Constellation's effect is often subtle, but when applied in just the right amount, it is very effective and sounds remarkably natural.”
David NewbyArtistic Director and Conductor, Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale
Antelope Valley College’s Performing Arts Theatre in Lancaster, Calif. is using a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system to support its diverse schedule of events. At the press of a button, venue operators can adapt the auditorium’s acoustical characteristics to suit performances for the resident Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare plays and opera.
“Constellation’s effect is often subtle, but when applied in just the right amount, it is very effective and sounds remarkably natural,” says David Newby, artistic director and conductor for the resident Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale. “We always apply some enhancement for the orchestra, and usually select a preset with a bit longer reverberation for the chorus, particularly when singing a capella. I’m very satisfied with the results.”
The audio system in the theatre incorporates Constellation and sound reinforcement. Both of these systems are driven by Meyer Sound’s D‑Mitri digital audio platform, which features the patented VRAS acoustical algorithm. Constellation uses 16 miniature cardioid microphones distributed on stage and throughout the room, in addition to 14 Stella-4C and 29 Stella-8C installation loudspeakers and four UMS-SM subwoofers. CQ-2 and UPQ-2P loudspeakers, UPJ‑1P VariO loudspeakers, and a 700-HP subwoofer are used for both sound reinforcement and Constellation. Constellation lateral and overhead loudspeakers are matrixed by D-Mitri for theatrical sound as well.
“Constellation is mainly used by the Antelope Valley Symphony and Master Chorale, but we’ve also used it for voice lift on a Shakespeare play, where it gave the dialogue the extra energy needed to carry it through the room,” says Chester McCurry, manager of the 400-seat theatre. “We even used it on a tap dance number instead of floor boundary mics, and it worked out great.”
The reinforcement system can operate simultaneously with Constellation or independently. “When we had opera in here, we couldn’t use the stage shell, so we added a touch of Constellation along with the body mics’ signal through the PA, and the two worked quite well together,” says McCurry.
Passive and active acoustic systems were specified by acoustical consultant Roger Noppe of Chatsworth, Calif.-based Purcell-Noppe Associates and installed by Sound Image of Escondido, Calif. Theatre consulting and AV design was handled by Ian Hunter, senior consultant at San Francisco-based The Shalleck Collaborative.