Eau Claire’s oldest building, the stately brick façade of Schofield Hall dates back to the beginnings of this storied campus in 1916. In addition to the University’s main administration offices, the building is home to the Schofield Auditorium, a 600-seat multi-purpose venue that was recently treated to a complete renovation, from new seating and décor to modern, high-performance audio and video systems.
“The room is primarily used for lectures, guest speakers and small group performances, and our primary focus was on achieving superior intelligibility,” explains Nancy Carlson of Audio Architects in Chippewa Falls. “But there are also a number of smaller musical groups and other performances in there, and we wanted to design a system that would be flexible enough to adapt to a wide range of programs and performances.”
The system includes one of the first installations of the new generation of Iconyx IC Live digitally steered column arrays. As Carlson explains, the hall’s new architectural design enabled the two ICL-FR-TRIP columns to be completely concealed.
“They wanted a classic look, much like when the auditorium was built in 1916, and they didn’t necessarily want to see the speakers,” Carlson says. “They had designed some decorative columns on either side of the proscenium, which provided us with a perfect location for the Iconyx columns.” Four DR18-2R dual 18-inch powered subwoofers are also concealed in cavities in the front wall. “We had to have a general contractor reinforce the platforms, but we were able to hang a sound-transparent panel in front of them, making them equally unseen,” Carlson adds.
The audio system also includes a large-format Yamaha M7CL 48-channel digital console at Front of House. “We provided inputs at several different points in the room, and on stage, all wired back to the FOH console,” says Carlson. A Biamp AudiaFLEX CM unit handles system DSP.
Carlson says the IC Live’s steered beam technology provided an ideal solution for one of the room’s biggest challenges.”We needed to find a way to provide sound to the under-balcony seating, which was only about seven feet from floor to ceiling, while also providing even coverage to the upper balcony area. The Iconyx enabled us to direct individual sound beams both above and below the balcony, giving us consistent and even coverage to every seat in the house, without the need for under-balcony fills.”