Knowing that we wouldn't be getting a new system for perhaps 15 years, we wanted one that was well-received and incorporated the very latest technology… We simply couldn't do better than the LYON system.”
Adam StermerTechnical Director, Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has made a long-term investment in the self-powered Meyer Sound LYON linear sound reinforcement system. Installed in the 1,330-seat Jemison Concert Hall at the school’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (ASC), LYON provides impeccable clarity and headroom for lectures and concerts ranging from classical and jazz to pop, rock, gospel, and reggae.
“To meet artists’ riders and put on shows that consistently satisfy audiences, we simply couldn’t do better than the LYON system,” states Adam Stermer, technical director for the ASC. “And knowing that we wouldn’t be getting a new system for perhaps 15 years, we wanted one that was well-received and incorporated the very latest technology.”
Designed to maintain distortion-free levels of 110 dB SPL at any seat, the new system is anchored by two main arrays of seven LYON-M main line array loudspeakers over two LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers. Two JM‑1P arrayable loudspeakers provide center fill, an arc of six UPJ-1XP VariO loudspeakers cover the rear choir loft, and five UP-4XP loudspeakers supply front fill. Two stacks of two 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements each flank the stage, and a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with one Galileo Callisto 616 AES and two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors handles drive and optimization. The system was designed and commissioned by Florida-based Pro Sound & Video under the supervision of Brian Bolly.
“We have every possible scenario here for amplified sound,” says Stermer. “The need for intelligibility outweighs the horsepower with lecturers, but when we had The Wailers in here last week we had all the headroom we needed and then some. That said, the hall’s relatively live acoustics can be challenging, because if you don’t keep it clean, after a certain SPL level the sound just gets worse. We haven’t encountered that issue with LYON.”
For Stermer, the self-powered solution of LYON is a huge improvement over the venue’s old system. “We’ve removed layers of troubleshooting by taking all the amplifiers and crossovers out of the equation with LYON,” he notes. “This also makes it much simpler to pull and re-fly the main arrays as needed.”
The ASC is the official home of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In addition to The Wailers, the venue’s 2015 schedule features artists such as the Aaron Neville Duo, Steve Winwood, Diana Krall, and Dr. John, as well as lectures by renowned speakers such as the Dalai Lama and Anthony Bourdain.