The Crowne Center, Pensacola Christian College, Florida.
Pensacola Christian College has recently completed a top-level facility at its Florida location. Designed and installed by All Pro Sound, a design/build contractor located in Pensacola, the facility comprises a comprehensive array of sound reinforcement, recording and broadcast systems, which were installed in the College's Crowne Centre over an 11-month period, and include over 160 Turbosound loudspeakers.

Conceived as a multi-purpose state-of-the-art facility, the Crowne Centre is the College's newest development and contains a large, 6,035-seat auditorium, with a flexible below-balcony area that can be divided into three separate 600-seat seminar areas. The auditorium's 33-metre two-storey stage includes a rotatable section, and has a frontal area that can be configured in four different formats. The Centre also houses two 200-seat wedding chapels, hospitality areas and classrooms, plus orchestra and choir rehearsal areas.

Sound quality and flexibility were the key requirements for the Crowne Centre, with the auditorium used for a wide cross-section of functions. John Fuqua, of All Pro Sound, commented on the stringent system design requirements involved: "The primary system specification was for vocal quality - clarity and intelligibility for speech, and musicality for vocal group and solo performances. Supporting this overriding requirement for quality was the need to re-configure the system, depending on the day-to-day usage of the auditorium itself and the Centre's other areas. To arrive at our final loudspeaker specification, we visited a number of similar-sized installations featuring products from various manufacturers. This helped us to compile a short-list, with demonstrations - both to ourselves and to our client - being the final decider.

"In principal, the design utilizes Turbosound Flashlight systems for the main arrays - the centre, left and right clusters - and Turbosound Floodlight systems for the floor fills. Turbosound TCS systems were used for the under-balcony and front fills, and also for the choir and stage monitors. The front fills are hidden behind a grille-cloth fa├žade, and the whole of the stage area can be configured in four different ways to suit the stage layout options, with the configurations controlled by a combination of BSS Soundwebs and the QSC amplifiers' QSControl facilities. To achieve the degree of flexibility required, our design uses 11 Soundwebs for the main system alone, with around 70 QSC amplifiers, with further units deployed in the other zones, such as wedding chapels and meeting rooms. The overall system is about as leading-edge as you can get, and worked without a hitch from day one. The results have been extremely well received - the College is delighted and this installation has become an important reference site, in terms of both sound quality and coverage."

All Pro Sound's installation for the Pensacola Christian College took place over an 11-month period from early 2001, and entailed the use of some 150km of cabling. The design incorporates a Yamaha PM1D digital audio console, which includes two processing engines and control surfaces - one for Front of House, and one for broadcast purposes. Many of the College's services and performances are recorded - often using an 8-camera shoot for vision, and with the audio recorded onto a 48-track Otari Radar system. The programmes are then post-produced within the College, and subsequently broadcast via a number of national Christian channels. The installation also utilizes 20 channels of Shure U-series wireless microphone systems, with the microphones, along with the QSC amplifiers and processors, being controlled from the front-of-house mix position using two computers and large, flat-screen monitors.

(Ruth Rossington)

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