The Aula Magna of the University of Parma is one of the most important places for academic life in the city. Located at the Palazzo Centrale in Via Università, this building was the center of the Jesuit College since medieval times, becoming the headquarters of the University of Parma, starting from the mid-eighteenth century. Today it hosts, in addition to the Department of Law, Political and International Studies, also the Rectorate and the offices of the central administration of Parma.
Recently, the Aula Magna has undergone an important modernization to their audio system, providing for the installation of high-quality audio systems that guarantee maximum intelligibility, while maintaining a low profile in an environment of historical importance. The University selected local integrators Casa Musicale Varese for the task based on their proven experience in this field.
With the aim of optimizing the installation and audio quality, Casa Musicale Varese relied on the expertise of the team of engineers from the Engineering Support Group of RCF, who developed the best acoustic performance by suggesting the amplified column array speakers of the VSA Series (Vertical Steerable Array). “For this particular acoustic project we were inspired by the most recent research published by one of the professors of the University of Parma, Angelo Farina, an illustrious Italian mind known throughout the world for his work in acoustics and electroacoustics,” says Michele Begotti of RCF ESG. “The room was reconstructed in 3D format to simulate the acoustic behavior of the suggested audio system, calculating all the parameters depending on the room, intelligibility, and sound pressure levels provided by the system. The various materials of the walls (wood, acoustic panels, masonry walls, etc.) were modeled to obtain the best possible simulation.”
The VSA Series embodies the characteristics of digital control of directivity, and are able to maximize the ratio between direct field and reverberant field, a crucial point for an acoustically critical environment. In particular, two RCF speaker models were chosen: VSA 2050 II and VSA 850 II. Both models are equipped with an advanced DSP for controlling vertical acoustic dispersion, with the first facing the seats and the second facing the speakers. The ability to control vertical acoustic dispersion by being able to “aim” and “project” the sound onto predetermined areas has allowed the vertical installation of wall-mounted speakers at a relatively high height, for a reduced impact and perfect aesthetic compliance.
Alessandro Secchi, head of Casa Musicale Varese comments, “With this important modernization work, the Aula Magna of the University of Parma is now equipped with an ultra-high quality audio system, capable of guaranteeing perfect voice intelligibility for any type of academic event held in this prestigious space.”