Tag: indoor audio

Technomad Reports High Customer Satisfaction

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BOSTON Technomad LLC, a leader in weatherproof loudspeakers and audio systems since 1995, announces new survey results based on a recent poll of approximately 7400 customers worldwide. While the company’s trademark weatherproof construction and rugged design for harsh environments were cited as main reasons for buying Technomad by most customers, superior audio quality was cited by nearly as many customers as the chief benefit of Technomad loudspeakers.


“Many customers noted in the survey that Technomad loudspeakers are the only real weatherproof option on the market,” said Rodger von Kries, vice president of Technomad. “What we also noticed was that ‘increased sound quality over other brands’ was noted nearly as often. Most importantly, 94 percent of those surveyed said they would recommend Technomad to other professionals.”

A cluster of four Technomad Viennas installed at Kalama High School in Washington State. AVX Northwest provided the installation.
A cluster of four Technomad Viennas installed at Kalama High School in Washington State. AVX Northwest provided the installation.


The survey was open to a variety of Technomad customers, from consultants, design engineers and systems integrators to equipment dealers and end users. Many customers that cited audio quality as a main reason for purchase were as drawn to the musical reproduction of the loudspeakers as voice intelligibility. Technomad loudspeakers are designed to ensure that low, mid and high frequencies are all reproduced in a superior manner for any kind of installation, both indoors and outdoors.


Sound contracting for permanent installations, sound rental, and end user applications for school sports, cruise ships, theme parks, churches and music venues were among the most popular applications cited in the survey.


Technomad offers eight IP56-rated loudspeaker brands, many of which are available in the company’s popular Turnkey PA systems that also include a signal processing rack with a six-channel mixer, amplifier, dynamic microphone, cables and connectors. The company also recently began shipping two game-changing products to its portfolio: The Schedulon automatic mp3 player and recording system, and the PowerChiton series of compact, networkable weatherproof outdoor amplifier modules.


Technomad has also been lauded recently for its green efforts, switching to 100 percent recycled plastic for its black loudspeakers, and altering its manufacturing process to enable RoHS compliance for all products now shipping into Europe.


Please contact Technomad at 617-275-8898 or visit http://www.technomad.com for more information.

Technomad Turnkey PA Systems Provide Coweta County with Pristine Audio

Three separate systems broadcast audio across Fairgrounds and Conference Center

 Technomad LLC, a leader in weatherproof loudspeakers and audio systems since 1995, announces that the local government for Coweta County Georgia in suburban Atlanta is using three Technomad Turnkey PA systems within its Fairgrounds and Conference Center.  The organization recently installed two 70-volt Turnkey systems inside the Conference Center for events covering 6,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, delivering intelligible voice and high-quality musical audio to attendees.


According to Tom Corker, Administrative and Operations Director for Coweta County Georgia, the new Technomad 70-volt systems replaced a poor quality in-ceiling audio system.  The decision to upgrade to Technomad was partially based on the longevity of the outdoor Turnkey PA system in operation since 2004 at the W.C. Adamson Horse Arena, an uncovered horse arena show ring with large spectator and concessions areas.

 “The outdoor system has been untouched since installation five years ago, and has reliably projected clear voice and music to every corner of the arena,” said Corker.  “So it made sense to go with Technomad when it came time to upgrade the Conference Center systems.  These systems have performed exceptionally well in an acoustically challenging environment.  The 70-volt configuration indoors also simplified system design and installation, allowing us to daisychain multiple loudspeakers together to accommodate longer runs.”

The 70-volt Turnkey PA systems are specifically designed for restaurants, retail spaces, and other facilities that need a technically superior indoor system or a rugged, weatherproof PA system to extend new or existing indoor system to outdoor areas — all powered through a single amplifier.

The two Coweta County Administration systems feature a total of 10 Technomad Vernal loudspeakers, which can be linked together for large events; or divided into two separate systems (six and four Vernals, respectively) to provide audio in two different rooms depending on the size of the audience.  Each system is powered by a separate Technomad Turnkey PA signal processing rack featuring an amplifier and six-channel mixer, and also includes a dynamic microphone, cables, connectors and additional rack space for source equipment.

The outdoor Turnkey PA system is a fixed install system that includes three Technomad Noho C loudspeakers as well as an amplifier, six-channel mixer, wired microphone, wireless microphone, cables, connectors and additional rack space for source equipment.

“The weatherproof design has been critical for the horse arena system, as Coweta County gets hit with hard rains and very hot summers,” said Corker.  “The Nohos are black and absorb a lot of heat without problems while remaining unprotected from the elements.  And the audio quality remains unaffected.  Indoors and outdoors, the loudspeakers project very well and reproduce low, mid and high frequencies very clearly.  We never have to worry about anyone not hearing music or a presentation regardless of their distance from the loudspeakers.”

Please visit Technomad at the InfoComm show, taking place June 17-19 at the Orange Country Convention Center in Orlando, (Booth #5940).

Technomad Loudspeakers Bring Clear Game Day Audio to High Schools and Colleges

AVX Northwest completes two Technomad athletic installations in Washington that brave the rainy elements outdoors and also provide crystal clear audio indoors

BOSTON, February 17, 2009 Technomad LLC, a leader in weatherproof loudspeakers and audio systems since 1995, announces that AVX Northwest, an AV equipment dealer, consultant and installer based in Centralia, Washington, has completed two Technomad Turnkey PA school installations in the Pacific Northwest.The Technomad installations, at Saint Martin’s University of Lacey, Washington and Kalama High School of Kamala, Washington, provide substantial athletic sound system upgrades on the campuses indoors as well as outdoors.

“The reliability and durability of Technomad loudspeakers outdoors is renowned because of their weatherproof design, and the voice projection and musical quality is also very much appreciated in this industry,” said Mark Abbott, Founder of AVX Northwest. “That audio quality and reliability translates phenomenally indoors, especially in gymnasiums for live sports, concerts and other events. Indoors, we typically hang the loudspeakers on ceiling rafters and direct the loudspeakers so that there is an even pattern coverage across 360 degrees.The handoff from one loudspeaker to the next is virtually unnoticeable.”

A cluster of Technomad Noho loudspeakers in the Kalama High School gymnasium provide 360 degrees of audio for sports and concerts
A cluster of Technomad Noho loudspeakers in the Kalama High School gymnasium provide 360 degrees of audio for sports and concerts

Technomad Turnkey PA Systems typically include between two and four Technomad weatherproof loudspeakers, a 6RU signal processing rack featuring an amplifier, mixer and CD player, a dynamic microphone, and all associated cables and connectors to form a complete PA solution.Both campuses received Technomad Turnkey PA systems for various outdoor and indoor venues.Saint Martin’s University is sharing the signal processing rack between three venues, transporting it between a baseball field and fast-pitch softball field.

Abbott installed seven Technomad Paris 616 loudspeakers between the two fields: four for baseball, and three for fast-pitch softball.He installed the loudspeakers behind the backstops and along the first and third base lines to ensure clear coverage to all areas.Technomad’s new loudspeaker yokes were used to hang and support the loudspeakers, providing plenty of flexibility to shield the loudspeakers from line drives and position them for the best possible audio directivity.Abbott ran wiring to a lockable, vandal-proof box by the scorekeeping booth, where an operator can plug in and turn on the system for immediate operation.

Three Paris 616 loudspeakers project clear voice to spectators by the fast-pitch softball field at Saint Martin;s University
Three Paris 616 loudspeakers project clear voice to spectators by the fast-pitch softball field at Saint Martin’s University

Kalama High School purchased two fixed Turnkey PA systems for its multi-purpose outdoor stadium and gymnasium, where basketball and volleyball games and school concerts are held.According to Abbott, the multi-purpose outdoor stadium for football, soccer and track previously relied on a horn system that provided poor sound quality and fell into disrepair.Abbott installed four Nohos on the back rafters and wired the system so that the Turnkey PA rack is simply connected to pre-configured cable runs that descend through the press box ceiling.The result is a reliable, plug-and-play installation.

“The projection of the Technomads gives you more than any horn system could offer for voice, but the bigger difference is the bass response and music quality,” said Abbott.“Most of the announcers are male, and horns cannot precisely reproduce the male voice because of the lack of lower end.And bass reproduction is very essential for today’s music, which is especially important for football games and practices.”

Close-up of a Technomad Paris 616 installed in the baseball stadium at Saint Martin's University. The athletic department shares a Technomad Turnkey PA signal processing rack between the baseball and softball fields.
Close-up of a Technomad Paris 616 installed in the baseball stadium at Saint Martin’s University. The university shares a Technomad Turnkey PA signal processing rack between the baseball and softball fields.

According to Bruce Rader, school board president at Kalama High School, the Technomad system was part of a larger upgrade to the outdoor stadium that also involved a new turf and a paint job.“The old horn system sounded horrible; cheerleaders wanted to play music through it and it didn’t work.The four Nohos reproduce music very well and cover the entire stadium, from the home to visitor stands and across the field to each end zone,” he said.“Inside, we were using 20-year old loudspeakers, and Mark also recommended four Nohos.We thought that might be overkill, but the sound is loud and clear without coming across as overpowering.They sound incredible.”

Abbott added that the weatherproof aspect is highly important to withstand the consistent rain and dampness of the Pacific Northwest region, and the occasional weather-related curve ball.“This winter, we have had record amounts of snowfall,” he said.“To have a loudspeaker I don’t have to worry about out in the elements says it all.

“But the simplicity of this Turnkey PA System is that Technomad has done all the work,” added Abbott.“They wire the amplifier, mixer and take care of all the cabling in advance.Everything is self-contained and it is an excellent system for schools and colleges that are on a limited budget but want the versatility that comes with being on the go and supporting multiple events.”

The Ultimate Art Installation: Technomad @ the PS1 Contemporary Art Center

New York-The Museum of modern Art and the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, with the help of Technomad loudspeakers, presented New York’s Young Architects Program for the second straight summer.

The Young Architects Program series gives emerging architects, artists and designers the opportunity to build projects conceived for P.S.1’s facility in Long Island City, Queens. The year 2000 debut installation, an architectural landscape for summer relaxation, was created by the esteemed New York-based SHOP design firm.

The site featured a number of ways for revelers to experience a summer oasis within an urban backdrop. Visitors could socialize, sunbathe, wade in pools, and walk through a spray of mist while listening to live musicians and DJs pumping out progressive music through Technomad loudspeakers. Technomad’s flagship Berlin 15 loudspeaker, a high power two-way full-range cabinet, was used along with two Technomad Chicago 15 subwoofers to provide the bulk of the sound for the summer oasis installation.

Technomad was also well represented at the P.S.1 indoor art installations, including the “Volume: Bed of Sound” exhibit. The “Volume: Bed of Sound” consisted virtually exclusively of audio pieces and sound installations and is thought to be the least visual exhibit at P.S.1 to date.

Technomad’s two-way, full-range, coaxial Noho C loudspeaker was used for presentations for “Bed of Sound” by a number of noted artists, including Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakomoto, Muhal Richard and Sonic Youth. The Noho was also incorporated into a historical work by Walter Murch which featured effects tracks from the feature Apocalypse Now.

The Technomad Noho C contains a coaxial 12″ low frequency driver and 1″ compression driver providing unparalleled musicality and voice intelligibility. The Berlin 15 is equipped with a 2″ high frequency compression driver and a 15″ low frequency driver. Like all of the Technomad loudspeakers, the Noho, Berlin and Chicago are fully weatherproof due to their three-layer stainless steel WeatherTech grill, military-specification rotationally molded cabinets and self-draining construction.

P.S.1 was founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss as the Institute of Art and Urban Resources Inc. The center now operates two internationally renowned spaces for contemporary art in Long Island and Tribeca. P.S.1 is widely recognized as a defining force in the alternative space movement. P.S.1 functions as both a living and active meeting space for the general public.

Club Med Cancun Goes High Tech

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in the October 2007 issue of Lighting & Sound America.

Club Med Cancun Goes High Tech

Brian Galante

The 2005 hurricane season will go down as one of the bleakest in history, as the list of named storms became so long that forecasters turned to the Greek alphabet. Hurricane Wilma, the last storm from the traditional alphabet, tore through the Gulf of Mexico early that fall, settling on top of the Yucatan Peninsula and barely moving for 48 hours. After making its exit, some of Mexico’s most famous resort areas, including the city of Cancun, were left battered and faced with a long period of rebuilding.

Club Med Cancun, with its shoreline location, was just one of many resorts that sustained heavy damage from winds, rain and an unrelenting storm surge. The club took the opportunity to rebuild its lighting and sound infrastructure along with much of its resort, favoring high-fidelity audio products and a lighting system that was easy to operate yet technically advanced enough to produce the right atmosphere in each room.

The family resort offers a variety of clubs and restaurants to satiate both kids and adults. The open-air design through much of the resort presented many challenges for the audio integration team, which had to balance the desire for high-end audio throughout the club with the reality of Cancun’s harsh weather environment.

We have done plenty of installations in tough environments, but we have never run into environment as harsh as Cancun, said Bill Weir, Owner of Core Audio. Our challenge in these outdoor areas was to install loudspeakers that could sit in the bright sun and survive the ultraviolet degradation, not to mention the humidity and mineral content in the air the latter of which contributes to rapid corrosion. This all adds up to a highly challenging installation, unlike in any region I’ve experienced.

The Core Audio team, in cooperation with Whump Sound, a Los Angeles based dealer specializing in audio installations, led the systems integration. The central equipment room houses a Digigram digital distribution system that routes audio to eight zones, a combination of indoor and outdoor venues, each with a distinct personality. Technomad loudspeakers were selected for all open-air venues, partially due to the true weatherproof design of the loudspeakers. These venues include a mix of restaurants, bars and entertainment areas plus the valet greeting area in front of the resort.

The indoor areas used two other speaker brands: Altec Lansing for in-ceiling installations where architecturally required, such as in the gymnasium and the late night restaurant Las Cazuelas; and Core Audio’s self-designed loudspeakers for The Soluna, the main indoor dance club. The installations play to the strengths of each speaker, but all share one thing in common according to Weir: outstanding audio quality.

The broad dispersion pattern on both the Technomad and Core Audio loudspeakers require fewer loudspeakers per room. The wider audio dispersion eliminates the phasing issues that are common in large installations, where too many loudspeakers cause an uneven sound in certain areas, or a wishing sound as the patron walks through the sound field.

Many resorts of this size put budget over any other consideration when choosing equipment, and the audio reproduction at the end point is anything but musical, said Weir. Club Med Cancun uses a 24-bit distribution system that plays back high resolution audio files, and that fidelity is well represented in each zone due to the choice of loudspeakers. Core Audio uses a patented subwoofer technology that produces very high audio quality, and we were interested in working with Technomad because we wanted musicality in the outdoor zones. The range of products that can withstand the Cancun environment is very limited, and Technomad meets both the musical and environmental requirements.

The outdoor club environment in tropical locations poses difficult weather related challenges for audio integrators, notably ultraviolet susceptibility to loudspeakers, said David Meyer, Commercial Sales Manager for Technomad. While the weatherproofing aspect is important, it has to sound good regardless of the environment. You can deliver the most rugged, bulletproof speaker, but you don’t have anything if the speaker produces poor audio quality.

Audio distribution is handled over Ethernet, with numerous fiber optic hops across the resort property to extend distribution past the 328-foot limit of the Ether Sound protocol. The eight zones (expandable to 16) are interchangeable, meaning that a music stream can be changed to a different destination point through a simple switching system. Since Club Med Cancun is a family resort, the Digigram network also offers a paging system. Digigram ES220 two-channel transceivers are installed at each end point and can receive two channels of Ether Sound audio from an Ethernet stream. The pages can override the audio stream on the two-channel, mono audio design utilized in most zones.

Music streams can be localized to specific zones, or routed to all eight zones simultaneously. The resort leases a proprietary music servicing software that plays out from a central server in the control room and communicates with the Digigram system for distribution. On-site audio engineers can use Soundforge and Wavelap programs to produce personal CDs in the control room, and can interrupt the automated stream to any zone if they want to play the DJ role.

I’d say the most unique aspect of this project is the routing system, said Diaz. The Digigram system is powerful enough to interact with multiple speaker brands, and gives the on-site operator plenty of flexibility in playback. Even though we operated under a very tight deadline, the entire system came together in a very seamless manner.

The central indoor club is The Soluna, which offers an adult-oriented club environment typical of downtown Cancun. The music in this room is played back through Core Audio loudspeakers, with lighting courtesy of iDesign Productions out of Miami. The Core Audio loudspeakers deliver sound pressure levels of an active nightclub at a higher quality level than is typical due to several design features. A custom subwoofer with a quarter-wave resonant system extends the bass, and special two-way, non metallic coaxial compression drivers smooth the mid and high ranges. The loudspeakers are installed in a traditional four-corner configuration, the ideal setup for the enclosed, air-conditioned room.

The Soluna’s lighting system as set up by iDesign employs a scheduler for two different settings: House and Lounge. The programming is more intricate on the House setting, with more aggressive LEDs and stimulating, rapid lighting changes. The Lounge setting is gentler, with soothing, subtle changes. The programs change slightly by the hour on automated settings, and are barely noticeable to guests. The entire system uses an astronomical clock to calculate the exact time of sunrise and sunset each day.

The lights in the Soluna are very subtle for the first hour and add color and depth as the evening progresses, said Michael Meacham, Owner of iDesign Productions. A typical progression may add teals, magentas and ambers as the programs change. The automated settings also take the staffing situation into account. Since many of the employees work on a six-month term, it’s important they understand how to use the system. So we designed to be as foolproof as possible.

Meacham served as the lead designer and installer, bringing a team to the resort and focusing on key areas one at a time as the rebuilding process moved forward. His team integrated a Color Kinetics control and software system with LEDs as the foundation for the Soluna, with installations inside the bar and within soffits in the ceiling. Color Kinetics LEDs were also installed in an outdoor entertainment area that serves multiple purposes .Martin Mac 250 Kryptons and Washes were added throughout the Soluna for articulation.

The outdoor entertainment area, known as The Chispa, offers a movie theater and a performance area with an exceptional A/V and lighting system. The central kiosk area is peppered with palm trees that are lit using Color Kinetics color blasts. The LED fixtures for each palm tree are automated using a Martin Light Jockey control system, with 220 volt power lines providing juice to each palm tree. Like the Soluna, the lighting for this zone is customized to match the event, and can be manually operated on theme nights using a small 8-button switcher. Martin 250 Kryptons and Washes were also installed in the theater area.

We programmed white, stoic lighting for the palm trees on certain nights, but there are other theme nights that benefit from more intensive lighting, said Meacham. This outdoor area features an island where the resort hosts a circus that includes a giant trapeze. We took more creative liberties here: The colors move quicker, and the intention is to recreate the feeling of approaching a carnival. Whether you are inside having dinner, hanging out at the Chispa kiosk or having a drink at the pool bar, these lights are designed to invoke emotion as you look toward the island and see this giant, gorgeous structure lighting up the atmosphere.

The Chispa movie theater is perhaps the most unique aspect of the resort, and according to Weir, a one-of-its-kind system. The integration team painted one side of a three-story hotel building on the resort with retro-reflective, high-gain paint. Guests can sit on the beach or on bench seating in the pool area to watch movies projected onto the building.

A triple DLP 5000 HD projector, mounted in a protective cage on the beach, projects a 30-foot wide, 15-foot tall 16:9 aspect ratio image. Guests can take advantage of a Sennheiser RF headphone system with a broadcast range of 300 feet to watch the movie undisturbed, while those who want to enjoy the ambience can do so without the audio dominating the atmosphere.

DJs and performance groups can also take advantage of this outdoor entertainment area. A pair of Technomad Berlin loudspeakers was purchased for mobile events, and plug in to rack systems on the performance stage. The dedicated control room features an Allen & Heath GL2800 front of house mixer and processing equipment to assist with these live events.

The remaining room-to-room breakdown of Technomad loudspeakers include: The Pergola, a beach bar that features four Noho loudspeakers hung 9 feet above the crowd and two Chicago 15 subwoofers at two corners along the baseboards; eight Vernals in The Chispa and Las Velas, the pool bar; and Noho and Vernal loudspeakers in the valet area, which play back low volume music as guests enter the resort. Crown DSI series amplifiers are used to power the audio in each of these zones, offering full parametric EQ, crossover functions and basic signal processing. (A Rane RPM88 DSP is used to power the Core Audio loudspeakers in the Soluna.)

The Berlins were specifically chosen for mobile events because they are high quality, full range portable loudspeakers that can be used anywhere on the resort at a moment’s notice, said Weir. They offer a full range of sound with excellent bass response and a very nice tonal quality that is ideal for DJ sets. In the Pergola, the Nohos produce enough sound pressure levels at 1 a.m. so that people who want it loud can turn up the volume, but still produce a full, pleasing sound at lower volumes. This was the same idea we had for the Vernal 15 installation in the pollapa, with a higher emphasis on producing clearly audible sound at low levels for conversational situations.

All power and electricity issues were resolved in the early stages, although there were plenty of challenges. Meacham had an easier go of it with the lighting system.LED technology requires very little power, which makes our job that much easier. It is entirely possible that one of the four Mac 250 lights in the main bar took more power than the entire LED display in that zone, he said.

The audio installation proved far more complex, from the cleanliness of the power coming into the resort to more common grounding issues. We had to resolve numerable electrical engineering issues ahead of time, from improper load balancing in the main three-phase transformer to adding clean technical earth at multiple entrance points, said Weir. We removed a lot of the audio on common phases with large inductive loads, like refrigerator compressors. We also custom built resident filters with some of the power lines to filter out harmonics generated from motor noise in the AC system. It was pretty much a nightmare situation that required a lot of troubleshooting.

The electricity issues proved to be the only real undesirable aspect of the project, and the end result has been pleasing to everyone involved.

Contractors may view this as a standard design in terms of audio and lighting, and it is similar to what you see today in theme parks and large corporate installations, said Diaz. But the resort community seems ready to catch up.