CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - West Texas A&M University put about a half million dollars into updating the Mary Moody Northen Hall to top of the line quality.
The music director at the school says it’s the first concert hall in the world to have this technology.
They installed an adjustable system designed by WTAMU alumnus Jay Purdue.
“It’s not digital, it’s not mechanical in any way, it’s yeah, it’s not a computer adjusted sound," said WTAMU Music Director Dr. Robert Hansen. “It’s the real sound, and the room is adjusted to accommodate the sound that you want.”
The sound of the room is manipulated by moving acoustic and sound absorbing panels.
“These units are adjustable, and they are adjustable in zones so that we can actually achieve something close to 10,000 different acoustic environments in this hall,” said Dr. Hansen.
This is an important feature when talking about the safety of the musicians and the audience.
In the past, when bands were playing, the sound was so loud from the echo that the audience would have to plug their ears.
“It’s a risk for hearing loss, so we wanted to make sure that we created an environment that is safe for our student performers on our stage, and the bonus of that, of course they are protected, but the quality and experience of the audience is going to be far superior,” said Dr. Hansen.
The new acoustics also help when trying to hold class in the auditorium. A microphone is no longer necessary to hear, and the sound is heard clearly, so you can understand each other easier.
A band director in Canyon whose students played in the concert hall says this update takes away echos in the concert hall, making it easier to hear what is being said and conduct class.
There will be a concert in September to show off the new acoustic capabilities.