New Meyer Sound CAL Anchors Voice Announcement System at Melbourne's Hamer Hall

Meyer Sound loudspeakers neatly fulfills both the hall's sound system design and acoustical requirements.

Following a two-year, $136-million inside-out redevelopment, Australia's

Arts Centre Melbourne reopened its Hamer Hall with one of the Southern
Hemisphere's largest and most sophisticated Meyer Sound systems. Featuring
the advanced precision beam steering technology in the CALT column array
loudspeaker-which began shipping this year-Hamer Hall is now outfitted with
147 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers operating in three modes tailored
to different acoustic and amplified events.

Inside the 2,464-seat Hamer Hall, two CAL 64 column array loudspeakers
provide exceptional intelligibility without exciting reflective surfaces.
These slender columns handle both emergency voice alerts and any speech
applications with orchestral concerts, such as narration or comments from
the conductor.

According to Nick Carroll, operations manager for sound at Arts Centre
Melbourne, the combination of CAL and other Meyer Sound loudspeakers neatly
fulfills both the hall's sound system design and acoustical requirements.
"We have small Meyer Sound MINAT arrays tucked away behind grilles for use
with some amplified events," he says. "For orchestral concerts, the MINAs
are not used and a solid wooden door slides in front of them. The adjoining
CALs then cover the stalls and many of the upper seats without hitting the
balcony front."

CAL features tight-packed high- and low-frequency drivers all individually
amplified and processed to accurately direct the sound to the listeners
while avoiding undesirable reflections. In some applications, CAL's
beam-splitting capabilities can be used to cover the main audience and
balcony seating while minimizing reflection from the balcony wall.

In Hamer Hall, the CAL systems are utilized in two modes. For limited voice
announcement and voice alert, the CAL beams have a 30-degree spread and are
aimed 12 degrees up. When used with the drop-down center cluster for
conductor comments or narration, the CAL loudspeakers have a 15-degree
spread aimed one degree down. These modes are activated through presets in
the hall's extensive control and distribution system based on the D-MitriR
digital audio platform.

"We have used CAL for a number of performances, and we are tremendously
pleased with the performance," says Carroll. "The frequency and phase
response are extremely flat, and the level difference between the front and
the rear of the stalls is minimal to the point of amazement."

While the CAL loudspeakers are always available, the setup for amplified pop
and rock events remains stowed above the louvered stage ceiling and drops
down only when needed. The main system comprises left and right flown arrays
of nine MILOR line array loudspeakers and one 700-HP subwoofer; a center
cluster of eight MINA line array loudspeakers; and four balcony delays each
with six M'elodieR line array loudspeakers and a single 500-HP subwoofer.
Five M'elodie loudspeakers and two 700-HP subwoofers supply wide-stall
coverage for each side.

For modest music amplification with the main arrays stowed, the six MINA
loudspeakers and one 700-HP hidden in each lower niche are augmented by four
MINA loudspeakers in the upper niches on each side. Rounding out the system
are 20 UPM-1P and two UPM-2P loudspeakers under the balcony and circle; and
three front-fill systems to accommodate stage extension and event modes: 15
MM-4 loudspeakers in "pit down" mode, eight UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers in
acoustic mode, and eight M1D line array loudspeakers in full concert mode.
The entire system is driven using the D-Mitri digital audio platform with 12
processing and I/O units, offering a total of 102 outputs. FOH and monitor
consoles are DiGiCo SD7 with dual engines to run in mirror mode.

In addition to concerts by the Melbourne Symphony and Australian Chamber
Orchestra, Hamer Hall has been booked for shows by the Cape Town Opera,
Rufus Wainwright, Macy Gray, the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, and the
folk rock band America.
Lead sound system consultant for the Hamer Hall project was John Alekna of
Marshall Day Acoustics. The in-house team participating in system design
included, in addition to Carroll, Frank Ward, Peter Ripon, Simon Austin,
David Harvey, and Chris King, with additional contributions by Meyer Sound
Design Services. The system was commissioned by Bob McCarthy with assistance
from Chris Braun.

Principal architect for the Hamer Hall redevelopment was Ian McDougall of
Ashton Raggatt McDougall Architects, and the builder was Baulderstone.

Family owned and operated since 1979, Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. designs
and manufactures high-quality, self-powered sound reinforcement
loudspeakers, digital audio systems, active acoustic systems, cinema sound
systems, and sound measurement tools for the professional audio industry.
Founded by John and Helen Meyer, the company has grown to become a leading
worldwide supplier of systems for theatres, arenas, stadiums, theme parks,
convention centers, houses of worship, and touring concert sound rental
operations. Meyer Sound's main office and manufacturing facility are located
in Berkeley, California, with field offices and authorized distributors
located throughout the USA and around the world. Meyer Sound is a registered
trademark of Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.

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