Raleigh, NC - May 2013... For more than 170 years, North Carolina's State Capitol building has served proudly as a centerpiece of the city of Raleigh, and a focal point of state government. This classic architectural masterpiece, its majestic columns evoking ancient Greek temples like the Parthenon, has been a gathering place for generations of events, both large and small.
With this grand building as a backdrop, Pat McCrory was recently sworn in as the 74th Governor of North Carolina. Despite the familiar setting, McCrory's inauguration was the first to take place on the Capitol's South Lawn, with the stage looking out down Fayetteville Street, a vibrant thoroughfare that serves as Raleigh's ceremonial center.
With highly reflective marble buildings lining both sides of the street, the setting presented some daunting obstacles to speech intelligibility. "We were really concerned about the location," says Allin Foulkrod, President of Creative Visions. "It was a big challenge to reduce slap off the marble buildings, while ensuring great quality sound for all the areas we needed to provide it for."
To ensure that the attention remained squarely on Gov. McCrory, and not the sound system, Creative Visions selected the Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC Live steerable array. Two pairs of IC Live speakers were deployed on each side of the stage, creating an extremely low-profile system that delivered every word of the inauguration with complete clarity.
"We looked at a number of different speakers, and IC Live were absolutely the best solution," says Foulkrod. "The magic of the IC Live is that they have an incredibly low profile, and they are ground-supported. It was crucial for the TV shots that the ceremony not look technology-heavy - if you fly major speaker arrays it takes away from this, for obvious reasons."
The low-profile, tightly controlled sound, and high output of the IC Live allowed Creative Visions to fire them directly down a crowded street lined with reflective buildings, delivering sound cleanly to the audience while being almost invisible. "With IC Live, the speakers literally disappeared," says Foulkrod. "I produced the show, but when I went back and looked at pictures I had a difficult time finding where the speakers were in the press shots. That is an amazing thing, having been in the business for 24 years, to see something vanish like that into a crowd of thousands."
Foulkrod points out that no additional near fields or other fill speakers were required to deliver full sound coverage to the audience of thousands. "We were just shocked by the results, we were so pleased," he says. "The sound was fantastic - crystal clear, and with beautiful articulation. The comment made by the #1 TV station in town was, 'This was a production designed for television.' It's the best one they have seen in years."