Framingham, MA, May 10, 2017 – Theater, music, dance and art — that’s all part of the portfolio of the Milburn Stone Theatre at Cecil College, the premier theatrical house in Maryland’s northeast region. In addition to its place on the campus, the Milburn Stone Theatre — named for the actor and college benefactor best known as Doc Adams on the classic western series Gunsmoke — produces over eight productions each season and also affords community organizations the opportunity to present their offerings in a state-of-the-art local venue. However, the theater faced the same challenges as many older venues: how to accommodate the more robust music and sound requirements of modern concerts and theatrical productions. The solution came in the form of RoomMatch® components from Bose Professional. AV consultant Convergent Technologies Design Group, Inc. and AV systems integration provider Lee Hartman & Sons, both locally based in Baltimore, combined to design and implement the new Bose RoomMatch system there, one that not only brings the theater’s sound to the cutting edge but also future-proofs it with a fully redundant, networked-audio signal path to the Bose PowerMatch® amplifiers.
The Bose RoomMatch system at the Milburn Stone Theatre consists of a single center cluster comprising five RoomMatch modules, with additional RoomMatch Utility RMU speakers used for both front fill and side fill. These are powered by three Bose PowerMatch PM8500N networked amplifiers. The setup is rounded out with four Bose Panaray® 310M speakers used as stage monitors, powered by a fourth PM8500N. The system, which is managed using Bose’s ControlSpace® ESP-00 II Engineered Sound Processor, uses three Dante™-compatible PowerMatch Network cards to connect the PowerMatch amplifiers onto a LAN, which also hosts the venue’s new Yamaha CL5 audio mixing console. Inputs from the stage are integrated into the network via two Yamaha R Series network interfaces.
“The Bose RoomMatch sound system was such a good fit for this theater,” says Bill Holaday, Principal and Project Manager at Convergent Technologies Design Group. “The coverage is incredibly precise, thanks to RoomMatch’s precisely tuned loudspeaker enclosures, which let us put the sound exactly where it’s needed and keep it away from where we don’t want it. It also interfaces, through the PowerMatch amplifiers and Dante, with the network, which makes it perform as well as it sounds. The staff at the Milburn Stone Theatre are all real audiophiles — they know what great sound is — and they really appreciate what the RoomMatch brings to the theater. It really can handle anything now.”
Jon Smulyan, Systems Engineer at integrator Lee Hartman & Sons, says the Bose RoomMatch was equally pleasant to install. “We assembled the frame first and then got it tied into the custom rigging structure. After that, using a manual chain hoist we were able to have the RoomMatch enclosures put in place in less than a day,” he says. “Simple and reliable. And once it was up there you could really understand how exceptional the RoomMatch’s horizontal pattern coverage is. It definitely surpasses what you can get out of a typical line array. In fact, that was a deciding factor in choosing the RoomMatch system — it really is the right tool for the application. All in all, it was a great outcome for a great theater.”
The venue’s schedule is heavily weighted towards musical productions, which puts a heavy emphasis on sound quality. “When you look at our schedule, it’s like a six-to-one ratio of musicals versus dramatic productions,” says Bob Denton, the Milburn Theatre’s Technical Director. “We’ve won awards for our musical productions, and we wanted to keep that level of achievement up. So after we did an upgrade to our lighting system a few years ago, the sound was the next thing to work on. We wanted sound to match.” And it does — Denton says the Bose RoomMatch system has the Milburn Theatre sounding better than it ever has in the five years he’s worked there. “The RoomMatch has modernized our sound, giving us what we need to be able to do justice to the latest Broadway shows. It just sounds great.”
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