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Alpha Broadcasting's New Downtown Digs
The entire ceiling and HVAC ducting for the lounge is suspended with a 5' space between it and the floor above. The floating ceiling is mounted on shock absorbers and sealed with elastic caulk. The net result is nearly an STC 80 rating of noise isolation from the lounge to the outside, including the offices above.
Several large video monitors are installed along the lounge walls. Some are on the windows facing outward so people on the street can see the performance when the drapes are closed. A 55" monitor at stage right and facing the street is dedicated for Bing to use at all times.
To feed these monitors and record the performances, three HD video cameras and a Newtek TriCaster video editor, storage and switcher are used. Stage feeds are split to the front-of-house (FOH) mixer and the control room. All the audio and video is transferred to Bing, which archives all the performances.
There is also a green room next to the control room. Rear access is available from behind the building so performers have a more private entrance.
The Bing Lounge was the most expensive individual part of the project, costing nearly $1 million. The sound isolation issue in the Bing Lounge was not the only challenge faced during construction. When the floor plans were drawn up, the architects used as-built drawings as the basis of the design. When construction began it was discovered that these drawings were not completely accurate. Some ceiling beams were actually 5" lower than expected in a few places, so ceiling plans had to be modified. Also, some air ducts were not in the as-built locations, so some wiring paths had to be reconfigured.
The floor plate and building exterior skin had a 2" gap between them. This gap had to be packed with insulation and then sealed with a rubberized membrane to provide suitable sound isolation.
There was one undocumented element that worked to Alpha's advantage: Several in-place large electrical conduits (4") were already installed but not in use, so Alpha used them to save some expense.
Photos by Jeff Allen
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