NEWS

Newfield High School

Newfield High School

Main auditorium of Newfield High School where AVL Designs Inc. were contracted to design new stage rigging, lighting, audio, video and do acoustic room corrections.

Newfield High School’s auditorium was an outdated facility housing a very active theater group. In fact, people at the highest levels of the school administration have contacts who work in theatrical productions in New York city. Those pros come in to operate shows at New Field High School.

 Newfield High School needed an update!

AVL Designs Inc. was contracted to design new stage rigging, lighting, audio, video, and make room acoustic corrections for the auditorium. The architect was tasked with raising the height of the fly space to make it more usable for productions, as well as adding a balcony and enlarging the entire seating area of the auditorium. 

Large video screen in the Newfield High School Auditorium - part of the renovation design completed by AVL Designs Inc.

The resulting changes to the room are striking, not only visually but functionally as extensive system improvements have been made.

Control boards for the sound, lighting and video at Newfield High School auditorium

Lighting has been enhanced with LED lighting fixtures as well as additional moving heads. The new audio system is a dramatic improvement. It includes an Allen & Heath D live digital console, expanded wireless microphone inventory, a new sound system Mains, subwoofers, over and under balcony fills and stage monitoring are included.

Theatrical renovations were made at Newfield High School.

An electronic stage orchestra shell was added to enhance sound on stage as well as in the house using proscenium loudspeakers to expand the coverage of the electronic shell into the seating area. 

The stage fly space was raised in height and all new counterweight rigging was designed using brick house technology. Although a FOH catwalk is part of the project, it could not be properly located to provide good lighting positions to the pit area. A motorized  FOH batten was included  just below the  catwalks. This batten is populated with moving heads, allowing flexible for forestage lighting.

Large video screen in the Newfield High School Auditorium - part of the renovation design completed by AVL Designs Inc.

The new video system is a utilizes an HD laser projector with Crestron controls. Projection is made to a 298” diagonal screen. An HD PT Camera provides video feeds to green rooms and streaming.

Note: Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 problem, their first show was canceled. As a result, photos of the room were taken with the disarray of an abandoned building, being evident in all of the photos. The cast and crew were told to “leave the building and don’t come back” and they hastily left everything behind, just as it was during their show prep and rehearsals. We hope to get better photos of the room when all of this subsides.

Read More

AVL Designs Inc. Featured on ProSoundWeb

NY-Based AVL Designs Inc. Deploys Yamaha AFC On Numerous Projects Over Several Years

Acoutical designers and engineers at Ciminelli Recital Hall  at Buffalo State University
Audio engineers working with performers in Ciminelli Recital Hall at Buffalo State.

Reprint from ProSoundWeb article April 23, 2020

Company principal/owner, Seth Waltz, reflects on the evolution and application of acoustic room conditioning technology on a range of projects.

Seth Waltz, a principal and owner of AVL Designs, a Penfield, NY-based firm specializing in A/V system design for performing arts, theater, worship, and several other applications, has worked closely with every version of Yamaha Active Field Control (AFC) acoustic room conditioning technology for more than 15 years.

He’s seen numerous changes in each of these applications, with traditionally high-end technologies being applied to smaller environments.

“Auditoriums with a few speakers and a microphone were once considered high-end A/V rooms,” he notes. “Now these same venues are being outfitted with million-dollar technology. The digital era has created a whole new mindset where a performing arts center, even at the school level, is looking for a higher level of everything: acoustics, sound quality, video quality and streaming. It’s all tied together.”

His first experience with AFC and its ability to configure and condition a space came in 2004 when he and his associate Geoff Nichols were invited by Yamaha to a system demo.

“We walked into what looked like a large office space with drop ceilings,” he explains. “A pianist backed by a string quartet performed for us with AFC applied to the room. If you closed your eyes, you would swear you were in a 500-seat theater. It sounded extremely natural. We got to play around with the system and we soon realized this is the future of room acoustics as far as having the ability to modify a facility as needed.”

AVL Designs Inc. first implemented the AFC system on a design project in 2005, turning a “plain Jane auditorium” into what sounded like a completely different sonic environment and drawing rave reviews from the project owner as well as the musicians who performed there.

Waltz points out that AFC technology has improved greatly over time, especially in terms of its processing and responsiveness. He’s also suggested new system developments such as an “orchestra shell”, allowing him to configure the stage as opposed to just the seating areas.

“With most of our jobs now, we’re simulating the performance of orchestra shells as well as covering the seating area and early reflections,” he says. “Now that the processors have become so powerful there’s no limit to what type of space AFC can fit. We don’t have to even think twice about metallic edging or other factors. It sounds so smooth that nobody seems to know it’s there.”

Waltz noted the only challenge to a successful AFC installation is a room with a high degree of mechanical noise, more common on projects that are updates to an existing space.

“You can’t have background noise or anything that creates echoes,” he said. “You won’t hear the nuances of the reverberation. Plus, the microphones pick up the noise and cycle it back through the system.”

Waltz looks forward to future versions of AFC incorporating new features and capabilities suited to a diverse range of applications. These include using the system as an effects device or controlling it via a mobile device. AFC4 can be controlled using the Yamaha ProVisionaire Control app on a PC or Windows tablet as well as ProVisionaire touch for iPad. These two software tools allow customers to create customer user interfaces to control various Yamaha equipment to simplify system operation for non-audio professionals.

Whatever changes are ahead for Active Field Control, Waltz is already confident in the technology’s ability to handle any project challenge. “Often at the tail end of a bid, someone changes the seating and suddenly the space is absorbing a sound we didn’t expect,” he concludes. “Or, something may happen during construction where you end up with different frequencies or there’s some other problem you wish you could do something about. AFC fills in the holes and helps compensate for these factors.

I tell clients, ‘I can give you one room that does one thing really well, or I can give you a room that does several different things well.’ Accomplishing this with physical construction alone is limiting, but AFC is extremely flexible and able to make one room do the job of many. It’s such a great tool.”

Yamaha Pro Audio

Read More

University of Rochester Recording Studio at Gavett Hall


Popularity has its challenges. The University of Rochester, for instance, offers an audio and music engineering program which already had a couple of recording facilities on campus. With a vision for the future of the sound industry, and under the leadership of Grammy Award winning audio engineer Stephen Roessner, this rapidly growing major of study at the university needed new space.  

New recording studio in U of R’s Gavett Hall.

To accommodate the growth and development of the program, the U of R planned to install a new recording studio with larger live rooms, multiple mix rooms and a large control room for instructional purposes.

The building that was selected was Gavett Hall. The team of experts hired to carry out the task were AVL Designs Inc., SWBR architects and Bergmann Engineers working in conjunction with the U of R decision makers.

The greatest challenge in utilizing Gavett Hall for the studio is that the location put the live room directly above a computer lab in an existing building. Live rooms can have sound pressure in the 104dB + range when used for live bands. It was critical that these sessions could occur without the computer lab hearing it.

Source University of Rochester photo J. Adam Fenster

AVL Designs Inc. was contracted for acoustical design as well as creating an infrastructure for equipment to be added at a later date. Working with SWBR’s architect and their structural engineer, we had to find a way to assess what options we would have for controlling transfer between floors. A floating slab system was designed but it was being installed upon a substrate that was not the standard for this type of system.

Utilizing custom software, an estimate of field STC (Sound Transmission Class) for this assembly was derived. Walls were designed to isolate the live room from the main control room as well as from hallways and adjacent mix suites. High STC doors from industrial acoustics corporation were selected for all of these spaces as well. Final field tests confirmed that the floor to floor isolation was within two decibels of design standards, which with a custom assembly is exceptional.

Mechanical noise in the spaces needed to meet very low levels, in the RC 20 range. We also had to make sure duct runs and conduit did not create sound breaks in the wall construction which was designed to high STC levels.  This required specialized mechanical design and electrical.  Our AV design team worked with mechanical and electrical engineers from Bergmann Associates to achieve the desired results.

The university has since outfitted the spaces with their own equipment and have installed wiring to the infrastructure that was designed in the project and the project went online very recently.

Read Bergmann PC’s article here

Read University of Rochester’s article “The Art and Science of Sound” here

Read More

New Television Studio Facility at Edison Tech

As part of an expanded program to teach high school students production in the news and television arena, Edison Technical High School in Rochester, New York has added a new 4k-capable television studio facility.

New television studio facility at Edison Tech in Rochester New York.

AVL Designs Inc. created the design for acoustics, video systems, lighting, curtains and rigging.

The soundproof studio allows observers to watch the on-camera action through adjacent windows. An attached computer classroom with video editing CPU’s is available for students to edit and modify the content produced in the studio. See more =>>

Read More

LeMoyne College – Grewen Hall

Grewen Hall at LeMoyne College Syracuse NY

Grewen Hall at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York is the oldest – and largest – building on the prestigious campus. Built in 1948, the 86,500 square foot Grewen Hall boasts 17 classrooms, numerous administrative offices and lecture halls.

Acoustical and audio visual designs by AVL Designs Inc for Grewen Hall

AVL Designs Inc. has been working with Le Moyne College for a number of years on many successful projects including classrooms, medical wings, science buildings, performance spaces and other parts of the campus. This most recent project was a renovation of a large lecture hall in Grewen Hall.  AVL Designs Inc.  created the acoustical, as well as audio visual,  designs. 

Pictured here:  assorted wooden acoustical panels  – some absorptive, some reflective-  chosen for their excellence and unique functions. The extensive AV system features a Crestron control system and Panasonic projectors.       

Read More

State University of New York at Cobleskill

AVL Designs Inc. recently completed a multi-faceted project at the State University of New York at Cobleskill.

The project consisted of a renovation of a lecture hall and a gymnasium field house. The lecture hall space is now being used for more multipurpose events including music, standup comedy, small theater presentations and video conferencing.

SUNY Cobleskill auditorium renovation #acoustics #audio #lighting #rigging #design

AVL Designs Inc. was contracted by the architect to provide acoustic design, audio system design, stage rigging, curtains, lighting and controls as well as video presentation capabilities for their new lecture hall.

Before and after photos show you the extent of the renovation, which was substantial.  In essence, it was a “full gut” of the space.

The gymnasium/field house had two issues. One was extremely live acoustics making the room unsuitable for many uses. Graduation and other events are performed in the gymnasium and the sound quality was quite poor. The primary reasons for this were twofold. One contributing factor was the acoustical condition of the room and the other was the sound system itself.

The old system suffered from poor intelligibility due to comb filtering. This was a result of a poor design not poor devices. The new design includes Danley loud speakers which are used for both bleachers and general court area audio. A fully distributed system over the court is used for events such as graduation. Acoustical treatment has been added throughout the gymnasium to reduce reverberation time and to minimize first reflection energy from the sound system.

Both spaces were ready for use early this year and have been well received by the clients and their guests.

Read More