GACS finds the winning formula with Alcons
GACS finds the winning formula with Alcons
Established more than 50 years ago, the Greater Atlanta Christian School (GACS) has earned a reputation for utilising advanced technologies in its quests to further students’ needs. Serving over 1,600 students, the school has recently invested in state-of-the-art loudspeaker systems from Dutch manufacturer Alcons Audio.
The first of the three spaces to be installed with an Alcons system was the Artusa Hall Performing Arts Center, a former chapel which the school repurposed into a performing arts venue. This included completely rebuilding the interior, adding a self-supporting timber framed balcony and increasing the audience capacity from 700 to 950. A key requirement was to deliver the best technical facilities, but not to visually detract from the internal architecture. Additional audio challenges to negotiate included highly reflective, polished wood surfaces and a glass balcony front.
“They wanted something that would deliver great sound for everything from solo classical recitals to drama, ballet, orchestra, choir and bands, including renting the venue to outside performers,” explained Alex Fleming of Atlanta-based Lodestar Labs.
The Artusa Hall system comprised arrays of six LR7/90 micro line array modules and two LR7B single 12-inch bass modules per side, flown just in front of the proscenium arch. Two floor-mounted BC332 cardioid subwoofers per side add extra low end where required. A single SR9 double 5-inch in-fill monitor provided front fill for the first few rows and four 6.5-inch TS3 full-range monitors provide the under-balcony fills. Two VR12i and two VR12iM mid-size versatile 12-inch monitors deliver high-quality stage monitoring. The whole system is powered and controlled by four Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
“We first heard Alcons systems when demoing speakers for the Artusa Hall and we were blown away by the L-series boxes,” commented GACS audio visual technician, JD Cooper. “We immediately realised that the pro-ribbon systems are phenomenal. The accuracy and clarity are unmatched by traditional compression drivers.”
The technical team at GACS then also enthusiastically chose Alcons to replace existing, underperforming PAs in two more of its venues, the Clifton Jones Theater and the Long Forum. The Clifton Jones Theater had similar requirements to the Artusa Hall, including the need for exceptional speech and music reproduction with very high gain before feedback, complemented by minimal visual impact.
The LR7 micro line array system was again the optimum solution, with five LR7/90s and one LR7B per side deployed for the main system, plus a pair of 8-inch VR8 stage monitors, all powered and controlled by two Sentinel3 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
The largest of the three spaces, the Long Forum is a 4,000-seat arena that also serves as auditorium for national touring acts, larger assemblies and athletic events. As is typical of these larger gymnatoriums, there were a variety of significant design challenges including the highly reverberant space and multi-use requirement.
For the main left/right concert system, nine Alcons LR18 dual 8-inch mid-size line array modules per side were specified and two VR12 mid-sized 12-inch monitors were utilised in horizontal orientation for out fills. The system is supplemented by four BC543 active cardioid subwoofers. Also, in the Long Forum, an arena system was installed for basketball games and half-court assemblies. Seven RR12 point source array modules, comprised of 6-inch pro-ribbon drivers and 12-inch woofers, are deployed horizontally in three unique array clusters of two, three and two cabinets each. The entire Long Forum system is powered and controlled by seven Sentinel10 amplified loudspeaker controllers.
“We are fortunate to have multiple Alcons systems on our campus and I’m blown away at the intelligibility and detail,” commented GACS audiovisual technician, Ben Chambless. “The gain before feedback is exceptional. I’m amazed at how much sound can come out of speakers this size.”
His colleague Cooper agreed. “The diversity of the boxes is wonderful, as there is a perfect solution for almost any application,” he said. “My favourite thing about Alcons speakers is that people immediately notice how fantastic they sound. You don't have to explain the technology to them, they already understand that this is a different kind of speaker.”