The Nanyang Auditorium lies at the heart of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) campus. Capable of seating nearly 1750 people, the venue has been transformed by a pioneering installation of Yamaha’s AFC3 Active Field Control system, implemented for the first time in conjunction with NEXO loudspeakers.
While the Nanyang Auditorium was suitable for speech-related applications, it was less optimal for acoustic performances, suffering from an uneven distribution of sound. The university identified three major areas for improvement: for performers to hear each other better, for increased level from the stage to the audience, and for a better acoustic and aural experience for the entire audience.
Yamaha Music (Asia) proposed its AFC3 Active Field Control technology, an acoustic conditioning system designed to adjust and enhance the architectural acoustic characteristics of facilities such as performance venues, houses of worship, theatres and concert halls. AFC3, now in its third iteration, uses a hybrid modular regenerative technique that interacts with the venue’s existing acoustic behaviour. Once installed, reverberation changes can be made at the push of a button, allowing the performance environment to be adjusted almost instantly while delivering consistent sound to performers and audience members alike.
Although Yamaha Music (Asia) has installed three previous AFC systems in Singapore, Nanyang Auditorium represents the largest such install in Asia and is one of the top three in the world.
A total of 46 Yamaha VXC6W 6.5-inch and 42 Yamaha VXC8W 8-inch ceiling speakers have been installed for the main house, with a further 18 Yamaha VXC6Ws and 10 VXS5W 5.25-inch surface mount speakers covering the upper balcony, and another 46 VXC6Ws and 12 VXS5Ws for under balcony. Altogether, this constitutes the audience reverberation system.
Eight Nexo PS8 speakers and four Nexo LS18 subs act as the early reflection system, together with a further six Nexo PS8s on stage. Additionally, 22 of Nexo’s recently-introduced ID24i installation speakers onstage comprise an electronic stage system.
Each speaker has a dedicated amplifier, allowing individual delay and processing settings through the entire system. This requires 168 channels of Yamaha and Nexo Dante amplification, which involves a total of five Yamaha XMV8280-Ds, one Yamaha XMV4280-D, 10 Yamaha XMV8140-Ds, one Yamaha XMV4140-D, 10 Nexo NXamp4x1C with NXDT104 Dante network card and one Nexo NXamp4x4C with NXDT104 Dante network card.
Seven AFC3 core DSP units with FIR (finite impulse response) processing functions forms the heart of the system, signal routed through Dante network cards, with two Yamaha ICP1 intelligent control panels, Creston Wi-Fi remote control and Audix and Audio-Technica microphones.
“We worked hand in hand with the integrators Pave System, guiding the team through the AFC system and how to implement it,’ says Yamaha Music (Asia)’s Joseph Foo, who worked closely with Yamaha’s Japanese engineers and acoustic consultant Alpha Acoustics to implement the audio design.
The NEXO GEO D line array system installed in 2010 was still operating well, so Yamaha – which distributes NEXO in Singapore – offered the venue the service of retuning the system within the new acoustic environment; engineering support manager Val Gilbert travelled over from France to take care of it.
The Nanyang Auditorium has been transformed by AFC3, which will increase the types of events it can handle, giving more scope for musical performances in particular. “The auditorium is intended to be very multifunctional, and this will give it more flexibility,” says Lawrence Tan, assistant general manager, Yamaha Music (Asia). ‘AFC3 will be used for acoustic performances such as orchestras, piano recitals and choirs. Any live electronic music will be reinforced through the Nexo GEO D line array system, and the AFC3 will be switched off.’
The technology will also be used to improve acoustics for educational seminars and lectures held in the auditorium.
Thanks to Caroline Moss for her original article in Pro Audio Asia magazine. You can read it in full here http://nzp.me/a/GO/FWT
Watch our short video which explains the use of AFC3 in this venue.