Electro‑Voice sound for new Minnesota performing arts center

May 10, 2009

Since opening in January 2009, the Burnsville Performing Arts Center (BPAC) in Burnsville, Minn. has impressed visitors with its sleek lines, incredible views, and cosmopolitan atmosphere, bringing a slice of downtown Minneapolis to the suburbs.

An elegant combination of modern architectural design and flexible functionality, the BPAC’s performance spaces include a 1,000-seat main theatre with a proscenium stage, an intimate black box theater, and a sizeable dance studio. Additional spaces include an all-glass lobby with panoramic views of the Minneapolis skyline and the Minnesota River Valley, a 2,000-square-foot art gallery, a banquet hall, and multi-purpose meeting rooms.

“it’s the perfect system for a state‑of‑the‑art suburban performing arts center.”

In order to meet the production demands of what has already become one of the Twin Cities’ busiest cultural destinations, local AV Systems Integrators Electronic Design Company (EDC) designed and installed an extensive networked audio system comprising a wide range of equipment from Electro-Voice.

“Versatility was the top priority when designing the sound system,“ says Dohn Fadden, Design Consultant, EDC. “The BPAC presents a variety of performances - rock concerts, standup comedy, musicals, plays, orchestral works - and also hosts open-air events outside the theater, black box theater workshops, art openings, banquets, dance rehearsals, and wedding receptions. This is truly a multi-purpose venue, and we needed a sound system that could keep up, and all while complimenting the architecture.“

“We worked with EV to thoroughly investigate the line array loudspeaker options for the main theatre,“ Fadden continues, “and a lot of configurations were considered in accordance with the venue’s request that there be no delay speakers. We needed to provide excellent vertical and horizontal coverage for the upper and lower balconies from the main hangs, and we needed maximum bang for the buck. Our EASE models confirmed that the super-compact XLE line array (single 8“ woofer) was ideal for the space; it provides plenty of SPL relative to its size, and the sound is warm and highly intelligible on every seat.“

The BPAC’s main theater system comprises 28 XLE181 loudspeakers (nine per side with a central array of 10), four flown XLCi 215 subwoofers (two per side), and eight QRx-112 floor monitors. Four Dynacord VL 262 low-profile loudspeakers serve as front fills. The entire system is run through seven CP3000S amplifiers via a NetMax N8000 matrix/processor, controlled and supervised via IRIS-Net software.

“We trained our technical staff on NetMax at EV HQ,“ says Fadden. “We love the onboard FIR filters’ clarity and pattern control and the fact it mates seamlessly with the CP amplifiers. Systems often need to undergo a lot of tweaking to reach these levels of performance, but not this one. The N8000 has 32 channels of digital audio, so we have all the flexibility we need in terms of sending and receiving signals throughout the facility, all accessible and easy-to-control via IRIS-Net. The FIR filters ensure every speaker, from an XLE element to an EVID ceiling speaker in the lobby, sounds its best; we have an optimal balance of both audio quality and application flexibility for recordings, etc. Those factors played a large role in choosing this equipment.“

Six powered SxA250 loudspeakers and a single SbA760 subwoofer were specified for the 150-seat black box theater, designed to be used in combination with two more pole-mounted SxA250s for outdoor events. “These can be easily removed from the black box and deployed for outdoor concerts,“ says Fadden. “The SxA250 has plenty of onboard power to handle events the center might host outdoors, and again, that full-bandwidth intelligibility factor means we don’t need to be too loud to be heard, which helps keep things within the city noise ordinances. They’re a great multi-purpose box.“

Beyond the BPAC’s theatrical spaces is an equally impressive lobby, which features an adjacent art gallery, observatory deck, and banquet area. To reinforce such a multipurpose space, Fadden chose to install a distributed, networked system of 46 EVID C8.2 ceiling speakers.

“The lobby conveys a sense of openness,“ says Fadden, “with clean lines of glass and steel and lots of natural light. It was designed to create a certain mood, and the designers wanted to enhance the feeling of the space with appropriately high-quality sound reinforcement - something more than a run-of-the-mill paging speaker. Coverage and tone are big problems in many lobby applications, so we specified the EVIDs to act like ceiling-mounted monitors. For ceiling speakers, the low-end response and general fullness of sound is amazing. And they have a nice clean look than blends in to the space. We divided the EVIDs into separate zones with NetMax, so we can precisely adjust the sound in certain areas of the lobby depending on the event - the sound is always where it needs to be, and always at a comfortable volume. The BPAC has a sound system that can adapt to anything that’s taking place at any given time; it’s the perfect system for a state-of-the-art suburban performing arts center.“

Equipment List (Main Theater):Electro-Voice
  • 28x XLE181
  • 4x XLCi-215
  • 8x QRx112
  • 7x CP3000S
  • 1x PA1250T
  • 1x NetMax N8000
  • 2x AI-1
  • 2x AO-1
  • 4x PWS-4
  • 4x PWS-C
  • 1x DBP4002
  • 1x APD4+
  • 2x FA500
  • 4x HTU2PROD-967
  • 4x BPU-2PRO
  • 4x RE-2PRO
  • 4x RE97TX
Klark Teknik
  • 5x SQ1G
  • 1x MS4002
  • 1x RMK-S
  • 7x SS-2002U
  • 8x BP-1002
  • 9x PH-88
Equipment List (Black Box):Electro-Voice
  • 6x SxA250 120V
  • 6x SK-1
  • 1x SbA760 120V
  • 1x APD4+
  • 2x FA500
  • 2x HTU2PROD-967
  • 2x BPU-2PRO
  • 2x RE-2PRO
  • 2x RE97TX
Klark Teknik
  • 2x 1EQ
  • 1x RMK-S
  • MS-2002
  • 4x BP-1002
  • 5x PH-88
Equipment List (Facility Microphone Compliment):Electro-Voice
  • 3x RE90B
  • 1x N/D868
  • 2x RE90P-18
  • 8x N/D967
  • 6x N/D468
  • 4x RE200
Klark Teknik
  • 1x DN 100
Equipment List (Lobby/Banquet Area):Electro-Voice
  • 46x EVID C8.2

Photography: Don Olson


Guy Low

Public Relations Manager (ST/MKT-COM)

Bosch Communications Systems

Telex Communications, Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. S.

Burnsville, MN 55337


Tel: 952 736 3935

Fax: 952 736 4582 Miller

Public Relations Assistant (ST/MKT-COM)

Bosch Communications Systems

Telex Communications Inc.

12000 Portland Ave. S.

Burnsville, Minnesota 55337


Tel: 952 736 4069

Fax: 952 736 4582

News Articles

sprites_global sprites_ev