degree angle to shoot between trees towards the audience with a CDD8-LIVE on each stack facing out as an outfill to alert people entering the quad so they would keep quiet.”

In addition to the Martin Audio speaker complement, RMB used a Midas M32R as a sub-mixer for the jazz band along with two Midas M32s for the FOH mix and a recording mix that streamed on YouTube and Facebook, as well as a separate mix for the media coverage––all networked together using VuNet.

As Wayne concludes, “This event was all about speech and it was critical that everyone heard all the words. Matt Johnson, the system tech and FOH mixer for the show, set it up so it was 0dB at the front of coverage and 0dB at the rear of coverage, the same decibel level throughout the coverage area.

“Our client was very pleased. People thought it sounded very good, which was a challenge because not all the speakers were facing forward and we had to do a lot more time alignment to make sure it was accurate because we were firing cross field. That, plus we only had two hours for sound check the day of show because we couldn’t disturb the surrounding classrooms.”

Selden Smith, Manager of Technical and Media Services at Duke, adds, “The good news is that our group, and really everyone involved, has been basking in the glow of a well-received event. I’ve received many compliments and handled no complaints since then.

“As for RMB’s role in it, I appreciate that, as usual, they delivered top-notch service with high quality gear and superior applied knowledge. Ultimately, the results were exceptional—clear audio throughout the venue, with no distracting reflections off the surrounding stone walls. At one point during the ceremony, I walked far beyond the last row, almost doubling the distance from the stage, and could still discern the speechmaking clearly. 

“The ceremony began and ended with the playing of the Duke Chapel Tower’s marvelous 50 bell carillon. That unique instrument, played live, requires no amplification to be heard throughout Duke’s West Campus, but RMB Audio made sure to carefully capture its tones for our webcast and archival video.”

For more about Martin Audio, please click to www.martin-audio.com.


Image placeholder title

K-array Loudspeakers at Presidential Inauguration Events

While the spotlight was on President Obama during the public ceremony of his second inauguration held on Monday, January 21st at the U.S. Capitol, there were many private parties, celebrations and events at other institutions in and around D.C. for several days preceding the official event. To support the many festivities, K-array loudspeakers, distributed by Sennheiser, were enlisted to deliver audio.

Image placeholder title

Martin Audio’s Magical Summer

Martin Audio’s MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array) system changed the sonic landscape around the globe this summer—providing an acoustic experience and uniting the audience at premier festivals, concerts and outdoor events, and permanent installations.

Image placeholder title

Martin Audio MLA Compact Unites Redemption Church

When Redemption Church recently committed to an expansion and retrofit of their multipurpose worship and conference center, they wanted an audio, video and lighting system that would provide a truly meaningful experience for each one of their members.

Image placeholder title

EAW Powers Presidential Address

For the 50th Anniversary of the University of California-Irvine, U.S. President Barack Obama gave the commencement address at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA, via an Eastern Acoustics Works’ Anya loudspeaker system.

Image placeholder title

Martin Audio Introduces DD12 Two-Way Speaker

DD12 is Martin Audio's latest two-way loudspeaker system. It combines onboard networking, DSP, and Class D amplification with state-of-the-art transducers and Differential Dispersion horn technology and boasts best-in-class performance in terms of fidelity, output capability, and consistent coverage across the audience.

Image placeholder title

Martin Audio Lifts Spirits At IDC Church

Encompass AV recently installed a Martin Audio MLA Mini loudspeaker system at the Inspirational Deliverance Center Church of God in Christ as part of a major technical upgrade for its 500-seat worship center.