There is absolutely no way we could use this space for live musical performances without the Constellation system… The technology allows us to fine-tune the natural acoustical environment to suit whatever we are doing in the space.”
Dr. Russell SandersDirector of Fine Arts, Mansfield Independent School District
When planning its new performing arts centre, the Mansfield, Tex., Independent School District faced a dilemma. Though it was determined that both a large auditorium and a smaller performance hall would be ideal for its range of events, their budget could not justify building and maintaining multiple spaces. A solution was soon found in the multi-use Cunningham Performance Hall of the Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts, which utilizes a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system to provide the ideal acoustics for its varying room configurations and programs.
While the performance hall holds 5,500 in its open configuration (mainly to accommodate graduations), seating is reduced to 4,200 when moveable walls slide out to form twin 650-seat lecture halls on each side, and reduced further to 1,800 when a thick acoustical curtain closes off the balcony for concerts. However, the 1.3 seconds of reverberation time resulting from the curtain makes the room too dry to support unamplified concerts such as orchestra and choir.
To solve this issue, BAi, LLC of Austin, Principal and President Charles Bonner and Acoustician Andrew Miller encouraged Dr. Russell Sanders, the district’s director of fine arts, to experience the Constellation system at nearby Temple High School.
“I was astonished,” says Sanders. “The system created a transparent and supportive acoustical environment throughout the performance hall.”
The Cunningham Performance Hall’s Constellation system is built around a core D‑Mitri digital audio platform with eight processing frames, including three processors for hosting the patented VRAS algorithms. Two dozen microphones distributed on stage and around the hall pick up the stage and room’s acoustics, and the DVRAS processors produce augmented early reflections and reverberations that are delivered by 95 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers and subwoofers. Eleven different acoustical presets of varying reverberation times are available on a touchscreen interface.
“There is absolutely no way we could use this space for live musical performances without the Constellation system,” Sanders adds. “The acoustics created by Constellation give kids the experience of performing in a world-class facility. In addition, the technology allows us to fine-tune the natural acoustical environment to suit whatever we are doing in the space.”
The new hall now serves as a concert venue for dozens of school programs and high-profile community events, including a major church-sponsored program and a recent fundraising concert by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
The Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts was designed by Huckabee architectural firm of Fort Worth. In addition, Infinity Sound of Grand Prairie handled system integration for the centre’s AV systems, including Constellation.