Auerbach Pollock Friedlander worked closely with RSP Architects and the acoustics consultant, Shen Milsom Wilke, Inc. to carefully craft an intimate “jewel box” Music Theater – a primary venue in the programming of the Museum. The Music Theater will host a wide variety of performance types and groups ranging from the Boulder Acoustic Society to the Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars. The broad range of music types and their associated acoustical requirements is basic to the Museum's mission - to showcase a wide variety of instruments and performers in the context of an unusual and visually compelling array of instruments gathered from around the globe. In addition to the flexible performance aspects of the Music Theater, the room is equipped with sound and video recording technology so performances may be captured for archival purposes. Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided audio-video consulting services for the audio recording system in the Museum's recording studio.
“Auerbach Pollock Friedlander were amazing partners throughout the whole process of building the MIM Music Theater. They talked with us – not to us – about our needs and goals for the space, and they went above and beyond to create an intimate venue that is outstanding, down to the last detail. The MIM Music Theater is truly a regional jewel, thanks to their efforts,” said Sunni Fass, Artistic and Managing Director for the MIM Music Theater.
Made possible through a donation by Robert J. Ulrich, former Chairman and CEO of Target, and a variety of corporate and individual donors, the Musical Instrument Museum is currently the only facility of its type in the United States. The Museum includes five Geo-Galleries focusing on instruments from different parts of the world. An artist gallery highlights the instruments and stories of musical icons. Additional facilities include a classroom, garden courtyard, restaurant, café and museum store. The modern design of the two story building is suggestive of the desert landscape of the surrounding Arizona landscape.
For the opening on April 24, 2010, the Museum will have a civic dedication, celebrations and performances lasting through the weekend. On display will be 3,000 instruments from the Museum's collection of approximately 10,000. The collection features instruments from every country in the world with the goal of “preserving, protecting and sharing these gifts with future generations.”
FACT SHEET Room Configuration
The 299-seat MIM Music Theater has been planned with spacious 42” wide aisles and 22” wide seats. Each row of chairs rises 12” above the one in front, creating excellent sightlines to the stage. Wheelchair accessibility is provided at a center cross aisle and at the rear of the room.
Theatrical Lighting System
The theatrical lighting systems is comprised of 180 sine wave dimmers – an approach using dimming technology to reduce ambient noise levels from dimmed fixtures to an absolute minimum. Computer lighting control is provided for both the architectural and the theatrical lighting. The result is the ability to rapidly re-configure the recital hall lighting to accommodate the various performers and performance types.
Automated Rigging System
The Music Theater is equipped with five automated lighting battens, four of which are used to maintain house light fixtures and the other for over-stage theatrical lighting. In addition, there are five variable acoustic banners: three on stage and two at the rear of the theatre. These banners, which reduce the area of sound reflecting surfaces, allow musicians to vary the reverberance of the space and in doing so, improve the articulation and clarity of the auditorium for all musical performance genres.
Audio Video Systems
The Music Theater audio-video systems are closely integrated with the room architecture with nearly all of the system elements concealed from the view of the audience.
The audio reinforcement and playback system supports announcements for acoustic music programs, lectures, playback for cinema presentation and light amplified music. Connection panels, cable pathways and technical power are provided to support portable main and monitor loudspeaker systems for performance of amplified music genres. A digital mixing console may be located in the control booth or at the rear of the audience seating as may be required to meet the artistic needs of a specific event.
The small recording studio provides for recording of musical instruments in the collection at archive quality, as well as recording and editing for in-house voiceover production. The system includes a digital audio workstation (DAW) with a console-style user interface surface, audiophile-grade analog microphone preamplifiers, reference – quality studio monitor loudspeakers, and a selection of high-quality microphones. The recording system may be interfaced to the music theatre systems for documentary recording of live performances.
The visual presentation system includes a large motorized projection screen concealed in the ceiling architecture, a high-definition video projector and a signal switching/management system that supports high definition content protection and input interfaces at the stage that will assist a presenter's source equipment in any common analog or digital signal format.
The video show support system includes a color camera feeding color video monitors at the stage manager position, the Green Room, the dressing rooms, and the technical services offices.
The video capture and production system in the Music Theater includes three robotic high-definition cameras, a high-definition video production switcher, two multi-channel video servers used for isolated camera signal ingest, a high-definition video editing station, various picture quality and content monitors, and related sync, timing and terminal equipment.
A production communications system is provided throughout the Music Theater and related support areas.