The new Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land is everything you’d expect of a performing arts centre in Texas: big, bright and bold. The $84m venue, which officially opened in the Houston metro area this month with a strong line-up of events including Jerry Seinfeld, Don Henley, Dave Matthews, Reba McEntire and the touring production of Dirty Dancing, comprises 20,000sq.ft that combines the programmes of concert hall, civic centre and theatrical centre in a single shape-adjusting venue.
But the new Smart Financial Centre Performing Arts Centre at Sugar Land also has Texas-sized sound thanks to an L-Acoustics K2 line array system installed by LD Systems and designed by consultant Scott Bray of Wrightson, Johnson, Haddon & Williams, Inc. (WJHW). “This is a premier performance venue for the entire region, so they wanted the absolute best sound possible, and they got it,” says LD sales engineer Kevin Broussard.
The new venue’s sound system uses a theatrical LCR design: Thirteen K2 enclosures make up the left and right array hangs, with eight SB28 subs flown behind each of those arrays, while the centrecluster is made up of 12 Kara enclosures.
In addition, there are five delay arrays of six Kara enclosures each suspended over the balcony. A flexible Kara front-fill system uses up to eight Kara enclosures along the stage lip for front-fill coverage. All of these are powered by 22 LA8 and four LA4X amplified controllers housed in LA-RAK racks.
The K2/Kara system was the perfect choice for the facility’s variable seating design, notes WJHW design consultant Scott Bray. Using L-Acoustics’ Soundvision predictive 3D system design software and LA Network Manager, the WJHW team was able to calibrate the system based on the position of the movable walls and curtains – three primary room configurations in all—as well as automatically move delay speakers in and out of the system on chain hoists, all at the push of a button.
Furthermore, L-Acoustics’ Soundvision predictive 3D system design software gave WJHW a highly accurate model of what each configuration would need in terms of EQ and delays before the first speaker was put in place; the system was then fine-tuned on site.
“We felt confident that what we saw in Soundvision is what we’d hear in the venue, and that’s exactly what happened,” says Bray. “We needed highly accurate pattern control, to keep the sound on the seating no matter what the configuration was. We were able to get ahold of Soundvision 3.0, the latest software version, and we were able to map out perfect coverage patterns.”