Electro-Voice and Bosch provide “heard, but not seen” sound solution for Houston gallery
April 14th, 2017
- Electro-Voice EVID Compact Sound systems hidden amid ceiling elements create calm, welcoming ambience throughout art gallery
- Southwest Building Systems designed the system to meet gallery requirements for high fidelity and intelligibility with minimal visual impact
- Bosch PLENA matrix mixer provides wireless control of all audio in gallery, controlling zoned loudspeakers via iOS app
For their Art of the World Gallery in Houston’s River Oaks area, co-owners Liliana Molina and Mauricio Vallejo wanted to augment their guests’ appreciation of the outstanding contemporary artists they display. Southwest Building Systems of nearby Silsbee was engaged to realize this vision, and an audio visual system was installed to support artist presentations and provide background music. There is also a sound system in the VIP room, where patrons can privately view art they are considering for purchase.
“The idea was to create a warm, comfortable ambience throughout the gallery, while keeping the visual focus on the art itself,” says Brent Thornhill of Southwest Building Systems. “We knew that a combination of Bosch signal processing and the new EVID Compact Sound loudspeakers by Electro-Voice could produce the audio impact they wanted while being, essentially, invisible.”
To meet the gallery’s requirement of consistent, high-fidelity sound throughout their two-story space, Southwest Building Systems used a zoned distribution system, the Bosch PLENA matrix mixer (model PLM-8M8). Easily implemented, the mixer allows independent control of source material and volume, either directly through wall-mounted Bosch control panels and volume controls, or wirelessly through the Bosch PLENA app for iOS devices.
Because the gallery hosts presentations by the artists it exhibits, a separate sound system was needed for the front foyer and reception area. For this open space, Thornhill installed an Electro-Voice R300 wireless microphone system with both handheld and bodypack transmitters. A single Electro-Voice EVU-1082 loudspeaker, mounted above the reception desk, provides full-range, highly intelligible audio at modest volume levels from both spoken and musical sources.
The primary background audio for the main gallery spaces is provided by the EVID S44W Compact Sound system from Electro-Voice, which consists of four small satellite speakers and a single subwoofer, finished in white. Four such systems are spread throughout the gallery, with the tiny yet robust satellite speakers mounted to the ceiling beams and the compact subwoofers installed atop floating ceiling structures, making them completely invisible to the patrons. In addition, 16 Bosch LB2 speakers at ceiling level along the periphery ensure that every corner of the gallery is covered uniformly.
The final touch is the Art of the World Gallery VIP room, where clients can arrange private viewings of a piece they are considering for purchase. This private room is set up as a separate audio zone, with music provided by a single Electro-Voice EVID FM 4.2, a two-way, flush-mounted speaker set into the wall along with a Bosch rotary volume control. Co-owner Mauricio Vallejo liked the sound quality so much, he had one installed in his own office as well.
Vallejo is extremely pleased with both the sound quality and control that the system delivers for Art of the World Gallery. “Southwest Building Systems gave us everything we asked for, with clear, beautiful sound everywhere,” he says. “To have total control of the sound system, anywhere in the building, from my iPad or iPhone, is something we all love. It makes everything easy and professional, enhancing the viewing experience without interfering with it. We are very pleased.”