Award‑winning Electro‑Voice installation at Bournemouth University, UK

April 3, 2012
  • Bournemouth University has just equipped the new auditorium of its Media and Design School with an Electro-Voice sound system
  • It features 28 EVID FM 6.2 wall loudspeakers, three ZX3 full-range loudspeakers and two Variplex Matinee subwoofers
  • The award-winning installation was the work of GV Multimedia's South-West office
Carving out an impressive reputation through the contribution of its graduates inter alia to the games and visual effects industries, Bournemouth University on England's south coast expanded its Talbot Campus last year to include new lecture and seminar facilities. Kimmeridge House, as the new building is known, accommodates 300- and 70-seater lecture halls as well as a number of seminar rooms belonging to the university's excellent Media and Design School

To meet the challenging requirement profile and acoustics above all of the main lecture hall, specialists from GV Multimedia Ltd. were called in to design and install the audio and video systems, with the company's Exeter branch performing the installation. It was a tricky task, of the kind that end either in plaudits or brickbats, with the interior architecture of the hall posing the first problem. "The main lecture hall is a six-cornered room with a large floor area but a relatively low ceiling," explains Daniel Victory, GV Multimedia's Technical Projects Manager. "From the standpoint of room acoustics, those were hardly very promising starting conditions."

“The powerful, crisp and clear sound of the Electro‑Voice loudspeakers is a true delight!”

Furthermore, the hall was designed to be used not only for lectures, assemblies and presentations but also for concerts and theatrical performances. To ensure the needs of all such events were respected, the acclaimed acoustic consultant Steve Gosling of 24Acoustics was called in. Working together with Gosling, Victory and his team opted for a sound reinforcement solution from Electro-Voice, with fourteen EVID FM 6.2 in-wall speaker systems forming the core of the installation. "Our calculations showed that only through the use of a relatively large number of speakers would we be able to bring the acoustics of the hall under control," explains Victory. "At the same time, we had to be careful not to ruin the aura of what is aesthetically an extremely pleasing auditorium." Thanks to their tasteful styling and compact dimensions, EVID loudspeakers fitted the bill here perfectly, though it was their superb sound reproduction characteristics that really clinched the decision. "These are loudspeakers that combine high power handling with excellent sound quality. Their longevity was a further point in their favor, as all the cabling had to be hidden in the walls and ceiling, and the speakers, too, would no longer be accessible once the installation was complete." The audio system is complemented by three ZX3 loudspeakers and two Electro-Voice Variplex Matinee cinema subwoofers. To further optimize the acoustic performance in the hexagonal hall, Victory and Gosling decided to include an artificial reverberation system comprising a further fourteen EVID FM 6.2 in-wall speakers, capable of implementing a variety of reverberation scenarios.

"The sound reinforcement system is one of the genuine highlights of the installation in my view," affirms Victory. "The powerful, crisp and clear sound of the Electro-Voice loudspeakers is a true delight!" It's a view shared, fortunately, by the staff and students. "Our Media and Design School is the flagship of the university," says Tom Hollingum, Audio Visual Project Manger & IT Field Services Team Leader at Bournemouth University. "This installation takes auditorium acoustics in a new direction. It is an investment in the future yet fully user-friendly. Our expectations have been more than satisfied."

Recognition of the quality of the installation in the Media and Design School auditorium has been forthcoming, too, from independent quarters with the jury of the English AV Awards 2011 voting it into second place in the category "Education Project of the Year".

 snapshot, lf/gm, March 2012

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