The system now gives students the opportunity to learn about active acoustics technology first hand
Singapore - A Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system has been installed in the upgraded school auditorium of The Singapore American School (SAS), fixing a sound issue that was preventing performers from hearing each other clearly. The system now gives students the opportunity to learn about active acoustics technology first hand, while also providing a customizable sound experience for community productions.

"As a school, we have a bold vision to be a world leader in education, cultivating exceptional thinkers, prepared for the future," says Dr. Chip Kimball, superintendent of SAS. "Constellation allows us to be that world leader; it truly is the epitome of excellence. Our students and our staff are tremendous performers and talented individuals, and they work very hard to perfect their craft. The acoustic system shines light on their art. This auditorium is a special place; these kids are going to do amazing things in their lives."

SAS students who study stage lighting, sound, video, and stage technical systems will now learn to apply calibrated sound settings to different types of performances, and study the principles behind processor sound sampling and optimizing reverberation. Students will develop ideas for live sound performances such as drama, musical theatre, speech, jazz, symphonic band, chamber orchestra, and choir.

"As much as you can operate lighting to get someone's attention on something, you can also change the focus of what they're hearing," explains Paul Koebnick, assistant theatre manager and teacher. "Students responsible for sound operations can change the sound settings in the middle of a show, when a different group comes on with a different song."

The effects of Constellation have already been noticed by students. "Before, the auditorium was really difficult to project sound in," reports Tia Abdi, SAS high school senior and mixed choir member. "You could often only hear yourself sing, and it was hard to hear any other parts. Now I can hear the people around me a lot more easily, and the audience can definitely hear whether our sound is flat or ringing."

The Constellation system is built around a D-Mitri digital audio platform that hosts patented VRAS acoustical algorithms. Acoustical ambience is captured by 38 microphones, and the enhanced acoustical response is delivered through over 200 speakers over the stage and audience, including MM-4XP self-powered, UP-4XP, and UPM-1P loudspeakers, UPJunior and UPJ-1XP VariO loudspeakers, Stella-4 installation loudspeakers, and UMS-1P and UMS-1XP subwoofers. The system was supplied by Singapore-based Coda Group.

Constellation is a part of a large renovation to the 19-year-old auditorium that also includes new seats, energy-efficient lighting, new carpeting, sound-absorbing and reflecting walls, and improved soundproof double doors. A previously installed Meyer Sound M1D line array loudspeaker system with M1D-Sub subwoofers is used for direct reinforcement when needed, with fill provided by MM-4 and UPM-1P loudspeakers.

(Jim Evans)

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