Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts installs largest Electro-Voice X2 system in North America

Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts installs largest Electro-Voice X2 system in North America

Located in suburban Fort Worth, the Mansfield Independent School District (ISD) facilities include the Dr. Jim Vaszauskas Center for the Performing Arts, a freestanding 142,000 square-foot facility used for live music and theater events. It also functions as a professional development center, with a conference/banquet area, breakout rooms and computer labs, creating a profit center for the school district while serving its students, staff and community.

During the pandemic, the facility began experiencing end-of-life issues with some of the high-end technology installed there, necessitating a full refurbishment. Mansfield ISD engaged CRUX Technology & Security Solutions (Fort Worth) to make an in-depth assessment of the situation, then make recommendations on how best to bring the facility back to state-of-the-art standards, in line with the district’s needs and vision.

The PA solution CRUX recommended was designed around Electro-Voice X2 line-array loudspeakers in combination with Dynacord’s IPX series amplifiers. DSP, time delays, speaker optimization, and system control were programmed into the amplifiers via Dynacord SONICUE Sound System Software. The physical installation was executed by another established area company, Electro Acoustics.

One key element of the upgrade was reinforcing the performing arts center’s ability to generate revenue for the school district by hosting national touring productions with its in-house sound system. This requirement is easily met by the EV-Dynacord solution, which provides a level of all-around performance and control that represents a marked improvement over the venue’s previous system.

“We specified the Electro-Voice and Dynacord products very deliberately on this project,” notes Mason Brooks, Senior AV Consultant at CRUX. “Since legacy product end-of-life and supply chain issues were driving forces on the project, we did not have the luxury of allowing alternates. These brands represent Grade A technology, and the X2 delivers a significant audio upgrade with a smaller footprint, and with less impact on sightlines. Bosch (EV and Dynacord’s parent company) was also one of the few manufacturers that could actually deliver the product in our required time frame.”

The ability to deliver a large system in a timely manner was critical, as the CRUX design actually created the largest permanent installation of Electro-Voice X-Line Advance in North America, with a total of 67 full-range cabinets plus ten subwoofers, making the 5500-seat auditorium’s PA system worthy of hosting major touring concert events. In addition, both the left and right sides of the semicircular room can be walled off to create smaller dedicated spaces, each with its own sound system and seating for 640.

The main auditorium PA consists of twin 13-box X2-212 arrays, each with 11 X2-212 90° boxes above two 120° models to ensure full coverage across the front. The low end is amply supplied by a center hang of ten X12-125F dual-15” flying subwoofers, notable for their tightly-controlled cardioid output. To ensure full coverage to the back of the capacious auditorium, three delay arrays of seven X2-212/120 enclosures are evenly spaced to cover the back of the room.

Audio for the two side rooms is provided by independent 10-box line arrays, utilizing the 90° dispersion X2-212 to achieve full coverage in those narrower spaces. These side room hangs were optimized via SONICUE to deliver sufficient low end without requiring additional subwoofers.

The entire PA system is powered by 16 Dynacord IPX20:4 amplifiers. With 20,000 watts in just two RU of space, these Dante-enabled smart amplifiers house significant DSP power and are part of the SONICUE ecosystem. SONICUE was thus used to implement key system design elements, including loudspeaker optimization, room EQ, time delay and subwoofer directionality. Additionally, IPX amps employ Eco-Rail technology to reduce power consumption by up to 50%, which was a big selling point for the school district.

Another unique function of IPX’s energy-efficient feature set is Ghost Power – a problem-solving technology that ensures the amplifer and processing will instantaneosly recover from mains power glitches. It eliminates reboot issues that might occur during a short-term outage or a transition to a secondary power source by ensuring the amplifiers have sufficient power in reserve to maintain DSP through generator startup. IPX achieves this without the need for an expensive uninterruptable power supply (UPS) system or non-network components.

“The Dynacord IPX amps were important to ensure the reliability of the system,” explains Mason Brooks. “The arts center is in a location that’s known for having occasional power outages, and the facility is used as a reunification point for Mansfield schools in case of emergency. The Dynacord amps solve that problem beautifully. The Ghost Power technology acts as a power backup until the building’s backup generators kick in. So as soon as the power returns, sound is happening without waiting for the amps to reboot. It’s a huge upgrade that addresses the critical needs of mass notification and evacuation.”

In replacing dated system infrastructure with a modern Dante network, finding an appropriate location for the new amplifiers presented a minor challenge. Fortunately, with only 16 amps needed to accommodate 320,000 watts of power, the existing catwalk in the main auditorium could handle the equipment racks without additional structural support.

“In upgrading the facility, our flexibility was limited in terms of conduit runs,” explains Ryan Walker, Senior Account Manager at Electro Acoustics. “Fortunately, the catwalk made a pretty good midway point. We have about 300 feet of CAT cable to bring the Dante network up to the amps. From there, we had manageable runs of about 300 to 400 feet of copper out to the various speaker positions. So really, the Dynacord product design was a big part of the solution.” Walker also notes that installation of the line arrays was remarkably easy. “We were fortunate that the auditorium had a motorized hoist system in place for the massive self-powered system we were replacing,” notes Walker. “The positive pin-locking system on the EV arrays made it easy to stack the speakers and build the arrays in place. EV’s hardware design is outstanding, so the reinstallation was ten times faster than most typical line array systems.”

The system design for the Mansfield ISD’s Center for the Performing Arts represents a strong success story during the pandemic, with Bosch’s global resources serving to enable a fast-tracked project from concept to completion in under six months. “While there are several companies that can provide the technology this project demanded, the Bosch ecosystem of Electro-Voice line arrays and Dynacord electronics provides a synergy of technology, sound quality and value that does a tremendous job of meeting all the customer’s needs,” says Mason Brooks of CRUX. “Everyone involved is thrilled with the result.”

ApexPro is the leading distributor of Electro-Voice products and services in Africa. Contact us to find out more about Electro-Voice products.

Cavatina Hall achieves communication excellence with Electro-Voice and Dynacord

Cavatina Hall achieves communication excellence with Electro-Voice and Dynacord

Cavatina Hall

Bielsko-Biała, Poland, July 2022 – An extensive public address system from Electro-Voice and Dynacord has been installed at Cavatina Hall. Located in the vibrant, historic city of Bielsko-Biała, amongst the Beskidy mountains in southern Poland, the six-story building counts over 9,000 square meters of top-tier office space, a cutting-edge recording studio, a chamber music room and a majestic 1,000 capacity concert hall. The venue itself is owned by leading Polish development company Cavatina and is the first privately owned and funded concert hall in Poland.

As a large, multi-use facility Cavatina Hall required an extensive solution to cover public address across its various areas. This needed to be flexible enough to meet the differing needs of office workers and theatregoers and led to Audio Plus, the company responsible for the coordination and co-designers of the solution, turning to the extensive Electro-Voice and Dynacord portfolio.

The heart of this solution is electronics from Dynacord, with an MXE5 Matrix Mix Engine alongside an IPX10:8 power amplifier. IPX multi-channel amplifiers are dedicated for fixed installations and offer sophisticated speaker processing. IPX also features Dynacord’s unique variable load drive (VLD) technology. For each channel, the user can determine whether Low-Z or High-Z 70V/100V loudspeakers are driven without the need for an output transformer via direct drive technology. The IPX10:8 was the perfect choice for this project due to its ability to harness this technology across eight channels.

“The IPX 10:8 is at the core of the sound system – we wanted something that was technically optimal in terms of control and this amp allows each channel to be individually operated, along with analog inputs from Dante and OCA via OMNEO network inputs – it’s a highly flexible solution for us,” explains Stanisław Mielczarek, Tech Support Engineer, Audio Plus. “MXE5 was chosen as it’s a universal processor that complements other systems in Cavatina Hall – through SONICUE Sound System Software. It integrates perfectly for this kind of project – allowing us to have full control of the entire system of signal routing and signal processing for public address speakers.” adds Tomasz Ibrom, Project and Installation Engineer, Audio Plus, who was responsible for the system integration at Cavatina Hall.

The Dynacord electronics are driving a large 100V Electro-Voice loudspeaker solution combining the strengths of the EVID ceiling and surface mount ranges. “EVID speakers offer a big spectrum of models in the series and were the ideal choice because of their mounting capabilities,” Ibrom explains. “Each piece is exactly fitted for its location.

”In the main auditorium, a pair of Electro-Voice FM6.2 speakers have been hidden behind the wooden sound panels either side of the stage. These are linked to the RTS intercom system and used for addressing the performers onstage. The stage manager or event director can use the system via an Electro-Voice wireless mic to communicate with the musicians during rehearsals. “This additional system works perfectly because the speech is super-intelligible and the speakers are completely invisible,” says Ibrtom. “The team at Cavatina Hall are really happy with it.”

Staying on stage, Electro-Voice microphones have also been selected to cover a wide range of vocal and instrumental needs. This includes everything from the RE97Tx micro-headworn condensers, to ND44, ND46 and ND66 instrument mics, as well as the iconic RE20 and RE320 Variable-D models.

The Hall now boasts superior efficiency in terms of connectivity, which fits in well to the innovative aesthetic of the multi-functional building. Marcin Smolik, Producer and Managing Director at Cavatina Hall concludes: “We are at the forefront of Europe among the few venues that have such a system. Our technology is a treat for artists and for the viewer, it means quality.”

The sound of Pata Pata

The sound of Pata Pata

Pata Pata Beer Garden in Johannesburg’s Maboneng precinct


Pata Pata Beer Garden in Johannesburg’s Maboneng precinct has been equipped with a new sound system based on equipment from Electro-Voice and Rane. The solution was designed and installed by Prosound.

Maboneng precinct itself is currently undergoing a transformation into a new cultural hub for the city. Situated in the old diamond district, the area is now home to a variety of arts centres, entertainment venues and retail stores. As part of this process, Pata Pata has set itself out to be a multipurpose entertainment venue for live bands, DJs, sporting events and corporate functions. The venue approached Prosound to design a solution that would meet the various needs of these differing uses while keeping within a specified budget.

The main challenge for the project came from the 500-capacity venue itself. It is a large, hangar-style building with a raised mezzanine level to the rear which combined to create a number of audio issues. To tackle these, Prosound pro audio sales specialist, Lucky Lande, provided a bespoke solution to fit within the client’s budget while also overcoming the acoustic challenges.

The system comprises Electro-Voice EKX passive loudspeakers powered by the German manufacturer’s Q-series amplifiers. Processing is handled by a Rane HAL1. ‘The design provided great flexibility in allowing the client to plug into the system from various positions in the venue,’ said Mr Lande.

The audio system installation ran alongside a general renovation at Pata Pata, which created its own set of challenges. However, according to Mr Lande, ‘the installation was a great success, with the client very happy with the outcome and commenting that this is the best system he’s heard, and worked on, in a long time’.

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