For almost 150 years, the Queensland Museum in Queensland, Australia has been telling the story of the sunshine state through its history of people, culture, animals, environment, and geology. Whilst the museum houses many ancient artifacts and relics from the past, their new PA and paging system – comprising a range of products from Bosch, Dynacord, and Electro-Voice – is nothing but state-of-the-art.
Various parts of the museum have been enhanced by this new multi-zone PA system, including display areas, the external museum café, and the crowd-pulling dinosaur garden.
Consulting engineering firm Norman Disney & Young was responsible for the design of the new system, and prior to specification they conducted an acoustic assessment to determine the measures required to reduce reverberation time and increase speech intelligibility within the museum’s public areas.
A three-dimensional modeling approach using EASE electro-acoustic simulation software was adopted for the project. The 3D modelling allowed for greater flexibility and improved assessment of the complex and varied acoustic environment within museum’s public spaces. The system covers four levels and is controlled from three paging consoles at the reception desks on levels 1, 2, and 3. The entire system was designed and modeled with the use of EASE modelling for speaker selection and placement.
The structural characteristics and general usage were all taken into account when designing the system. High-performance, low-distortion speakers were utilized in highly reflective areas, with noise-level sensing utilized in noise-prone areas.
Integration and simplicity of use were the key client requirements for this installation. A full paging system was integrated using systems from Bosch, Dynacord, and Electro-Voice. An EV NetMax N8000 functions as the core DSP, integrated with a Dynacord ProMatrix system. This includes a DMM4650 Digital Message Manager, which allows the client to record several messages and play them back at the press of a button via any of the three DPC4550 Digital Paging Consoles also installed. A DTI-2000 Digital Telephone Interface is also integrated, enabling the client to dial-in and page through the system when away from the building.
Like many museums, the venue is acoustically challenging, being constructed in reflective surfaces such as glass and marble, with solid concrete walls and ceilings, and polished floors.
”NDY did a fabulous job in selecting both Bosch and Electro-Voice loudspeakers to suit these spaces,” remarks Bryan Davidson, Bosch senior engineer, permanent installations. “They specified seventy-five EVID C8.2HC high ceiling speakers, and EO Design, who installed the system, made nifty custom brackets to mount them onto the ceilings.
”In other areas they chose Bosch pendant speakers, some of which EO painted black to match the ceilings. Bosch XLA column array loudspeakers were installed into various areas requiring very tight vertical pattern control. All speakers are powered through Bosch amplifiers.”
Electro-Voice RE90B boundary microphones are also being used in seven key areas, and are fed into the NetMax for automatic noise sensing and level control.
Davidson was extremely impressed by the quality of the install when he visited the museum to assist in commissioning and testing the installation:
“Out of about 150 speakers, I only found one that was tapped wrong, which is amazing!” he says. “Tuning the system was therefore very simple, as the correct loudspeakers had been chosen to suit the spaces. We didn’t have to worry about lots of reverberation and echo because the speakers were doing what they should in that environment.”