- by Frank Hammel
ORLANDO, FL — The theatre department at the University of Central Florida recently purchased a QSC ILA System 2 with SC28 system controller and QSC amplifiers for its 306-seat proscenium hall.
The new system replaces an outdated system that did not utilize the line array technology and was mismatched in optimization. The theatre department adds that the new system greatly improves the sound coverage in the extremely wide (55’) stage, while not infringing on sightlines or requiring drastic structural improvements and acoustical design of the space.
This system was designed to allow audio technicians to more tightly control amplification on the vertical plane while improving horizontal coverage. It also doubles the number of wireless microphones and halves the space.
“This purchase is the capstone to a large improvement to our overall sound program,” noted Chip Perry, theatre assistant professor. “In the past year, we have hired a full-time sound engineer, upgraded control surfaces and communication systems with wireless intercom, added a shared computer lab with enormous music resources to the classroom facilities, and expanded the components and quality of our wireless microphone system.”
The upgrade of the wireless microphones and the purchase of Avid’s VENUE D-Show digital audio control system was made possible by a technology grant provided by the University. The amplifiers and speakers were purchased with money that was pooled across the Theatre Department’s equipment budget.
From a performance viewpoint, this promised to allow for great aural consistency over the audience area. It will also should allow the performers to be amplified over a larger orchestra. Previously, orchestras were lowering their volume in order to keep them acoustically lower than the singers.
The ease of installation allowed the system to be installed in the middle of a semester between a tight show schedule. Generally, an installation of this size would require the theatre to be dark for several weeks.
“The ease of installation and delivery time was amazing,” said Perry. “Although we talked about this purchase over several months, once it became clear that this was the only product that would meet our needs, we had the equipment installed and producing sound in less than three weeks.”
The proscenium hall is a makeshift theatre that was built to be a lecture hall. The University is currently planning a new performance space for the theatre and music departments. When that construction is complete, this equipment will be moved to a Black Box space.
Theatre UCF is a program in the School of Performing Arts at the University of Central Florida. The department’s graduate and undergraduate programs focus on providing a competitive edge to theatre artists seeking professional theatre careers, as well as to future creative intellectual leaders. The program offers theatrical presentations year-round to the public at the east Orlando campus.
For more information about attending performances call 407-823-1500 or visit www.theatre.ucf.edu.