MFI Welcomes Seasoned Project Manager

MFI in Hooksett, New Hampshire is excited to welcome Robert Klahre to the team as its newest project manager. With over 30 years of audiovisual experience acquired from his various roles across the country, Klahre’s philosophy is to “plan and budget for every detail while adding production value to the event wherever possible.” Having most recently served director of event technology for PSAV at Sunriver Resort in Oregon, Klahre was responsible for all planning, operations and sales of hotel-provided audiovisual services. Prior to that he held similar positions at The Westin Providence in Rhode Island and Hyatt Regency in Bonita Springs Florida.

Klahre’s role as project manager comes at a pivotal time for MFI, which is rapidly expanding its client base and business. “We’re in a strong place, expecting more activity as the year unfolds and we’re looking to put Klahre’s skills to use. We’re eager to have him initiate and develop the relationship with the client,” said Denis Gosselin, President of MFI.

Klahre’s client management experience is a particular strong asset as his past experiences include event manager at Scharff Weisberg Inc in New York where he managed audiovisual technology and staging at events for clients such as Mastercard Worldwide, HBO, Vornado Realty, Northwestern University, Pitney Bowes, Interior Design Magazine, and many of the nation’s top art museums. He received his B.A in Broadcasting and Film from Boston University.

To contact Klahre, email him at robert@mfiproductions.com.

Full Court University Basketball Gym Gets NEXO Overhaul

As a NCAA Division II varsity collegiate institution, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) recently upgraded the Fieldhouse’s sound system, home to a full court basketball gym. With the help of MFI Productions of Hooksett, New Hampshire, the Fieldhouse now boasts a new NEXO GEO S12 line array system that will provide even and amplified acoustics to the 2,000-seat bleachers plus floor seating.

According to Rick Elliot, Production Manager at MFI, who designed and completed the installation, the Fieldhouse’s 40’ ceiling needed a new approach to New Hampshire’s fastest growing college with over 4,000 on-campus students and 60,000 online students. “We worked with an acoustician to ensure that NEXO GEO S12’s loudspeaker system would provide maximum coverage to the floor area and work well with Fieldhouse’s multi-use space. It’s used almost as much for sporting events as it is for other campus events and we took that into account when examining the acoustical treatment plan.”

MFI offered SNHU an opportunity to demo the advanced technology prior to installing the NEXO system. “We’ve worked with SNHU for several years and wanted to provide them with a highly intelligible sound to the listener and create that same feeling for the speaker,” explained Elliot. In anticipation of an upcoming open, the president of the university invited MFI to demo the NEXO system. “He was extremely pleased with the quality of how his voice sounded and it’s rewarding that he placed his faith in us to do the installation. It’s something that the campus community will enjoy for decades to come.”

The NEXO GEO S12 loudspeaker system was designed to be a main left-right (LR) system flown at the highest achievable height and 10’ in front of the garage door wall allowing for a stage location against that wall for various speaking events and musical acts that will provide maximum coverage to the remaining floor area. M620 loudspeakers were added for the area directly at the front edge of the stage to provide better gain before feedback. Elliott said a processor would be installed to handle protection and tuning of the system. “It’s important to note that the BSS BLU Signal Processor that was installed is capable of a simple system program with the addition of some dedicated utility mic inputs and wireless mic systems because then it can be controlled via a wireless router and an iPad using the Harman HiQnet Motion Control.”

Improving audio quality was a high priority for Thomas Helm, Manager Media Services at SNHU. “The distributive system that was installed for basketball games was unusable for public address in formal events like Admissions Open House, Accepted Student Day and Convocation. MFI came in and set up a test system using NEXO line arrays, and once SNHU’s president heard the transformational audio quality he approved the budget on the spot,” he stated. Since the NEXO installation, the Fieldhouse has not experienced any audio concerns due to the system’s excellent gain, flexibility of microphone placement and elimination of feedback. “The installation provided by MFI was first rate; friendly and professional all the way,” Helm praised.

Two NX4x4 amplifiers power the system and were chosen over the NX4x1 amps just in case a special event require the additional power, as well as offering upgradability to the system, since the 4x4s can easily be reconfigured. The main part of the line array on each side was split to the amp, with Ch’s A&C having two GEO S1210 loudspeakers each and Ch’s B&D having three GEO S1210 loudspeakers each. The GEO S1230s, one per side, are on their own, utilizing Ch’s A&B of the second NXAmp.  The three delayed M620 front fills take up the remaining two channels when necessary.

“Overall, the NEXO line array has been the best investment my department could have made to eliminate reverberation and dramatically improve acoustics,” Helm concluded.

MFI Productions Named Preferred Vendor for NH High Tech Council

MFI Productions in Hooksett, New Hampshire is pleased to announce a new partnership with NH High Tech Council (NHHTC) in Manchester, NH.

For about 35 years, NHHTC has served as a forum for the public and private sectors to initiate programs that promote technology-based development in NH. Through its breakfast series, monthly and annual events and leadership programs, NHHTC is a strong presence in NH’s economical ecosystem.

“We’re excited to have selected a well-established event producer as our exclusive partner to provide our members with the best experience during our events,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the Council.

As part of the partnership, NHHTC will recognize MFI as its exclusive service provider and MFI will provide best rate services and underwriting for the Council. With over 35 years of audio, visual and event technology management, MFI is poised to serve the growing companies in the New Hampshire and New England area.

“I am extremely pleased to be working with the state’s High Tech Council as they have been a leader in the technology sector for New Hampshire. Their business members contribute an entrepreneurial spirit across all fields and we’re looking forward to collaborating with them in the future,” said Denis Gosselin, President of MFI Productions.

MFI will help NHHTC kickoff their first Entrepreneur Forum of 2017 with Emerson Ecologics to take place on February 15. For more information about any of NHHTC’s upcoming events, http://www.nhhtc.org/

A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel at Gordon College installs NEXO Geo S12 Series Speakers

Wenham, Mass.—The A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts is among one of the top Christian colleges and the only non-denominational college in New England. The chapel seats 1,600, making it one of the largest venues on Boston’s North Shore. Recently, MFI Productions of Hooksett, New Hampshire, installed a 21st century audio system based around a new, white NEXO GEO S12 line array.

“The Chapel on campus is the largest performance venue on campus, bringing international speakers, scholars, musicians and events to its stage annually,” states Chris Imming, director of media services. Along with the Gordon’s academic curriculum, the space hosts Chapel services, Convocation programs, and special events, to promote learning, Christian community and opportunities for engagement. Students gather in the Chapel for large services and presentations throughout the week. but the space also serves as a performance stage. Large–scale ensembles, choirs, and bands often practice and perform there. Gordon’s worship teams include four to eight musicians, vocalists, acoustic and electric guitars, piano, bass, violin, and percussion. “We needed a system that would meet all of these components,” said Imming. “We wanted to provide audiences with clear and intelligible speech reproduction while also meeting the growing expectations of professional and touring artists.”

Over the years, Gordon’s Chapel has offered sold out performances to several touring artists, including Third Day, Caedmon’s Call, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Jars of Clay, the Art Music Justice Tour (Sara Groves, Charlie Peacock, Brandon Heath, Derek Webb), and Jeremy Camp.

“Often there is little to no time to flip the space,” said Imming, who helped research solutions to support the venue’s needs. “Having a system with the NEXO GEO S12 at its core allow us to continue to host touring artists with less dependence on outboard gear. We hope this reduction in production set up time and expenses will allow us to host additional tours in the future.”

“The primary goal of the new system design was to address both coverage and intelligibility issues,” states Denis Gosselin, MFI Productions. “Both had been lacking since the facility’s construction in the early 1990’s. The initial system was designed to support speech since the use of the venue was more traditional during that period. As praise and worship performances increased, a ‘portable’ system was purchased for use when the praise team was leading worship. That system relied heavily on a pair of single 18” subs and a single 15” 2–way cabinet on the stage platform. While that system did provide full range audio support, it was never intended as a long–term solution since components were undersized for the venue and left huge gaps in coverage.”

The College researched their system analysis and design needs in–house, a testament to their passion for the space, its need, and the needs of the community. As an educational opportunity, students were also involved in the design and installation process.“ Both InfoComm and NSCA training was essential in our ability to carry the project from the design stage through completion,” notes Imming. “Throughout the design process, we evaluated both point source and linear array systems from six or seven companies. While linear arrays are certainly not the best solution for every venue, we chose to pursue compact array designs for the project after completing some EASE modeling of the hall. Satisfied by the computer modeling, we felt that arrays would provide a cleaner install and, in white, disappear into the stage proscenium. We narrowed the list of manufacturers down to three and scheduled onsite demos. Each demo system came in for two days to allow time for flying and tuning. The extended demo period also allowed us to utilize each system for a worship team rehearsal, a regular chapel with a full house, and critical listening demos with various faculty and staff members whom regularly utilize the space.”

Gosselin added that one of the challenges in a space like the A.J. Memorial Chapel was to balance system design with aesthetics by maintaining the clean look of a traditional New England chapel. “Considering no existing rigging was in place, previous touring groups always had to ground support arrays or utilize speaker stacks on the stage, taking up real estate on the stage and providing a disproportionate amount of SPL to the front section. Several months into the design stage, we came up with a rigging platform that would provide us with great flexibility to accommodate system demos and fine–tune array placement during the install. With limited weight capacity of the rigging platform, the NEXO GEO S12 Series provided an aesthetically pleasing install while maintaining intelligibility and musicality.” The complete system includes 14 white GEO S1210 boxes and 14 GEO S1230, four NEXO RS15 white subs, four NEXO PS8 speakers and two NXAmps 4×4 and one 4×1.

“We were all very impressed with how the GEO S12s made it all the way to the back of the room and remained warm and clear even under the balcony,” notes Gosselin. “Since this building has a wide range of audio demands ranging from traditional services, full theatre productions, and full concert applications, it was extremely important to get a box and design that would fit the bill. The NEXO rig delivered the sound to the room in a very specific and predictable manner, which helped to cover the listening area evenly and keep as much reflection off of the hard surfaced walls as possible. Lloyd Kinkaid, Yamaha design specialist, and his knowledge of NEXO’s GeoSoft was a huge time saver and allowed us to play around with SPL and pattern options before the first GEO S12 box was hung. Most importantly, it was accurate, with the end result reflecting what was predicted on our laptop! To an audio contractor, Lloyd and GeoSoft are a very powerful source of knowledge, instrumental in getting it right the first time.”

For the upper balcony, MFI Productions chose to hang two NEXO PS8 speakers to the ceiling to help restore any high frequency loss after the 100 throw. “Despite their small size, Gosselin says, the PS8 puts out an amazing level of full frequency sound. The asymmetrical high frequency horns allowed us to dial in coverage to both the upper and lower sections of the balcony without throwing extraneous sound on the back wall and added just a little extra sparkle at the very top of the balcony…Perfect!”

MFI also installed an Aviom Pro16 Digital Snake, Aviom Pro 16 Personal Monitoring System, Sennheiser IEM300 G2/G3 Series, Sennheiser Antenna Combiner, Professional Wireless Helical Antenna and Low Loss cable, Sennheiser “It was a pleasure to work with MFI Productions on both the demo and install as they were very accommodating when it came to partnering with us on the install. Our students had the opportunity to get some real hands–on experience flying and installing our tour–grade system. Now that the new system is installed we finally have an audio system that is up to par with the rest of the video, projection, and lighting capabilities.”

Historic Gibson’s Bookstore Expands with Ashly

Gibsons_Bookstore_ExteriorGibson’s Bookstore opened in Concord New Hampshire in 1898 and has been a cornerstone of the community’s cultural and intellectual milieu ever since. Seizing on the revitalization of the city’s historic downtown, owner Michael Herrmann recently moved the bookstore down the street to the first floor of a brand new five-story office building. At 10,000 square-feet, the move more than doubled Gibson’s floor space and incorporated the newly-acquired Imagination Village educational toy store. The fact that it was new construction gave Herrmann the opportunity to design the store to his exact specifications. Included within those specifications is a sophisticated sound reinforcement system that will gracefully accommodate events of varying sizes and styles. A single, two-rack space Ashly ne8250.70pem eight-channel 250W network amplifier with an on-board Protea™ DSP processor is paired with four Ashly neWR-5 wall-mounted remote controls to form the cost-effective heart of the new location’s flexible, easy-to-use sound system. Factory-installed microphone preamp inputs complete the amplifier package.

“The old location was small enough that a simple, consumer-type sound system could do the job,” explained Rick Elliott, production manager at MFI Productions, the firm that designed and installed the new sound system at Gibson’s Bookstore. “When the owner was looking over the plans with designer Kat Whouley of Books In Common, he realized it would take something more high-tech to do it right. He wanted the flexibility to accommodate any type of event, but he also wanted to make sure that his staff could operate the system intuitively.” Herrmann stopped in at Concord’s Capitol Center for the Arts (literally right across the street from the new location) for recommendations, which led him to MFI Productions. The firm worked with Herrmann for an entire year to ensure that the sound system they installed would be right in every respect from the beginning. After all, they had the opportunity to install it while the building-to-be was still nothing more than steel and concrete.

As the design evolved, the number of zones grew from just a few to eight. Separate Pandora music boxes allow different content to play in the children’s section, the main floor, the café, and the on-hold phone system. A handful of line and microphone inputs accommodate a simple acoustic music setup, a presentation, or a lecture. Two outdoor speakers handle the café’s outdoor seating area, while Twenty-four Electro-Voice Evid C8.2 coaxial ceiling speakers cover the bookstore and are zoned so that speakers can be either muted or used for events of various sizes in either the children’s section or the main section. Since it was easy to install during construction, Elliott ran a few extra input lines that the store can grow into if needed. Four Ashly neWR-5 network wall-mounted remote controls placed at strategic locations allow staff to intuitively select zone inputs and control the volume in each zone.

A single, two-rack space Ashly ne8250.70pem provides all of the necessary microphone preamplifiers, input processing, I/O matrixing, and loudspeaker processing, along with eight channels of amplification at 250W per channel into 70V.

“The Ashly ne8250.70pem was the right solution because of its simplicity and flexibility,” said Elliott. “It could do everything that the expanded Gibson’s would require, and, when paired with four Ashly neWR-5 wall-mounted remote controls, could deliver that functionality in a way that would be transparent for the staff. When you consider that the two-rack space ne8250.70pem is handling all of the processing and amplification for the entire store, its cost is more than fair.”

To help with the evolving system use, the IT contractor allowed Elliott to get through the bookstore’s firewall so that he can make adjustments to the ne8250.70pem from anywhere in the world.