Boston's Symphony Higginson Hall

May 1, 2008
BOSTON, MA --Named after the founder of one of the country's greatest symphony orchestras, Higginson Hall is for more modestly scaled events, shows, a cappella singers, soloists, ensembles, and meetings with seating for up to 600.

In a recent audio update of the facility, the goal for Boston-based integrator Matrix 1 was to convert and upgrade the PA from an Announce system tied to the rest of the building to a multifaceted audio system with multiple zones and rooms.

As Project Manager Chaz Loews points out, "Higginson can be split into North and South zones, so we built a system for the hall in general and for separate rooms at the same time.

"We needed clear spoken word and high-quality musical reproduction," Loews continues. "So we used l6 Martin Audio AQ5's in a distributed system with three delay zones so they could use a podium or microphone anywhere in the room without feedback issues. One room gets six speakers and the other room gets 10. They can play the room any way they want to.

"Higginson is a rectangular room with columns every 15 feet in either direction and we basically put a speaker on every column facing to the back of the room. All of the AQs are all on arm pivots so they can be directed freely."

Depending on the event, a stage is brought in for the show. The system employs a Crestron switching system with a touch-screen and presets that make it easier to operate with a control for volume and selector for Room A or Room B, or both rooms combined.

There are multiple wall inputs for mic or line, and a BSS Soundweb is used to control and mix the PA with a Crestron controller interface. "If they need more inputs for a band or ensemble group, we bring in a small console and just plug into the line inputs when we do the sound," adds Loews.

Summing up, he concludes, "the system sounds great for what we put into it. We used very little processing; the AQ's really don't need much. It's a 100º box that covers evenly and the transitions are really nice."

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