- About Us
The Facility: The Dallas Zoo, located on 106-acres just 3 miles south of downtown Dallas, is the oldest and largest zoological park in Texas. It is home to over 1,800 animals and 406 different species of animals.
Dallas Zoo Management Inc., which runs the Zoo, strives to give their guests something new each year by adding a new feature. For 2012, the Dallas Zoo proudly presents, Koala Walkabout, a $750,000 exhibit featuring kangaroos, wallabies, emus, kookaburras, colorful lorikeets, and, of course Koalas - the first time koalas have ever been exhibited in Dallas!
The Challenge: When the Dallas Zoo first called Premier Audio & Video about the new outdoor audio system for the exhibit, the most important hurdle was time; the exhibit was set to open to the general public in 14 days. The commercial audio project called for an outdoor audio system to power music throughout the new exhibit, playing Australian themed music on a looped CD. The Zoo staff also needed smaller speakers and wireless microphone capabilities in two additional areas, separate from the background music system, for what they call the "Keeper Encounter". The keeper encounter is when the zookeepers interact with the animals, and speak to the crowd using a wireless microphone system.
Our Solution: Since there was no conduit available, we began by wiring direct-burial outdoor 16/2 speaker cable around the exhibit. For the main commercial outdoor audio system, we decided on (4) four high-power NEAR series 70v speakers rated at 32-watts each. These speakers, with an 8" metal alloy, a hard anodized woofer, and a 1-1/8" pure titanium low diffraction inverted tweeter, are a great choice for a robust outdoor 70v audio system when sound and music quality is of utmost importance.
After a careful site-study, we decided that the best coverage of the area would be to mount a couple of the larger, outdoor NEAR speakers in the trees close to the entrance, and a couple more at the peak of the main koala building. For power, we used the commercial-grade 70v Power-Vector mixer/amplifier from Bogen with over 250-watts of continuous power. The modular input bays are a perfect solution, giving the system the added benefit a being upgraded to multiple source inputs in the furture.
For the (2) two smaller commercial audio systems featuring the keeper encounter, we again decided to go with the NEAR-series outdoor speakers from Bogen, but we used the smallest models in the series. These small, round, compact speakers are specifically designed for small, enclosed spaces. Their high audio intelligibility and superb articulation make them ideal for music or microphoned situations, and the dense, molded speaker cabinets are made from a unique, UV-inhibited mineral-filled polypropylene, making them extremely durable and giving them excellent acoustic properties.
We also installed (2) two wireless microphone systems from Shure, featuring the PGX wireless system. These wireless microphone systems, with a range of up to 300ft, allow the zookeeepers to walk across the entire kangaroo exibit, interact with the animals, and speak to and educate the crowd about the exhibit. The systems also offer up to 8 hours of continuous use from 2 AA batteries, and their rugged construction allows for a reliable performance show after show.