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Installed Sound Applications

The Hollywood Bowl's sound system upgrade completed

The Hollywood Bowl has started a new chapter in its 73-year life following a nine-month, $25 million construction project to replace the aging stage shell structure. The completion of the project also allowed Michael Cooper, Audio/Video Department Head at the venue, and Fred Vogler, L.A. Philharmonic Sound Designer, to finish upgrading the Hollywood Bowl's sound reinforcement system, which is controlled by six Lake Contour Pro26D digital loudspeaker processors. The Hollywood Bowl's newly installed Lab.Gruppen-powered L-Acoustics loudspeaker system is arrayed in a relatively simple LCR configuration.
One Lake Contour provides three-way control of the 10 V-DOSC cabinets located in the upper section of the left and right arrays, with a second unit handling high/mid/low frequency control of a lower eight V-DOSC boxes on each side.
A third Lake Contour controls the subwoofer systems suspended between the upper and lower sections of three-way cabinets on each hang. Four smaller, two-way dV-DOSC speakers below the main left and right arrays, which provide under-hung front fill coverage, are controlled by a fourth Lake Contour.
Supporting sample rates from 44.1 kHz to 96 kHz at 24-bit resolution, the two input, six output Lake Contour incorporate a set of powerful DSP-based EQ and processing tools, including crossovers, dynamics and delays, that allow the optimization of performance sound speaker systems. The networked system is operated from a PC or wireless tablet running user-friendly Lake Controller software.
"I'm pretty tickled by our experiences with the Contours and V-DOSC," says Vogler. "We already have a really great mic collection and lots of great mic preamps, and these are two more really great tools." Such is the coherency of the sound from the main stereo speaker system that it has so far not been necessary to implement the center array, he adds.
Two more Lake Contours are installed to optimize a single Sound Image G2 two-way cabinet positioned each side of the amphitheater to provide infill for the two audience areas that are shadowed from the main arrays by the video screen towers. As Vogler explains, it was preferable to use a single Lake Contour per side than to attempt to drive one of the G2 boxes from across the entire width of the 18,000-seat venue using a single Contour. Two additional Lake Contours are currently maintained as spares.
The Hollywood Bowl features an eclectic music program of approximately 80 shows each season. The venue is the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which is otherwise based downtown at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In addition to orchestral concerts throughout the season the Bowl also presents rock, pop, jazz, folk, and world music.
Lake Contour DSP Rack at the Hollywood Bowl"With the Lake Contours we have a pop and an orchestral setting," reveals Vogler, noting the ease and speed with which the audio system can be optimized for different types of music. Having started working with Lake Contour during last season's program, he says, "I'm now much more comfortable making changes on the fly with Lake Contour. I just walk around with the wireless tablet."
He continues, "In fact, when I apply overall equalization I do it on the Contours instead of on the outputs of the Yamaha PM1D." Immediately before the start of the 2004 season the eight Lake Contours were upgraded to fully digital I/O and are now driven directly from the digital mixing console. The new shell was designed by architects Hodgetts + Fung Design Associates. As well as bringing the venue up to current standards in terms of artist and technical amenities, the project was also intended to dramatically improve the shell's acoustics and create 30 percent more stage space to accommodate a full orchestra, while preserving the look of the former 1920s shell.
©  07/2004 pro-music-news
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