GREENVILLE, South Carolina -- Named after the Peace family, who made a generous contribution to its construction in 1990, the Peace Center in Greenville, SC, is a state-of-the-art performing arts campus boasting a multitude of venues and meeting spaces that welcome over 200,000 patrons annually. Currently serving as home to the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, South Carolina Children’s Theatre, Carolina Ballet Theatre and International Ballet, the center is one of the state’s primary beacons for cultural advancement and has hosted performances by everyone from Johnny Mathis, Natalie Cole, Bill Cosby, David Copperfield and Itzhak Perlman to touring Broadway productions of Phantom of the Opera and The Producers.
In an effort to ensure that visiting productions are sonically reinforced with the best possible fidelity, the center’s primary performance venue – the 2,100-seat Peace Concert Hall – was recently updated with the installation of a high-performance L-ACOUSTICS KUDO™ line source array loudspeaker system.
The impressive Peace Concert Hall is a grand opera-style hall complete with portico boxes on both sides of the room. Every detail, from the stage construction and acoustic materials to the seats themselves, has been designed to make the hall the ideal environment for the performance and enjoyment of the performing arts, so, needless to say, finding the perfect sound design to complement the facility was paramount.
Paragon Productions of Rock Hill, SC, was charged with the system design and install for the venue. Paragon President Alan Smith recalls the early design phase, “In the beginning, our client had us looking at doing just the left and right arrays, with the intention of completing the system in segments. We did demo rigs for the V-DOSC® and dV-DOSC, both of which were very impressive, but not exactly right for the space.” Of major concern to Peace Center Production Manager Shelby Wirt and Master Audio Engineer David Courreges were the box seats on either side of the venue. Fortunately, Smith had the answer, “KUDO,” he says. “I knew that was the way to solve this problem.”
Paragon staged a KUDO demo in the concert hall allowing Wirt and Courreges to listen to the enclosures on the orchestra plane as a true stereo system, then as a mono system covering the entire room from one side of the stage. This ability to make the comparison was very helpful as it allowed the facility to evaluate the system in various configurations. At this point Paragon knew it had made the right choice. “They were very impressed and we knew the system did what they needed at that point. Coverage-wise, because of the variable geometry, it also gave them something powerful that worked within their various requirements,” notes Smith.
Once the demo design was put into place, the Peace Center brought in Senior Consultant Jonathan Darling from the acoustical firm Kirkegaard Associates to review the plans. Darling was pleased with the KUDO array and added his recommendations to treat the balcony as a completely separate delay zone using L-ACOUSTICS dV-DOSC enclosures and to add ARCS® boxes as center fills.
The hard-working crew at Paragon Productions, led by Project Manager Kelly Bristow, did a full install for the final system, from the wiring and rigging to tuning and timing. The final system is comprised of six KUDO enclosures per side for the house with a six-box ARCS array for center-fill, four dV-DOSC per side addressing the balconies, and four SB218 reference subwoofers ‘on the deck’ – all powered by LA Series amps – plus the center’s 14 existing MTD112 and two MTD115 wedges for stage monitoring. “We’re a house full of L-ACOUSTICS, that’s for sure,” chimes David Courreges.
As for first impressions after the install was complete, “It made me very happy,” says Courreges, “Sonically, it just fits the space, from all of the various angles. Basically, our new system just rocks!” Alan Smith proudly echoes the sentiment, “We can say without a doubt that this is the finest performing arts center audio system for a circumference of many hundreds of miles. There is nothing in any of the regional big city venues that can approach this level of quality. We spent a lot of time working with our client on this project trying to find the perfect balance between quality and budget and I am thrilled with the outcome.”
Upcoming events at the Peace Center Concert Hall include performances by rock legend Peter Frampton, pianist/crooner/actor Harry Connick, Jr. and comedian Sinbad, as well as the touring theatrical productions of Spamalot, Avenue Q, The Drowsy Chaperone, Sweeney Todd and the 50th anniversary tour of My Fair Lady, straight from London.