Have You Heard a VRAS?
April 15, 2009
A what, you say? I know, it has nothing to do with recording, but I went anyway, and I heard a VRAS in action. WOW!
I have just come back from a most interesting AES outing earlier this evening. Leslie Gaston, Chair of the Colorado Section of the AES (www.aes.org/sections/colorado), invited members and interested parties to tour the recently completed Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center of the Colorado College (www.coloradocollege.edu) in Colorado Springs. Quirky architecture (by Antoine Predock) combines function with striking aesthetics, and we saw lots of adaptable rooms for rehearsals, performances, lectures—equipped with AV for all possible needs, and interconnected throughout the building.
Before I quote the AES website to provide the background of the event and the names of the people who addressed the attendees, let me suggest that you download the following Meyer documentation:
If you get a chance to attend a show in a venue where such a system is in place (Broadway theaters, Cirque du Soleil, many more)—expect to be amazed. The main theater at Cornerstone is a sizable room of 400-plus seats, where you’d expect some innate reverberance, especially without an audience, but until the Meyer system kicks in to provide ambience, the room is very dry. Then, at the touch of a button, it can go from very dry to various reverb times, with a maximum of almost 3 seconds, all sounding very natural. Astounding.
All that’s missing in that school is a recording studio—but then I’m biased, of course... Here’s the text of the invitation, to show you what the event was all about.
The Cornerstone Arts Center is an exploration in new technologies used to create a new interdisciplinary, collaborative fine and performing arts center. Cornerstone’s key users in the departments of music, theatre, dance, film/video and fine art share a variety of both single-purpose and multi-use venues as well as a public concourse and various “rogue spaces” for installations and displays.
A flexible studio theatre features a fixed, enveloping seating bowl and adjustable vomitories and a fully-motorized overhead rigging scheme. A Meyer Constellation variable room acoustics system (VRAS) allows reverberation time in the auditorium to be varied between just under 1 second for theatre performance and presentation uses, to 2.5 seconds for concert performances.
As Vice President of D.L. Adams Associates, Edward L. Logsdon is responsible for all areas of audio-visual, multimedia and presentation systems design. He has provided design services for DirecTV Broadcast Center, Starz Encore and AT&T Broadband Headquarters and National Digital TV Center to name a few.
In her position as a Senior Project Consultant, Stephanie A. Adams-Ball is responsible for management of all aspect of projects. Her responsibilities include theatre design, sound and AV system design, and acoustical analysis. Ms. Adams-Ball has provided design services for the Colorado Convention Center Wells Fargo Theatre, Snow College South Sevier Valley Multi-Events Center and many more.
Dave Armstrong is Director of ITS Media, User and Telecom Services at Colorado College.
Are you a member of your local AES section yet? Look into joining—there are many good reasons to do so.