Wenger’s Transcend™ Introduces a New Era of Active Acoustical Solutions
I’ve spent my career at Wenger creating acoustical solutions designed to enhance the sound of live performance spaces all over the world. We are proud of our decades of experience in live acoustics, our broad range of acoustical solutions and our track record of quality craftsmanship and service. Today, we have announced the Transcend™ Active Acoustic System, a groundbreaking system we’ve created in partnership with the audio experts at HARMAN, an industry leader in digital signal processing technology that creates digitally enhanced acoustic environments in any venue. This fall, we’ll be unveiling the first installation of the Transcend Active Acoustic System at Wartburg College’s Neumann Auditorium in Waverly, Iowa.
Transcend gives facility managers the ability to enhance acoustic environments in virtually any space: performing arts centers, auditoriums, theatres, opera houses, arenas and worship spaces. For existing facilities, Transcend makes the performance space a multi-purpose venue without the need for costly and time-consuming renovations. For new multi-purpose facilities under development, the Transcend system offers a high-performance, affordable solution for acoustical flexibility.
Wartburg College: A Perfect Fit for Transcend Acoustical Solutions
When we learned that Wartburg College was considering further acoustical upgrades to its Neumann Auditorium, I knew it would be a perfect test for Transcend. Neumann Auditorium is a mid-century facility built primarily for religious services and lectures. For this reason, its acoustics are extremely “dry,” lacking the reverb needed for choral performances. Dr. Lee Nelson, Wartburg’s director of choral activities, has long wanted to improve Neumann’s acoustics so it could be a true multi-purpose performance space. With Transcend, Nelson and the Wartburg staff can tailor the room’s acoustics to fit any performance, from a full choir and orchestra to a solo pianist – something they’ve never been able to do before. The listening experience for the audience will also be energized throughout the entire venue – even in hard-to-hear sections such as under the balcony.
I’m sure your next question is: “That sounds great, but how does Transcend work?” The answer is through a process we call “active acoustics.” Microphones take in the direct sound in the room and send it to the digital signal processor, which creates a more reverberant space using strategically located speakers placed throughout the venue. Although the technology behind Transcend is complex, the user can switch between acoustic presets through a simple touch-screen interface. Suddenly, the acoustically dead Neumann Auditorium can sound as lively as a grand cathedral.
Developed with HARMAN
At first, Dr. Nelson was skeptical that our HARMAN-developed acoustical solutions would work as promised. To convince him, I took him on a tour of a Wenger installation of our technology at Wayzata High School in Minnesota. Hearing the students perform in a rehearsal room while hearing the acoustics of a much larger performance space, he was convinced Wenger’s acoustical solutions were the perfect fit for Wartburg and Neumann Auditorium.
We wanted Transcend to be the most advanced active acoustics system on the market. It’s been an honor to work with HARMAN, the world’s most respected audio technology company, in developing a product that offers better performance while making active acoustical solutions affordable to venues that might not have been able to consider a system like Transcend in the past. HARMAN’s advanced algorithms in digital signal processing, along with Wenger’s input on the design during development, make Transcend the most state-of-the-art active acoustics system on the market. Its efficient design makes it possible to do all this with only two-to-four installed microphones (as opposed to competing systems which can require dozens of mics). Transcend has it all: state-of-the-art digital processing technology, easier installations and greater value for the customer.
Transforming Neumann Auditorium with Transcend
With this installation, we will achieve the goal of transforming Neumann Auditorium from a dated, problematic facility to a showplace for Wartburg College’s music programs. For the first time in years, the band, orchestra and choir can put on shows like their annual homecoming and Christmas programs together in the same venue. Transcend also makes it possible to perform classical pieces composed for choir and orchestra, which had to be avoided in the past due to concerns about sound quality. Thanks to Wenger and HARMAN, Neumann Auditorium will offer musicians and audience members a performance like they have never experienced before.
Great performers demand the best from themselves, and facilities that support their art with the proper acoustics can elevate those performances to the highest level. Supporting the arts with the best in equipment and acoustical solutions has been the vision of this company since Harry Wenger founded it over 60 years ago. I believe Transcend is an important new chapter in our company’s history, and a new standard in performing arts acoustics. I can’t wait for you to hear it.
Check back for more updates on the installation at Wartburg and other upcoming Transcend events.
Denny Meyer, Acoustics Product Manager, Wenger
Denny has played a key role in developing advanced acoustic products during his 30-year career with Wenger. He has been a frequent speaker nationally and regionally on the topic of music facility planning. Denny is a former music educator and an accomplished musician with a passion (and an ear) for exceptional acoustics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.