Case Study

Purdue’s Elliott Hall of Music Wanted A Great Sounding Hearing Loop

Client: Purdue University Hall of Music Productions   

 

Venue: 6,000 seat theater with two balconies. Wide range of performances, including rock music, pit orchestra, musicals, and the spoken word.

Challenge 1: The pure size of this theater makes it a challenge for all types of sound. The long-distance from the stage to the back row could cause delay/echo issues between the hearing loop and the live audio. If not properly addressed a person would hear the loop audio first, then a moment later an echo from the acoustic sound. This would create a very poor listening experience.

 

Solution: Thunder Hearing & Sound designed a system with nine different zones so that the live audio would always be in sync with the hearing loop. This is important to maximize speech understanding and when done correctly creates a very inclusive feel when using the hearing loop.  We worked with the theater staff to test and decide on appropriate delay offsets which helped to determine the correct number of zones for the system. The end result is a system in which the hearing loop is always in the same time as the live audio. Therefore, when open fit hearing aids (that don’t block acoustic sound) are used, the live sound and the hearing loop sound blend perfectly for great clarity and sound imaging.

Challenge 2: Single-coil pickups, most commonly found in electric guitars, can interfere with hearing loops and create feedback both in the hearing loop and in the sound system. This theater regularly uses electric guitars and asked us to design a system where this wouldn’t be an issue.

 

Solution: Because we do virtually all loop system modeling in-house, we were able to provide a system design that utilized cancellation loops tuned specifically for guitars in this theater. We have found that while there are many hearing loop designs that utilize cancellation loops, they rarely work effectively for electric guitar use. Therefore, at Thunder Hearing & Sound we design our systems specifically for guitar use both in the modeling phase and often with additional custom tuning on-site. Because we do virtually all loop system modeling in-house, we were able to provide a system design that utilized cancellation loops tuned specifically for guitars in this theater. We have found that while there are many hearing loop designs that utilize cancellation loops, they rarely work effectively for electric guitar use. Therefore, at Thunder Hearing & Sound we design our systems specifically for guitar use both in the modeling phase and often with additional custom tuning on-site.

Results: Not only was this installation the largest theater hearing loop in the United States, but it also might be the best sounding hearing loop in the United States. The staff at Elliott Hall of Music are excited to extend their high standards for sound quality to all users ensuring clear sound for all. “What AHS’ hearing loop technology does is deliver that same sound quality to those with hearing impairments, rather than just pumping up the volume. And it makes a huge difference, says Stephen Hall, retired Director of Elliott Hall of Music Productions, a hearing aid user. “Until you hear a performance using hearing loop technology, you can’t understand how much better it is,” he said. “And it’s equally important for musical, theatrical and spoken-word performances. The same principles of different sound registers and frequencies apply, and the benefits are equally impressive for either kind of performance.”

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Thunder Hearing & Sound

847 South Randall Rd.

#218

Elgin, IL 60123

Phone & Fax: 855-566-7488

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