A Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system has been installed in the 561-seat Alexander Theatre at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
The Alexander Theatre is now capable of hosting the full spectrum of acoustic music performances and, in conjunction with the complementary Meyer Sound LEOPARD line array direct reinforcement system, all genres of amplified performances as well. The Constellation system is the first in a dedicated performing arts venue in Australia.
The impetus to renovate and repurpose the 50-year-old auditorium originated with Professor Paul Grabowsky.
Paul explained: “We were given two options, one was to create an acoustical environment suitable for music through physical means by use of materials and slightly reconfiguring the space. But no matter what was done it could never be great acoustically because of the existing constraints of the building structure.”
The seminal moment came with a visit to SoundBox, the San Francisco Symphony’s conceptually innovative.
Paul’s preference for a Constellation solution was cemented by a later visit to SoundBox, this time for a full concert programme, he said: “That experience convinced me that, in terms of what the system was doing, it allowed for more flexibility and more musical detail than the others we had heard.”
As installed at the Alexander Theatre, the Constellation system comprises three elements: sensing of the ambient acoustics, high-resolution digital processing using the patented VRAS acoustical algorithm, and distribution of early reflections and reverberant signals using more than 150 loudspeakers.
For ambient sensing, 16 compact cardioid microphones are placed on the stage, 16 miniature cardioid microphones are placed in the auditorium, and eight boundary-mounted omnidirectional microphones are placed in the orchestra pit. The processing is accomplished by a D-Mitri digital audio platform with 18 modules for input and output, core processing, and creation of the acoustic presets. The loudspeaker complement includes 133 full-range Meyer Sound systems (MM-4XP, UPM-1XP, UP-4XP, and UPJunior-XP) along with 19 compact subwoofers (UMS-1XPSM and MM-10XP).
All Constellation loudspeakers are self-powered and receive dedicated, discrete input signals from D-Mitri, the hardware component also provides a dynamic, immersive sound environment with Meyer Sound’s SpaceMap 3D planning software. Using SpaceMap with the Constellation infrastructure allows dynamic movement of multiple sounds in three dimensions throughout the auditorium.
To support amplified concerts, the theatre offers a direct reinforcement system anchored by twelve LEOPARD compact line array loudspeakers along with six 900-LFC low-frequency control elements for deep bass support and eight MM-4XP miniature loudspeakers for front fill.