AiRAY scales new heights in Pennsylvania
Wednesday, 26 June 2019
codaThe Penn’s Peak team chose a system based around Coda Audio AiRAY
USA - Penn’s Peak is a popular 1,800-capacity entertainment facility in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, only tells half the story. Set in beautiful surroundings, its auditorium, plays host to a wide range of national and international artists.
Recently, the production team at Penn’s Peak took the decision to install a new sound system in the auditorium. The team chose a system based around Coda Audio AiRAY, supplied by Pennsylvania-based Saturn Systems.
The existing system at the venue was undersized and underpowered for what is a large, open, acoustically challenging space. Penn’s Peak is characterised by its predominantly wooden interior, the acoustics of which alter drastically when the hall is empty at soundchecks and full at showtime. The areas under the balconies on either side of the hall had also presented problems. The team was aware that the experience of patrons in these areas was nowhere near to delivering a satisfying audio experience and needed significant improvement.
The venue’s audio lead Chris Chalfin reports: “As well as overcoming the inherent challenges presented by the acoustics, we also needed to take into account the very wide range of artists and genres that come through the venue. We needed a system that was clean, clear and in your face - something that had incredible vocal intelligibility. My experience as a touring engineer of using Coda Audio on the road led me to the conclusion that it would be the perfect fit for Penn’s Peak.
“I’ve been convinced for a while that Coda will be the next major player in the audio industry - so much so in fact, that I was the first owner of a Coda system in the USA. When the team at Penn’s Peak had agreed that we needed to upgrade, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to put the venue ahead of the audio curve.”
Coda Audio USA arranged a series of on-site demonstrations which confirmed to all in attendance that Chris’s confidence in the system was well placed. It’s technical director, Michael Creason, then worked closely with Chris Chalfin and his crew to help design and optimise the system on-site, addressing their key concerns around improving clarity and headroom, low frequency definition and coverage.
To control the low frequency reverberation and keep the stage area ‘clean’, Michael and the team decided on a splayed end-fire subwoofer configuration, that dramatically reduced interaction with the venue surfaces, while reducing the deep nulls normally caused by spaced left/right sub arrays.
Since all Coda elements share the same sonic signature and fidelity, the team was able to overcome the issue of uneven coverage by employing HOPS8 in the areas under the balconies, ensuring that audience members in these areas shared the exact same experience of those in unobstructed seats.
Once the system was installed, the first run of shows emphatically dispelled any doubts anyone might have had about just how effectively it met the Penn’s Peak challenge.
The system at Penn’s Peak comprises 10 AiRAY per side, eight SCP-F subs configured in (two) end- fire arrays under the stage, supplemented by six HOPS8 across the front of the stage for lip-fill, eight HOPS8 for under-balcony-fills and two HOPS8 for VIP suite-fills. A monitor system comprising 10 CUE TWO wedges, two APS over two APS SUBs as side-fills and an additional two APS SUBs as drum-fills, completes the picture. Everything is powered by a combination of Coda Audio LINUS14 and LINUS10C amplifiers.
(Jim Evans)

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