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Lewis University’s Convocation Hall Undergoes Sound System Upgrade

FOH Staff • News • July 23, 2020

JOLIET, IL — Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis University purchased the St. Charles Borromeo property in the summer of 2013. This property adjoins the campus, and accommodates the increasing enrollment and expansion of its academic programs. The new location connects via a short walking path from the heart of the campus.

Extensive renovations were needed in order to fit the University’s needs. The current space includes multiple classrooms, meeting rooms, a dining room and residential living spaces. There are also multiple private offices, a chapel that accommodates up to 750 people, a small gymnasium and the St. Charles Borromeo convocation hall. Most of these areas have been significantly remodeled since the summer of 2014.

Metro Youth Symphony in the renovated Convocation Hall; photo by Lewis University Photo Club

Metro Youth Symphony in the renovated Convocation Hall; photo by Lewis University Photo Club

Lewis University, and its contractor Conference Technologies, consulted with Bag End Loudspeakers to improve the sound in the convocation hall. The hall is most often used for concerts, rehearsals and auditions by the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO). Bag End recommended some serious acoustical treatment for the hall. Moreover, they recommended two Bag End Crystal2-I mid-high speakers. These were pointed out to the main audience. In addition, two Bag End CDS-110’s were used and pointed at the front sides.

The mid-high speakers are mounted high up on the walls above and behind the stage, and the performers. Most importantly, good directivity and a flat response make this location possible. The front rows are very well covered without front fill speakers. There is no feedback problem even with the mains behind the performers and mics.

Perspective shot looking up at stage right P.A., with the custom Bag End bass column, Bag End Crystal2-I mid-high speaker (pointed towards the audience) and one of the Bag End CDS-110s (pointed at the side areas)

Perspective shot looking up at stage right P.A., with the custom Bag End bass column, Bag End Crystal2-I mid-high speaker (pointed towards the audience) and one of the Bag End CDS-110s (pointed at the side areas)

Further, two custom Bag End bass columns were spaced out in a sparse low frequency array. Each column is 24 feet tall with eight 12″ speakers. The columns are Infra processed down to 8 Hz using a Bag End INFRA-MXB processor. This provides even bass coverage at every location of the room.

Henry Heine, acoustical engineer from Bag End returned to the campus after installation to help tweak the system to ensure it met expectations.

Jim Wischmeyer of Bag End commented, “It’s pretty amazing how even and natural the coverage is from the stage on out. With light acoustic music the direct sound is heard slightly in front of the amplified sound so the source orientation and image to the performer is beautiful. The bass level doesn’t change by more than a few dB from standing on the stage in front of the bass column, to the middle or back of the room.”

Visit www.bagend.com for more information.

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