Electro-Voice Innovates at Illinois college

The Hatheway Cultural Center at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois, has been equipped with a Electro-Voice sound reinforcement system.

The installation features loudspeakers from the EV-Innovation family (EVA line array and EVF front-loaded models) as well as EV subwoofers, stage monitors, amplifiers, system control, and touchpanels.

Founded in 1970, Lewis and Clark Community College is a comprehensive educational institution within the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The national- and state-award-winning college serves more than 20,000 credit and non-credit students annually in more than 40 career and transfer programs. Central to the cultural life on campus is the college’s 1,000-seat Hatheway Cultural Center, which hosts thousands of visitors every year for concerts, plays, and numerous other college and community events.

As the previous sound system no longer met its requirements, the college opted to invest in a new sound reinforcement system. “We were looking for a system that sounded good and offered smooth frequency response and even coverage throughout the room,” explained Brian McKinney, technical coordinator at the Hatheway Cultural Center. “During concerts it needs to provide enough sound pressure level while also ensuring highest intelligibility for talks and recitals.”

Simulations of different locations and dispersion angles were made using EASE software. The ideal setup proved to be a solution centring around EVA line arrays from Electro-Voice’s EV-Innovation family of installation-dedicated loudspeakers. At left and right of the stage, each main array consists of five EVA enclosures with two different dispersion angles. Full-range EVA models are available with six different dispersion patterns and offer line-array performance and far-field summing from the Hydra plane wave generator. An internal crossover allows users to power up to eight EVA boxes from a single amplifier channel, eliminating the need for external crossovers or digital signal processing.

In addition to EVA, the installation includes two EVF speakers, which act as a centre cluster if the system is used in LCR (left/centre/right) mode. Four further EVFs are installed as balcony fills. “Being able to pick from a variety of angles allowed us to get the speakers focused exactly to where we needed them,” McKinney added.

Complementing the system are six QRx 218S compact dual-18-inch subwoofers, as well as twelve full-range QRx boxes used as stage monitors. All speakers are powered by thirteen CPS power amplifiers equipped with RCM-810 remote-control/DSP modules.

The system proved easy to monitor and control, thanks to a NetMax N8000 system controller. EV’s digital matrix system offers management of all aspects of professional sound reinforcement systems. With EV’s IRIS-Net software, designers, and end-users are given routing, DSP, and component-level system control and supervision. To allow remote access, the system includes one TPI-8 touch panel.

“A couple of diagnostic pages are also included, so we can not only turn the system on and off, but also individually control the amps or run pink noise through the system. This is extremely user-friendly and helps unify the system. Plus, if and when we may need EV tech support, the team can connect to the system remotely,” McKinney remarked.

Now that the installation has had plenty of time to prove its performance and value, McKinney is full of praise: “I love the quality of these products, and the system sounds great and has a nice smooth response. Numerous guest engineers have used the system and always comment on how nice and flat it sounds. Additionally, Preston Stevenson, of EV’s tech support team, was willing to do anything and everything to help us optimise the system to our space. I’ve worked with other companies and this level of support is simply unmatched!”