27 March 2013

Quality sound on Nob Hill

The Masonic Center becomes the largest installation of a state of the art sound system in the Western US.

Nestled in the iconic Nob Hill neighborhood, the center has been a community gem since it was built in 1958 and has been available for public use ever since. In order to increase sound quality and reduce the in and load out time for events at the Masonic Center, the Center has made a significant investment to improve sound systems and loading operations with the purchase and installation of a new d&b sound system.

"The expectations for sound quality and the demands for loading shows in and out have changed over the years and we needed to change with the times," says Richard Gentschel, Director of Production at the Center, "Installing a d&b audiotechnik system was the clear choice." With an exhibition hall, meeting and event rooms and a three thousand one hundred and sixty five capacity auditorium, the center works to keep the historic building ready for all current production needs. "We see d&b equipment requested on just about every technical rider and for good reason. The new sound system improves the sound quality and significantly reduces loading demands. Hopefully, changes like the new sound system will allow us to continue acting as a quality venue within the community for years to come."

Working with Las Vegas and LA based 3G Productions Inc, a west coast partner of d&b audiotechnik in the US, it took some time and consideration to perfect an ideal package for the Center. 3G President Eli Stearns explains, "The size and aesthetic of the d&b V-Series pushed the project forward. More compact than the J-Series, the new system has an impressive sound quality for its size. When d&b presented the V-Series, we knew we'd finally found the perfect fit for the Masonic Center."

"The room is historic and beautiful and it is wide so we must generate both horizontal and vertical coverage," elaborates Sound Engineer Will Taylor, who was onsite for 3G. As d&b systems are designed to adjust easily to any space, Taylor was able to position the sound system to best fit the room. A combination of V8 and V12 loudspeakers, plus V-SUBs running with D12 amplifiers, offer a rich and even sound for both the main level and balcony. The Masonic Center is currently the largest d&b V-Series installation in the Western United States, yet making the switch was relatively simple. From rigging to final adjustments, the full system installation took only two days to complete. Taylor concludes, "d&b is one of the best sounding systems from the first time you turn it on. It definitely makes the process of designing an audio installation a whole lot easier when the manufacturers system is already designed so well."