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Electro-Voice Line Array System Pays Off for the Showroom at Casino Arizona

December 13th, 2010

The ideal installation scenario involves plenty of advance input from the sound system designer to ensure smooth integration of the system into the space. But often that’s not possible, due to a room’s power, lighting, HVAC, or other systems being placed before the sound system is considered. That’s the situation Donovan Mote of Phoenix, Arizona’s Pro Production Services faced when he got the opportunity to provide a sound system for The Showroom, a 750-seat cabaret-style/ concert venue at Talking Stick Resort and Casino in Scottsdale, AZ. Luckily, the casino pointed to an Electro-Voice-equipped room in Las Vegas as an example of how good they wanted the new room to sound. And because the Electro-Voice line features a huge variety of highly compatible components, Mote had the flexibility to find just the right elements to work within The Showroom’s existing constraints.

“The casino had a clear vision of the caliber at which they expected the room to perform,” Mote says. “I hadn’t had much experience using EV for installations, but I’d had good experiences with EV in live scenarios, and I had a great relationship with the area rep, Omar Arnold from Quantum Sales. When we began designing we had many options, but decided to base the system around EV’s XLCi127DVX, a three-way, high-output compact line-array element. Since the room would be used for national acts and the client had expectations to be a leader in the entertainment experience, I knew this would be a great choice.”

The wedge-shaped room is 90 feet deep with a 40-foot ceiling. Mote says that height helped him keep the left and right arrays up and out of the way of sight lines. But the ceiling, unlike the walls, has no acoustic treatment. “That was one of my main concerns,” he says. “We chose a line array in part because I wanted to get as much vertical pattern control as I could for the lower frequencies. And also an array was a better fit for the aesthetics of the room.”

Aided by Electro-Voice’s Line Array Prediction Software (LAPS), Mote and Arnold settled on eight XLCi127DVXs per side. “The thing that has always impressed me about the XLCs,” Mote explains, “is how intelligible they are without being harsh, especially now with EV’s FIR-Drive processing and with the new DVX woofers, which bring the low-end into balance with the mids and highs. They give you high output in a compact package, the coverage pattern is very smooth left to right, and the sound is crisp without being hurtful, even at higher volumes.”

The end result, Mote says, is that “the system doesn’t have to be as loud because it is so intelligible. At the bar, for instance, which is directly in the pattern of the arrays, the sound is in the forefront of what is going on, but without being so loud that the bartenders can’t hear drink orders. So the quality of the sound has a positive impact, even in unexpected ways.”

Each array was designed as separately powered zones of three, three, and two boxes so that processing could be applied independently to each zone. “When we hung the arrays,” Mote says, “it turned out that the response was so even that there was no reason to treat any of the zones differently from the others. In fact, when George Georgallis of EV came in to tune and quality control the system, we didn’t have to do much other than some individual delays and some overall system EQ.”

Actually hanging the arrays turned out to be a bit of a challenge. “The room design was all done before I was involved,” Mote says, “so I didn’t have a lot of leeway to arrange the system. For example, there was an enormous air duct right where one array had to fly, so I had to do some creative rigging. We ended up with the motor literally three quarters of an inch from the closest obstacle.”

The XLCi127DVXs are supported on the low end by two types of subwoofers. Four XLCi215 high-output dual 15-inch subwoofer line-array elements were flown above the main arrays, while another four QRx 218S compact dual 18-inch subwoofers were installed under the stage. “The flown subs help us cover the balcony,” Mote says. “But between concerts the venue is used as a club several times a week, so the under-stage subs help give us the thump we need for the dance floor.”

For consistency, Mote would have liked to use the XLCi215s for all eight subs. “Those boxes are designed to work smoothly with the array,” he says, “but they wouldn’t fit in the space that was available under the stage. The QRx 218S is a small enclosure for a dual-18, so I was able to get a lot of output from a small space. I had about an inch and a half of clearance to get each box into place under the stage.”

For front-fill, Mote used four Xi-1082 ultra-compact two-way loudspeakers. “I love the sound of that box,” he says. “It has really decent output for its size, but, because of the design, it also sounds very smooth when you’re up close to it. So I was able to put them behind a grille on the front face of the stage, and they give just the right coverage and tonal character for front fill.”

The Showroom also has a fairly deep under-balcony area that is out of sight of the arrays, which Mote covered with six ZX1i composite 8-inch two-way loudspeakers. “They fit in because they are so small,” he says, “and they sound great. They have a 90 x 50 coverage pattern, and the rotatable horn allowed me to mount them on their side to use the 90-degree coverage horizontally. Installation was easy, and they do exactly what I need them to do.”

For system control, Mote went with Electro-Voice’s NetMax N8000-1500. The controller addresses 37 CPS series amplifiers that are each equipped with RCM-810 remote control module cards. “I originally designed the system with TG Series amps, which have all their processing built in,” he says. “But after talking it over with Omar and EV sales manager Paul Carelli, it turned out that I would be able to get everything I needed more cost-efficiently by switching over to the CPS series with the RCM-810s. In addition to the processing from the N8000, the cards give me amplifier controls and status monitoring, all with a very clean interface via IRIS-Net. So I was able to save the client a lot of money without giving up anything.”

The same statement sums up Mote’s attitude toward the overall decision to go with an Electro-Voice system. “Budget-wise, it gives you lots of bang for the buck,” he says. “And lots of people are familiar with EV, so it has rider acceptability. The system has great stereo imaging, there’s not a single sight-line issue, and the coverage is very even. The whole thing just turned out really well. It was my first EV install, and everything came off without a hitch.”

The client mirrored the sentiment, with Multimedia Services Manager Ray Rodriguez commenting, “We have held several concerts since our opening, and the general consensus from all artists and guests is how amazing the room sounds; while it is not the largest of venues, it is full quality.”

www.proproductionservices.com

press contact:
Guy Low
Manager, PR/Media

(952) 736-3935
guy.low@us.bosch.com