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.