Founded in 1982 and located at Pier 86 on the West Side of Manhattan, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s mission is to promote the awareness and understanding of history, science, and service. The museum is built into and around the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, which served tours of duty in World War II and the Vietnam War and was a recovery vessel for the Gemini and Mercury space missions. The museum also displays the space shuttle Enterprise, some of the world’s fastest jets – including the British Airways Concorde-and the only guided missile submarine open to the public.
Delivering compelling exhibits and programming to more than a million visitors a year requires state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. To provide an updated, first-class A/V experience for its 247-seat Allison & Howard Lutnick Theater and other areas, the museum turned to Metro Sound Pros of Washingtonville, New York. Metro Sound Pros designed and installed a system based on Symetrix Radius-series DSPs provided by A/V technology-solution manufacturer representatives Cardone, Solomon & Associates.
“The Lutnick Theater is a multipurpose space for movie playback, sound reinforcement, panel discussions, press events, and screening of feature films,” comments Cardone, Solomon & Associates Regional Sales and Product Manager Richard Trombitas. “It integrates multiple audio sources and multiple wireless microphones.”
The theater features an NEC-1600 digital cinema projector, a 28 x 16-foot screen with 16:9 aspect ratio, and Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound and accommodates Blu-ray, DVD, and computer input, as well as microphones.
“The design concept was to create multiple presets for the different functions and to simplify I/O expandability,” adds Metro Sound Pros Senior Designer Leo Garrison. “Thanks to the Symetrix Radius DSP’s processing power, we were able to easily accommodate the theater’s multiple uses.”
The Lutnick Theater’s new system employs a Radius AEC, which provides a complete audio AEC solution in a single box, with dedicated wide band processing, zero-latency direct outputs, scalable 64×64 Dante networking, and input from mic/line or internally routed signals. It comes with eight AEC inputs, four aux inputs, and eight outputs and can be expanded with any Symetrix audio I/O option card. The Radius AEC in the Lutnick Theater is equipped with Symetrix xIn 12 and xOut 12 Dante-enabled analog expanders.
“Utilizing Dante-enabled Radius products satisfied multiple needs that occur within the ship’s audio visual department,” asserts Trombitas. “Any future needs the ship may have with regard to expansion or new concepts that come up from the A/V staff can now be easily addressed.” “With the everyday changes on the Intrepid, the choice of Symetrix was beyond ideal,” agrees Garrison. “The Symetrix family of products simplified the expandability currently needed and moving forward.”
As attractive as Lutnick Theater is, with its plush seating, advanced A/V capabilities, lighting, staging, and more, it’s by no means the only part of the Intrepid Museum that benefits from Symetrix processing. “We also installed a Symetrix Radius 12×8 EX DSP down in the Welcome Center, which has a restaurant, and that DSP also serves the exterior pier,” details Garrison. The Intrepid pier offers direct access to the Hangar Deck and Flight Deck and provides a versatile and park-like space for corporate picnics, concerts, festivals, seated dinners, and many other types of outdoor events.
The Symetrix Radius 12×8 EX DSP features a configurable input/output option card slot, 64×64 scalable Dante, 12 analog mic/line inputs, and 8 analog outputs. “We installed the Radius 12×8 EX with xIn 12 and xOut 12 Dante-enabled analog expanders, and in addition to its other functions, it enables us to control all of the delays throughout the site,” Garrison notes. “Thanks to the Radius, the pier and the Welcome Center have powerful, networked A/V capabilities that we can expand as needed.”
With its many changing programs, exhibits, and event spaces, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is worth repeat visits. “We aren’t concerned about meeting future A/V needs as the museum develops,” observes Garrison.
“The Symetrix Radius-based systems we installed can handle anything the museum needs now and in the foreseeable future, and in addition to their features and expandability, the Radius DSPs sound great!”