The 6 acre Plaza just opened to the public in Spring of 2022. Featuring multiple venues with audio systems permanently installed outdoors, the main attraction is the Stage Pavilion and Amphitheatre Lawn.
Representatives of the audio design team at IMEG Corp will be on hand to discuss the processes of the design challenges, as well as representatives from New Era Technologies for their part in the installation. We’ll also hear from the Westfield Parks and Rec’s as to the day to day usages.
This should be a very fun and informational event providing attendees with view points from the design, implementation and owner/usage at one of the regions newest event venues!
Other business or activities at the meeting: Brief announcements about membership renewal, bylaws voting, and tentative upcoming events.
Meeting Location: CEDIA Headquarters (Fishers, IN, USA)
The Central Indiana Section held its first in-person meeting since the start of the pandemic with a tour of CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association) headquarters in Fishers, IN. The event was generously sponsored by CEDIA and AES member Gavin Haverstick. Host Steve Rissi from CEDIA provided some context on the association, its focus on residential technology, and its dedication towards education and industry advancement.
The tour began in CEDIA’s experience center, which showcases cutting edge technology for the home, including advanced video, audio, lighting, power, and automation systems. The first room featured a large pair of Meridian Audio loudspeakers with onboard digital processing, a decoupled mid and high-frequency enclosure, and integrated class D amplifiers. The second room featured an on-wall audio-video installation with miniature line arrays from K-Array. Another highlight of the experience center was the adjacent glass-walled machine room, housing the center’s automation systems, media players, and amplifiers, as well as dedicated power with a massive toroidal isolation transformer.
The crown jewel of the experience center is CEDIA’s bespoke 9-seat home theatre, with a Barco projector and Dolby Atmos audio. The room includes fully isolated exterior shell and a 300-pound cement-core door to provide sufficient mass for acoustic isolation. Likewise, the projector is isolated in a dedicated projector booth and amplifiers, processors, and media players are all housed in the isolated machine room. Steve presented a variety of material from major motion pictures to showcase the audio and video clarity. This extended listening period allowed attendees to move throughout the space, listening to consistency from seat to seat and at the perimeter of the room. The room utilizes a distributed array of four subwoofers to homogenize low frequency response across the listening area, which was very apparent as one moved to the boundaries from the seating area.
The tour ended with walk through of CEDIA’s unique training facilities. Aside from typical classroom and workbench space, CEDIA headquarters features a number of “laboratories” for experimentation with home theatre setup. These rooms allow students to configure screens, loudspeakers, subwoofers, acoustic treatment, and even seating to measure the effects of changes in configuration. Another unique training area featured a variety of typical residential and light commercial construction wall segments for students to practice cable pulling and mounting of any variety of audio, video, or home automation devices.
The Central Indiana Section hosted Shure’s Gino Sigismondi for a presentation on personal or “in-ear” monitoring (IEM) systems. The presentation began with an overview of IEM systems and a history of the technology. As early as 1982 Marty Garcia built custom-fit earphones for stage use, and the first wireless IEM system was employed in the late 1980s using a simple FM transmitter. By the late 90s, custom-built hardware gave way to commercial wireless IEM systems and “universal fit” earphones, greatly increasing IEM adoption. The 2010s saw further advancement in diversity RF receivers, increased affordably, and personal mixing options.
Early in Gino’s overview of IEM system architecture, the topic of earphones was breached. Despite seemingly endless earphone options, isolation was presented as the most significant consideration, as it provides the ability to hear a mix while maintaining a reasonable listening levels. This point was reinforced later in the presentation when discussing the dangers of IEM listening at extreme levels, including issues with users removing one earphone. Instead, Gino recommended the use of ambient mics or ambient headphone systems to provide audience feedback to IEM wearers.
From this broad system overview, Gino presented options for IEM system configuration, including receivers sharing a mix via a single transmitter, dual monophonic mixes from a single transmitter, and traditional stereo mixes. While stereo mixes provide a more realistic listener experience, both stereo and mono setups require tradeoffs. Gino then presented a third option where each user receives two separate mono signals which can be balanced at the receiver, giving the user some local control of the mix. The topic of distributed mixing was also introduced, along with potential pros and cons of such a system. Case studies of scenarios for use of each of these options were presented, as well as example systems.
The presentation then shifted to the topic of RF management for IEMs. Gino advocated for the use of inclusion groups, where wireless devices are segregated by type, with each using a different segment of available frequencies. Similarly, wireless mic and IEMs units, and their antennas, should be physically isolated to reduce RF interference. Proper antenna selection can also increase system effectiveness, with directional antennas being a significant way to reduce multipath dropouts. Likewise, antenna combiners can help to reduce intermodulation issues within larger systems.