For over sixty years, the Campbell Student Union has been the central campus venue for meetings, relaxation, and events at Buffalo State, the State University of New York. To keep pace with the shifting needs of its students and to take advantage of new technologies, the university secured funds for a $6 million renovation. The centerpiece of the renovation is a vastly improved social hall, where approximately four hundred people can attend a huge diversity of events, from national touring rock bands to fashion shows and from performing arts to lectures. Even roller skating is on the list! Prior to the renovation, Buffalo State rented a PA for the space whenever it was needed at great expense and with imperfect results. Now, a permanent sound reinforcement system comprised of Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers delivers any kind of program material with fidelity and punch.
AVL Designs of Penfield, New York designed the system. “Several people at the school had their hearts set on a line array solution when we first became involved in the project,” said Seth Waltz, owner and chief designer at AVL Designs. “Of course, I want to provide them with the best sounding, most durable solution available. I felt that a Danley system would be best in that regard, but I also knew it would be financially smarter than a line array. To help persuade them, I sent a Danley loudspeaker for a demo. A few days later, I received their short but telling reply: ‘Yeah, we’re fine. We don’t need a line array.’ Once you hear it, you can’t really argue with Danley’s sound quality.” Operating out of its Rochester, New York office, Ronco Specialized Systems handled the installation.
For concerts, DJs, plays, and other stage-based or high-volume events, Waltz designed a stereo system, with identical clusters flown above either side of the stage. Within each cluster, a Danley SH-60P and a Danley SH-50P merge their coverage patterns to provide an even blanket of sound to the main floor. Additionally, each cluster contains a Danley SH-95P for downfill. All six boxes make use of Danley’s optional self-power. Two Danley DBH-218 subwoofers provide abundant bass from either end of the stage. “We had originally designed the system with four DBH-218s,” said Waltz. “But after hooking up just two, we knew four would be complete overkill. With just two, we could deliver a tremendous amount of clean, amazing bass.”
“Our technicians love working on Danley projects,” said Al Colucci, account manager at Ronco Specialized Systems. “Their loudspeakers and subwoofers sound great, and the people at Danley are easy to work with. The pattern control is excellent and as advertised.” Waltz added, “We started incorporating Danley into our designs about three years ago, after hearing them at InfoComm. They are, hands down, the most natural-sounding vocal boxes we’d ever heard. And not only do they sound great, they require little EQ and translate a wide range of musical styles well.”
For dinners and lectures, Waltz specified nine Danley SH-100s, which are distributed around the room and fire straight down. An eight-channel Ashly ne8250 amplifier powers them (with two SH-100s tied together on one of the channels). “When we were tuning the system, I had someone walk around with a Countryman headset microphone,” said Waltz. “For the first time ever in my experience, we didn’t need any filters. The distributed system sounded even and natural right out of the box.”
An Ashly ne24.24M processor handles all of the input and loudspeaker conditioning. “I put an Ashly processor in almost every job I do,” said Waltz. “In terms of functions per dollar, Ashly can’t be beat. And the audio path is clean and nice sounding, which is of course critical. Here, it handles all of the system equalization and dynamics.” An APB DynaSonics console provides a versatile analog front end, and a collection of Shure and Countryman microphones supply the primary inputs.
Recently, Buffalo State celebrated the completion of the Campbell Student Union renovations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by university officials, state lawmakers, faculty, and students. Multiple events, including a live band and a fashion show, demonstrated the new system’s ability to work across styles for maximum effect.