Located on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, the William D. Mullins Memorial Center is home to the school’s Minutemen and Minutewomen basketball and ice hockey teams. As a 10,500-seat arena, the arena can also host a wide spectrum of other events. But, live shows and commencement ceremonies have very different audiovisual needs compared to a playoff game. The venue needed a revamp of its sound system to properly accommodate these sudden changes to how the facility is used. Since Acentech designed the original sound system 20 years ago, we were the natural choice for the project.

As a system designed for athletic functions, the original set-up had to be capable capable of high volume levels for music playback and announcements. But, this centralized configuration obstructed set design capabilities for visiting parties. To resolve these issues, Acentech used specialized software to model a distributed sound system, which needs a greater number of individual speakers much smaller in size to the original, large center cluster. These loudspeakers can be turned on or off to tailor the system coverage to the needs of each particular event. Additionally, we worked with the fire alarm contractor to supplement the existing fire alarm system with the new sound system in case of an emergency evacuation. Now, whether it’s a rock show or a hockey tournament, the Mullins Center sound system has better speech intelligibility, coverage, frequency response, and overall output.

Acentech made sure to make this update user-friendly. It includes an easily operable control system that can be used by both amateur and skilled operators alike. Keeping the future in mind, Acentech installed an audio processor capable of expanding to deal with upgrades to the ancillary systems.

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