Library Lions is the New York Public Library’s largest annual event and one of the most anticipated evenings on New York City’s cultural calendar. The 2016 event recognized outstanding artists and wordsmiths including Harry Belafonte, Hilary Mantel, Javier Marías, Peggy Noonan, and Colm Tóibín.
Held in the magnificent Rose Main Reading Room, production company L&M Sound & Light was tasked with providing Library Lions with audio in the acoustically challenging space as 78 feet wide and 297 long plus 52-foot-tall ceilings made for a very reverberant space.
To overcome such challenges L&M’s project supervisor, Maciej Zielik decided on a system comprised of two KR202 portable systems placed at the front of the stage paired with two KF12 stage monitors and 12 KR102 portable systems divided in half and lined both sides of the room.
“Our design and speaker placement was devised to focus all sound on the guests seated at their tables and to not allow any additional energy dispersion into the room,” explains Zielik.
The KR102 systems were elevated 4 feet off the ground and used without the speaker pole to minimize throw distance and limit low end frequency emission through coupling with the floor. And the 10-degree angle on the Kobra loudspeaker, the system’s head, allowed L&M to direct of the energy exactly where it was needed.
“We did not delay a single speaker because each speaker was its own sound system with a hard defined horizontal and vertical dispersion. You could literally jump up and hear the end zone of projected sound,” said Zielik.
“This method allowed us to create a u-shaped ‘living room’ sound experience for 500 guests in this large space. The sound was very natural and the speakers at the podium sounded almost unamplified yet could be heard seamlessly within the space the guests occupied.”
An 18-piece orchestra played from the balcony and their music was evenly spread throughout the room, making the acoustics very articulate and smooth to the ear. Which didn’t go unnoticed by the customer: “This is the best sound that can be achieved in this space,” said client David Beahm of David Beahm Experiences during the event.
L&M Sound & Light also provided the lighting for the Library Lions Gala for which designer Richard Tatum was in charge. Beahm was so satisfied with the team’s work that he followed up after the event to exclaim: “Your team killed it, kicked it and knocked it out of the park!”