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Ryman Auditorium Upgrades Audio System with JBL VTX-A12 Line Array

The integration team from the Nashville office of Clair Brothers, led by Regional V.P. and famed front of house engineer Dan Heins, recently completely a complete audio system upgrade at the world-renowned Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2,362 seat National Historic Landmark, referred to as the "Mother Church" of country and blue grass music, is known by musicians of all genres for its traditional acoustic character. After a lengthy design selection process, Clair Brothers was selected to install the new system. Having installed the previous JBL Vertec system, the team at Clair Brothers already had a wealth of experience and a long relationship with the facility and the Ryman audio crew.

The previous system consisted of both ground-stacked arrays, as well as flown arrays, with fills on stage and under the balcony. After acoustically modeling the room, the new JBL VTX-A12 line array loudspeaker was selected for the main house system, flown in a single stereo configuration, complimented by a flown array of JBL VTX-S28 subs. A set of JBL VTX-F35 speakers were also flown to add additional coverage to a very small section on the extreme outer edge of the seating area. Due to the design and acoustic characteristics of the room, there were many elements that needed to be addressed by the new system. One of the most important being the under-balcony area, which covers almost half of the floor space of the building. In order to create an optimal listening experience, Clair Brothers had to essentially create a completely independent system, while still complimenting the main arrays. To accomplish this task, the team installed several arrays consisting of the JBL VT4886 mini line array loudspeaker, along with a single JBL VT4881 subwoofer. The arrays were installed utilizing custom-fabricated hardware designed by Clair Brothers, which allowed the arrays to not interfere with the sight lines from anywhere in the under-balcony area. Several additional JBL VT4486 boxes were also used as audience fills, located on the downstage edge of the stage.

The entire system is powered by Crown i-Tech 4x3500 amplifiers. In addition to JBL's custom tuning and processing for the system, JBL's Performance Manager software is used for system tuning and monitoring during shows. Lastly, several BSS BLU series DSP processors were installed to handle audio routing throughout the building. With custom control pages created within the HARMAN Audio Architect software, the Ryman audio crew has the ability to set the system up for guest engineers, as well as controls for the building's distributed system and other ancillary audio controls.

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