Known for efficient, focused, high-intensity workouts, Basecamp Fitness maintains three popular locations in Southern California and two in Northern California. High-energy music helps fuel workouts at these centers; at the same time, patrons need to hear their instructors clearly. That’s a lot to ask of a sound system, so when the old systems in the three Southern California locations proved inadequate, the company brought in respected Orange County, California, design/build firm Tekworks. Tekworks came through with a complete solution based on Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5 loudspeakers.
“We have been working with Basecamp Fitness over the past couple of years, perfecting the audio-video experience for their clients,” begins Tekworks Director of AV Dave Novak. “Intelligibility is the number one priority in these facilities. We need loud music so people can get into their workouts, and we need lots of low frequencies—that pumping bass. But above everything, people have to understand what the instructor is telling them. So intelligibility is key.”
As if the demands of intelligibility combined with high-SPL music weren’t enough, the spaces proved challenging. “Acoustically, these are terrible environments; it’s like a big metal box, with reverberant sound,” observes Novak. “The rooms have lots of mirrors, glass, and concrete and lots of metal on the ceiling. We try to control the space but when we can’t, we have to control the sound. At the first facility we did for Basecamp Fitness, for example, sound treatment was not an option. We knew from previous installations that Renkus-Heinz beam steering was what these spaces needed.”
Accompanied by Jeff Miranda, vice president of equipment supplier Pacific AV, Novak demoed a Renkus-Heinz IC Live Gen5-series loudspeaker at Basecamp Fitness’ Santa Monica facility. “We brought it in, set it up, and 80 percent of our problems went away with just a single speaker change because of IC Live’s ability to focus a vertical beam,” Novak recalls. “With IC Live Gen5, we’ve got nice, wide horizontal dispersion and the ability to focus vertical beams to keep sound off the ceilings. Some will come off the walls, and there’s not much we can do about that, but once we cut the ceiling out of the equation and steer the sound toward the floor, everything works great.”
Although Novak considered the Renkus-Heinz ICONYX series, he decided on the Renkus-Heinz IC-F-Dual-RN, part of the IC Live Gen5 series. “ICONYX is a great speaker when the sound pressure level doesn’t need to be that high,” Novak avers, “but this is essentially pretty close to a rock and roll venue. We chose IC Live Gen5 because it delivers the high SPL required. One IC-F-Dual-RN in the back of the space covers the entire space. We’re steering four beams, and we get even coverage, with the same SPL front to back. Everything is intelligible, it’s nice and loud, and the system looks great.”
IC Live Gen5 arrays employ a slim, low-profile enclosure that enables them to blend visually into the background. But while they may be all but unseen, they are most certainly heard, delivering up to 108 dB SPL of clear, clean audio from 80 Hz to 20 kHz. Horizontal dispersion is 150° up to 3 kHz and 120° above 3 kHz, providing the broad, even coverage Novak sought. The aiming angle can be precisely adjusted from -30° to +30°, enabling Novak to focus the beams exactly where needed in a challenging acoustical environment.