NEXO M12 System Covers Auburn University's Outdoor Audio Needs
When Auburn University was building its new performing arts venue, the design team knew it needed a high-performance sound system that could withstand the elements for the outdoor amphitheater portion of the facility. The university found that combination in the NEXO GEO M12 loudspeaker system.
"Any outdoor space is challenging for sound coverage," said Taylor Dyleski, director of production at the Gogue Performing Arts Center at Auburn University. "But right from our initial tests it was clear the GEO M12 system was the perfect match."
The system includes 18 NEXO GEO M1210 cabinets for the left/right main arrays and six NEXO GEO M1220 cabinets for a center cluster and side fills. Auburn creates low-frequency impact using NEXO MSUB18 subwoofers with smaller ID24 cabinets deployed for front fills.
Wirebox Media delivered and configured the system in early fall 2019 with support from audio consulting firm Akustiks. The system has proven its ability to handle a diverse line-up of acts, starting with an opening day concert by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and followed by an ongoing schedule of university band concerts, campus events and local community productions.
Between events, the system is taken down and stored using the NEXO TUV-compliant AutoRig™, an integral rigging system with no external or loose parts and designed for easy assembly.
In addition to the NEXO speakers, the Auburn team uses multiple Yamaha digital mixing consoles including the CL5, QL5 and M7 models. This combination lets them take advantage of both systems' Dante network connectivity, having the P.A. interface with the consoles used across the campus.
"With Dante control, we can connect all our Rio stage boxes, the M12 system and mixing consoles and move them around anywhere in the PAC," Dyleski said. "We can bring any equipment inside or outside and it will still work, instead of needing two separate systems and complements of gear."
Chris Burke, audio production manager at the Gogue Center at Auburn, finds NEXO's NeMo system management software effective, especially with guest engineers.
"We had a group come in and I had the system zoned for left, right, center, front and side fill, all on separate matrices, assuming they would want control of all sends individually," he said. "After giving the P.A. a listen and liking the sound they heard, they decided to send only a left/right mix and let the NeMo software manage the crossovers and level settings. It was super easy to go into the app and reassign the outputs, and in seconds everything was where it needed to be and sounded the way they wanted."
Through the software interface, users can manage and monitor all P.A. parameters from an iOS device over a Wi-Fi network and from a Mac through a wired or Wi-Fi network.
The M12 speakers deliver durability and surface/cut-edge protection thanks to their polycarbonate cabinet construction. This unique material choice combined with Magnelis® coating on the grill makes them extremely weather resistant.
"These speakers have all the features we need and the durability to hold up to the elements, to the point where we're comfortable keeping them out in any kind of weather with the confidence they will perform," said Burke. "We had it up for a week for the venue's opening festival and one day it rained hard. We covered them as best we could whenever they weren't in use since we didn't want to take them completely down each night. They stood up through that rain and did a great job keeping water out."
Dyleski added, "In every way, this is the right system for this venue, giving us the perfect balance of performance, quality, coverage, headroom and value. It's a great all-around P.A. to handle our diverse schedule of events."