Being that the existing sound system inside Johnson Hall is not well-suited to musical theater, Winthrop University's Technical Director, Biff Edge, was tasked with procuring a system better suited to handle the challenge. This led to the initial contact with Rock Hill, SC-based Paragon Productions, a design/build firm that is actively involved in the corporate industrial / special event markets in addition to its installations in churches, auditoriums, and arenas.
“Paragon Productions received an RFP (request for proposal) by the University to submit a design and an equipment proviso to completely replace the existing Johnson Theater sound system,” notes Al Smith, President of Paragon Productions. “This initiated a series of measurements and other tests to determine the best approach to outfitting the space with a suitable loudspeaker setup.”
Johnson Hall, named for Winthrop University's founding president David Bancroft Johnson, was built in the Classical Revival style and originally housed offices for students, the YWCA, and literary societies. The facility was renovated and expanded in 1993 and the Johnson Theater now incorporates a 331-seat conventional theater with a raked floor, an orchestra pit, and a balcony. It is recognized as one of the premier performance venues in the South.
Based upon the room's characteristics, Smith and WorxAudio Technologies CEO/Director of Engineering Hugh Sarvis determined that a single WorxAudio TrueLine X2-P, suspended at the proscenium arch height of approximately 20 feet, would cover the raked seating area. “The X2-P has a broad 160-degree horizontal dispersion pattern and can easily throw 75-85 feet at an 18-foot elevation,” explained Smith. The additional height that we flew the enclosure at gave us exactly what we were looking for—broad, even coverage throughout the room.”
The WorxAudio Technologies X2-P is a self-powered, two-way, high efficiency, ultra compact line array loudspeaker system that incorporates two modules—each with a medium format, 1-inch exit compression driver that delivers clear, penetrating high frequencies over a predictable and controlled coverage area. These compression drivers are paired with dual 8-inch cone transducers that provide a rich, fully balanced sound and a frequency range that spans from 45 Hz to 20 kHz (-10 dB).
In addition to the WorxAudio TrueLine X2-P, the revitalized Johnson Theater sound system included Meyer Sound Laboratories MM-4 miniature wide-range loudspeakers that were used for front fill and a Meyer UPA-1 for balcony fill. “This show involved more than a dozen RF mics, chorus miking, area miking for dialog, and miking of a full pit orchestra,” said Smith. “This was a very involved setup and we worked closely with the staff of both the School of Music and the School of Visual and Performing Arts to ensure its success. We were awarded the bid based on our audio design, which used the WorxAudio Technologies X2-P as the centerpiece.”
Winthrop University's rendition of Anything Goes was a huge success and Smith received kudos for delivering a first-rate sound experience. Biff Edge noted, “The WorxAudio speaker was truly wonderful.”
“Everyone who heard the system was extremely complimentary,” states Smith. “Hugh and I were absolutely amazed at the consistency of level from front to back, left to right, and the ability of the system to cover the space so efficiently—given the raked floor. The sonic clarity the X2-P provided had never been experienced in that theater before. Even the Rock Hill Herald, the local newspaper, noted, â€˜Winthrop has invested in a first-rate sound system, which pays off in shows like this.' I couldn't have said it better.”
For additional information about Paragon Productions, visit the company online at www.paragon-productions.com.
About WorxAudio Technologies
Headquartered in Greensboro, NC, WorxAudio Technologies has been at the forefront of loudspeaker development for the pro touring and contractor markets for the past thirty years. With a comprehensive lineup of more than twenty loudspeaker models that feature integrated rigging hardware for streamlined installation and pack out, WorxAudio products can be found in prestigious facilities worldwide. For additional information, visit the company online at www.worxaudio.com.
Photo Credit: Janet Gray; Students Randy Snight as Moonface Martin, Cate Davison as Reno Sweeney and Palmer Ray as Billy Crocker (from left to right).