d&b audiotechnik and SAVI provide the ultimate in listener experience at The Shed

© Iwan Baan 1/2
© Iwan Baan 2/2

The Shed’s executive team joined elected officials and artists to celebrate the opening of New York’s new arts center during a dedication ceremony just days before the space opened to the public on April 5. Located on West 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenue, The Shed is commissioning and presenting new work from artists working in all genres, including Steve McQueen, Steve Reich, Trisha Donnelly, Anne Carson, Ben Whishaw, Renée Fleming and Björk, among others.

Specialized Audio-Visual, Inc. (SAVI) engineered and installed a d&b V-Series line array in The McCourt, The Shed’s largest space in the two hundred thousand square foot Bloomberg Building. “SAVI and d&b audiotechnik are part of the team that connects The McCourt to its artists via technology,” states Michael Cusick, President of SAVI. “The d&b sound system in The McCourt plays a daily role as a tool for The Shed’s technical staff to help the artists create the desired performer-audience connectivity, help the performers achieve their artistic goals and provide unique ways for an audience - through the d&b sound system - to realize the best in democracy for listeners.”

When The Shed’s movable shell is deployed from its base building it creates The McCourt, a seventeen thousand square foot light-, sound-, and temperature-controlled space for large-scale performances, art installations, and events. The McCourt can accommodate an audience of approximately one thousand two hundred and fifty seated and more than two thousand standing; flexible overlap space in the two adjoining galleries of the base building allows for an expanded audience of up to three thousand. The shell’s entire ceiling operates as an occupiable theatrical deck with rigging and structural capacity throughout. Large operable doors on its north and east sides allow The McCourt to function as an open-air pavilion.

Acoustical and A/V consultants, Akustiks, played a large role in specifying the d&b system. They were not only the acousticians on the job, but they and HB Communications were responsible for the A/V systems throughout the balance of the complex. “Akustiks greatly influenced the owner’s choice of speaker system and played a role in engaging SAVI to be the supplier of The McCourt d&b sound system,” says Cusick.

The development of The Shed and concept of audio in The Shed had been quite interesting over the past several years as the location of an arts center would be shared with retail, commercial, and residential spaces. This was the leading reason why Akustiks chose a d&b system for the performance spaces at The Shed so as not to disturb residents, retailers and shoppers.




© Iwan Baan
© Timothy Schenck

As the programming and mission for The Shed was solidifying, it was clear they needed a high-performance, well-behaved audio system that can visually, sonically, and artistically adapt to a multitude of configurations. Once Marc Warren, Director of Production at The Shed, got together with d&b and Akustiks, the focus was on compiling an equipment list that could handle the range and depth of programming. The system had to be flexible to accommodate multiple setups within each space, and also had to have interchangeable parts so that pieces could move between venues and integrate seamlessly. The design team went through a few iterations, putting each version through a possible season - trying to visualize how each piece would be used over time. When SAVI came on board, they added another level of detail as they went through everything from the largest loudspeakers down to individual cables and bits of hardware. All of this had to ultimately integrate with the transforming building, and all the systems that make it work.

The d&b line array system configuration in The McCourt includes twelve V8 for L/R main arrays, four V8 for side outfill arrays, eight D20 amplifiers located in the grid, eight Y7P loudspeakers used across the stage front for front fills, two Y7P each side of the stage for edge fills, twelve V-SUBs, four J-INFRA subs, four M4 monitors, eight D20s as stage amplifiers and two D80 amplifiers.

Akustiks also decided that the d&b 24C Column loudspeaker with the 24C-E Column loudspeaker extension were the appropriate solution for emergency announcements tied to the life safety systems for The McCourt.  There are four columns in The McCourt, one mounted in each corner. “In such an acoustically live space, the pattern control of the columns proved to be the best solution,” notes Cusick.

"I conducted a very extensive study of products on the market, and after the end of that analysis I concluded that d&b was best suited to fulfill our programmatic direction," states Warren. The result of the chosen system and the attention to detail by SAVI and Akustiks in their design and implementation was an elegant and functional sound system for The Shed.




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