News & References
The town of Clinton, NY is the home of Hamilton College. Precision Audio Services has provided audio engineering services to the college’s Music and Theater Department for several years, and this spring the company heads up a sound system upgrade in Wellin Hall. The 700-seat hall has served as the central hub of music education and concerts for the college since its construction in the 1980s. The bare concrete and polished wood walls combined with flown wooden acoustic panels above the audience creates a highly reverberant environment—perfect for the hall’s original purpose of unamplified acoustic performances.
However, these properties that make the environment desirable for acoustic performances, also make sound-reinforced events a significant challenge. "With an RT60 of almost 2.5 seconds, achieving a clear mix and vocal delivery is typically a major source of frustration for visiting mix engineers,” says Michael Lawrence from Precision Audio Services. “Although to a large extent, this is simply the reality of working in such an environment, one of the goals for the new design was to increase the consistency over the space and minimize excess energy splashing onto the walls and other non-audience surfaces, both areas where the current installed system struggled."
Another design challenge was presented by the way the space is used – or, more accurately, ways. The hall hosts a wide variety of musical, theatrical, dramatic, and speech events that necessitate a large degree of flexibility, where the current system presented some limitations. “We have three different mix positions depending on the needs of the show,” explains the venue’s Technical Coordinator, Bill Di Paolo. “Sometimes we are driving press feeds, live stream feeds, backstage zones, and we need a way to pull those feeds off the console without the operator having to jump through hoops. Another thing that’s been a bit of a problem for us is that the current mains are dead hung, so there’s no way to get to them for maintenance if there’s an issue. We had to swap out a bad box last year and it turned into a whole labor call just to get the box down to the deck to be worked on.”
The system design is far from the traditional install-patch approach. “Sometimes I have to adapt to things very quickly, on the fly, and in the past that’s been a challenge where we couldn’t get physical access to a loudspeaker, or all the signal flow was happening in the back of a rack somewhere with no easy way to get signals in or out of the rig at various points in the chain,” Di Paolo notes. “For larger events, we typically have a dedicated sound engineer but often it’s just me trying to handle multiple things at once, or we have a student operator, and so we need to be able to get to things easily.”
Starting from the console outputs, the new system design approach allows quick and easy changes before or after the processor, all the way to the loudspeaker positions themselves. No punch-down connectors in the back of racks – all the system patch points were brought to the front of the drive rack in a custom XLR patch bay system from Elite Core Audio, resembling more of a touring rack design mentality. I knew of several DSPs that would have been an appropriate fit for this project, but settled on an Allen & Heath AHM-64, which I felt offered the “best of both worlds” between a typical install-type free-wire DSP and a more live-oriented fixed-structure DSP.
An A&H IP6 controller sits next to the mixing console, configured for quick access to mute/unmute the entire PA plus dedicated mute and level controls for the ADA assistive listening system, the backstage 70-volt system, and the press send. These feeds are derived from the console mix and accessible via the patch bay, so providing a press send is as simple as plugging in a cable and turning a knob to adjust for the mic or line level requirement of the press equipment.
The main PA hangs presented some issues as well – the existing hang point locations didn’t allow for the hangs to be lowered for maintenance due to the proximity of the loudspeakers to the hall’s architectural elements and lighting fixtures. "We decided to move the hang points onstage about 18 inches, which would further the clearance away from the side walls to allow the arrays to be freely raised and lowered. It required the creation of new points via custom-length bridles between existing steel. This enabled the system to be lowered for maintenance or simply have the trim height adjusted for various events. The standard trim height was chosen to be the best compromise of sightlines and coverage, while the chain falls gave the option to lower and re-splay the arrays for theatrical events in this space – something not achievable in the past." Lawrence explains.
Der Cannstatter Wasen ist neben dem Münchner Oktoberfest eines der größten Volksfeste in Deutschland. Auch beim Wasen stehen in den Zelten die Zeichen klar auf Stimmung und geselligem Beisammensein bei Musik jeder Art. Schon zum zehnten Mal betreute das Unternehmen SOUNDLINE Ton+Lichttechnik mit Inhaber Robert Reichle sowohl beim Wasen wie auch alljährlich am Frühlingsfest das Göckelesmaier Festzelt. Im mehr als 4.000 Menschen fassenden Göckelesmaier Zelt setzte Robert Reichle in bewährter Weise auf Audioequipment von RCF: so wurde auf der Hauptbühne das Line Array System HDL 30-A installiert, das durch zahlreiche TT-Module, die im gesamten Zelt verteilt waren, unterstützt wurde.
Robert Reichle, Geschäftsführer von SOUNDLINE Ton+Lichttechnik, erklärt, warum er auf RCF setzt:
In 1932, Sulim Kadyrov was convicted by the authorities for teaching the Holy Quran and religion of Islam. For his actions, he spent 14 long years in the Gulag camps.
The grand opening of the mosque took place on August 21, 2020, with the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov attending as a special guest. The celebration coincides with the 69th anniversary of the birth of the first President of the Chechen Republic, hero of Russia, Akhmat-Khadzhi Kadyrov.
The air volume of the hall, taking into account the under- and upper- balconies, is about 14,000 m3, with a total surface area is 6360 m2. Acoustic calculations were measured by the computer modeling software AFMG EASE. The sound system covers the entire premises of the prayer halls (the main prayer hall and two halls on the basement level), providing optimal intelligibility as required.
Since there are no intelligibility standards required in Russia, ARIS engineers used external scientific publications about acoustic standards in mosques, including those carried out by ARIS, and with the support of the Acoustics of Halls, inside the Research Institute of Building Physics laboratory (RAASN). According to these studies, taking into account the volume of the main prayer hall, the optimum reverberation time for RT60 in the frequency range of 500-1000 Hz should be from 1.9 to 2.2 seconds. "Since there were no possible adjustments to the original finish, the challenge to reach the optimal RT60 was difficult," comments Alexandr Shamray, Head of Sales at ARIS. "To achieve good intelligibility, the Speech Transmission Index (STI) must be around 0.60, for excellent transmission, or more. Taking into account the extremely high resonance of prayer halls and the lack of a meaningful reduction using acoustic absorbers, we focused on intelligibility parameters. Relying solely on controlled directivity and quality of the sound system we worked on reaching 0.50-0.55 (or higher)".
Die Anlage sollte die Beschallung des gesamten Parcours vom Start bis zum Ziel ermöglichen, über eine Länge von 800 Meter Luftlinie. Fabio Frate und sein Team hatten sich für eine strategische Lösung entschieden: „Um lange Kabelwege zu vermeiden, haben zwischen dem Technikraum der Liftanlage und dem Regieraum am Ziel das Neutrik Xirium Wireless-System eingesetzt. Eine bereits vorhandene symmetrische Leitung entlang der Sesselliftanlage ermöglichte zudem die Kabelverbindung zu den Lautsprechertürmen am Start.“
Das System war inklusive eines Tages für die Einrichtung an fünf Tagen 8 Stunden ununterbrochen in Betrieb und die ganze Zeit über auch nachts (und bei Schneefall) montiert. Zum Schutz kam lediglich das Regenschutzzubehör für die Eingangssektion an der Rückseite der Module zum Einsatz. „RCF hatte uns garantiert, dass wir das System sorglos einsetzen könnten, da alle Teile wetterfest ausgelegt sind und auch bei Minustemperaturen einwandfrei arbeiten. Und so war es auch, obwohl die Temperaturen nachts bis zu -25° erreichen.“ Zusätzlich zur Beschallungsanlage hat Frate Professional auch eine Outdoor-LED-Wand mit 3,9 mm Pixelabstand zur Videoübertragung installiert. Video und Audio liefen hier perfekt synchron.
In den letzten 20 Jahren traten die Cincinnati Bengals gegen ihre NFL-Rivalen im Paul Brown Stadium an, einer Arena mit 65.515 Plätzen, die schon immer großen Wert auf die Leistung und Qualität ihres Audiosystems gelegt hat. Bekannt durch Gigs von Künstlern wie Kenny Chesney und Guns N' Roses, ist das PBS, wie es von den Fans genannt wird, der Meinung, dass der Sound, der sich durch die Stadion- und Sitzbereiche zieht, auf allen Ebenen den Erwartungen an ein Konzert gerecht werden sollte, sei es am Spieltag oder bei besonderen Veranstaltungen.
Zu diesem Zweck wurde ein dreistufiges Projekt zur Erneuerung des ursprünglichen, 20 Jahre alten Audiokonzepts des Stadions abgeschlossen, das am 4. Oktober vor einer reduzierten Zuschauerzahl debütierte, als die Bengals die Jacksonville Jaguars besiegten. Das neue System wurde von Durrell Sports Audio Management aus Nashville, Tennessee, entwickelt und implementiert. Es ist eine Mischung aus hochwertigen Komponenten, modernem Audio-Processing und maßgeschneiderten Lautsprechern, die von RCF in Italien speziell für die Anforderungen dieser einzigartigen Anwendung produziert wurden.
"Das Paul-Brown-Stadion ist in puncto Audio anders als jedes andere im Land", erklärt John Horrell von Durrell. "Jeder Aspekt seiner Spieltagsproduktion, von einfachen Durchsagen bis hin zur Musik, ist so live, wie es nur sein kann. Hier gibt es nichts, was auch nur annähernd an eine aufgezeichnete TV-Show erinnert. Als wir mit der Aufrüstung des Audiosystems beauftragt wurden, war es uns daher wichtig, ein System zu entwickeln, das echte Spitzenleistung auf Konzert-Niveau bietet."
Das Upgrade-Projekt wurde in drei Phasen umgesetzt, wobei die erste im Jahr 2018 startete und unter anderem neue Delay-Lautsprecher von RCF im Oberraung und die Vordachebene brachte. In Phase zwei wurden 2019 etwa 120 neue RCF-Lautsprecher im Unterrang und 70 weitere in der Vordachebene installiert, zusammen mit acht Doppel-21-Zoll RCF-Subwoofern auf jeder Seite der Vordachebene.
Phase drei des Projekts wurde im Januar 2020 bewilligt, so dass im Februar die Arbeit begann. Durrell arbeitete Hand in Hand mit United Electric aus Louisville, Kentucky, um das Konzept in die Realität umzusetzen. Als die Pandemie ab März weltweit die Arbeits- und Materialkosten in die Höhe trieb, hielt das Design- und Installationsteam mit Hilfe von Lieferanten und Herstellern, darunter auch RCF, konsequent die Bauzeiten ein.
The Florian Krygier Municipal Stadium located in Szczecin, Poland, is a football stadium with a long history. It was built in 1925 with the name of Florian Krygier, named after a Polish football coach who was an instrumental figure in Pogoń Szczecin’s history.
Since the 1950s club management was under MKS Pogoń Szczecin until 1989 when Szczecin City Commune transferred operations to the Municipal Sports, Recreation and Rehabilitation Centre (Polish: Miejski Ośrodek Sportu, Rekreacji i Rehabilitacji - MOSRiR). Until the beginning of 2007, it was the most prominent facility in the Polish Orange Ekstraklasa football league. It is currently used for football matches and is the home stadium of Pogoń Szczecin.
The stadium itself has recently undergone a complete modernization, so only part of the old stadium is still in place. A significant reconstruction started in 2019 with planned completion scheduled for 2022. The investment includes the Training Centre for Childres and Youth (Centrum Szkolenia Dzieci i Młodzieży), remodeling and expanding the stadium, football fields, and associated infrastructure. The new stadium will reach 20,500 seat capacity and 22,000 square meters of covered area. It will transform into a “closed” stadium with four grandstands and roofed.
The first phase of modernization of the stadium within the west and south grandstands has been completed recently with a new sound system based on RCF P Series speakers. All P 6215 are suspended to the roof of the stadium coupled in vertical clusters, two speakers per cluster.
Belli&Pettinati has chosen RCF for the restoration of the Duomo dei Militari, a church of historical significance in Padua (Italy). Maintaining a small footprint and paired with compact S 5012 subs, the RCF L 2406-T column loudspeakers ensure a full dynamic range, high intelligibility and excellent musical performance for church services and live music events hosted by the facility.
The Church of San Prosdocimo is of very particular significance as it was the first Military Church to be used by the Italian Ministry of Defence-Army. Built in Padua between the 15th and 17th centuries (original construction on the site, however, dates as far back as 1180), it was modified and extended several times until the early 1800s, when Napoleon’s emanations had it adapted and transformed, comprising other places of worship, a bakery and military warehouse. Subsequently, restoration works begun in 1988 with the building rededicated in 1990 and reopened for public worship with its own military chaplain.
The effects of the 2012 earthquake in Emilia made it inaccessible until 2019, when a new and definitive restoration was begun. Inside, as well as housing precious works, such as paintings, sculptures and artistic stained-glass windows, it features an impressive pipe organ, the result of a collaboration between two specialized German companies — Steinmeyer, dealt with the sound and Laukhuff, the console’s electric-electronic controls — capable, among other things, of guaranteeing 64 free memory combinations for a performer's personal use.
A feasibility study for implementing the new audio set-up began last autumn, with some given constraints: the use of materials that are reliable over time requiring no specialized assistance for their daily management; a non-invasive layout, but integrated into the architectural features of its location (which, due to its origin and historicity, is protected by the Superintendence of Fine Arts) and providing the possibility to easily host small, selected acoustic music and artistic events.
Stated Adlib’s, Tim Robinson, “The process started back in October 2017 and we have been through several iterations along the way.” The quotation they provided not only exceeded the remit for performance but also met the budget, as well as the requirement for a discreet, elegant system, finished in white. After considering various options Robinson was convinced that “the HDL 26-A has provided the church with the best outcome available.” He explained, “The acoustic modelling in EASE Focus showed that we could achieve incredibly even SPL and consistent tonal balance throughout the audience, whilst maximising gain before feedback on stage. The availability of the system in white was key to accommodating a system of this size with the interior design.”
Each of the two hangs comprises seven HDL 26-A elements, integrated with a pair of flyable HDL 35-AS 15” subwoofers. Despite the loudspeakers being self-powered, there were no practical weight constraints. “Even though they’re self-powered, the HDL 26-A system is still lighter than some externally-powered competitors,” he confirmed. “The structural engineer had confirmed that there was plenty of capacity in the roof, thanks to the PA being sited directly under a massive concrete beam, so installation with RCF’s flying hardware was ideal.”
One design criterion was that all LF elements should be flown. “The compatibility between the HDL 35-AS and HDL 26-A made that an easy decision. For practical reasons, it keeps the floor clear and all items out of harm’s way; and for acoustic reasons it maximises the efficiency and coherence of the arrays and meant we would not be murdering the front rows with sub.”
In addition, the provision of six RCF HD 10-A active two-way wedge monitors provides additional flexibility. “Being self-powered, this provides maximum value to the client because they can be used in different configurations in other parts of the church, redeployed as three stereo PAs,” says Robinson, who favours self-powered monitors in multi-use facilities. Finally, a pair of RCF MR 50 have been installed in the foyer, driven from the matrix on the mixer so that it can be run independently.
But, he adds, the RCF system would be nothing without the advanced control of RCF’s proprietary RDNet. “The granularity of control afforded by individual amplification and FIR processing in every box is marvellous and really helps deliver tonal consistency throughout the whole audience area.” RDNet Measure, the 4-input, dual-channel FFT measurement system included in the latest version of RDNet, is a further bonus. Robinson said, “I can see lots of engineers, whether already RCF users or not, installing the free software for that feature alone.”
As for distribution, he says, “The audience area is almost exactly square and so the 100° horizontal coverage and variable vertical coverage [of HDL 26-A] make it ideal.” The new PA will comfortably handle both the house worship band and spoken word. In future it also has the capacity to serve any private hire functions that the Church may wish to entertain.
Summing up, the installer says, “While the HDL 26-A sounds as good as I thought it would be, the HDL 35-AS far exceeded my expectations. I was expecting a total of four 15” to deliver a nice full range system, which would be more than sufficient for a worship band, but hardly trouser-flapping sub. The fact that the HDL 35-AS goes so low and so loud, despite the box being so physically small for a 15”, means there’s some RCF witchcraft in there somewhere!”
Finally, he says, the support received from RCF throughout the process was exemplary. “They were always highly communicative, and all components arrived on time from the factory, despite being in the middle of a pandemic.”
I sistemi DAS e Small Cells sono una delle infrastrutture principali da cui sarà implementato il nuovo standard di comunicazione 5G. Questi sistemi permetteranno una perfetta copertura mobile per la trasmissione di dati e contenuti negli spazi con grande frequentazione di pubblico. Grazie a questa collaborazione tecnica, gli impianti DAS (Distributed Antenna System) e Small Cells di Cellnex godranno di una certificazione ad hoc che permetterà all’azienda di infrastrutture di Tlc di installare i propri sistemi presso le strutture indoor e outdoor di stadi, arene e spazi dedicati alla musica e agli spettacoli da vivo come la nuova RCF Arena di Reggio Emilia, l’arena outdoor più grande d’Europa.
Per compatibilità elettromagnetica si intendono tutte quelle procedure atte a verificare che un apparato elettronico, come ad esempio un sistema di mini-antenne, non interferisca con altre apparecchiature e che non sia esso stesso disturbato da altri apparati che utilizzano lo stesso spettro elettromagnetico. I test che vengono effettuati dai produttori di apparati, come ad esempio RCF, per verificare il livello di immunità ai campi elettromagnetici sono stabiliti dalle stringenti normative tecniche europee e da ulteriori normative internazionali.
In particolare, RCF e Cellnex hanno effettuato delle procedure di test con il supporto di tecnici specializzati di entrambe le società. Il risultato è stato una effettiva immunità dei sistemi audio di RCF ai campi elettromagnetici degli impianti DAS e Small Cells di Cellnex. Anche nel caso di sistemi DAS installati in ospedali, aeroporti o ascensori dopo aver determinato la potenza al connettore d’antenna tale che non generi un campo elettromagnetico che superi il livello di immunità dell’apparato più sensibile, si procede con test di tipo funzionale o con campagne di misura del campo elettromagnetico. Grazie a queste procedure è possibile escludere la possibilità per l’impianto DAS di interferire con i sistemi già presenti a tutto vantaggio della sicurezza degli utenti.
When the conversation started about upgrading BSP’s audio it was apparent that the 20-year-old system was in dire need of an upgrade. “The challenge for us was to find a PA that was properly voiced and was going to cover the room for varying types of services,” said Harmon. “Initially when we discussed upgrading the system, one thing that came up was their live concert series. The church holds several live concerts [with full bands] throughout the year, and usually hire outside companies to provide additional sound.”
Other acoustic challenges throughout the church included echo and bounce-back which were addressed by Harmon AV. “One issue we had to address was the reverberance of the room, which they liked for the traditional services, so they didn’t want to change that,” continued Harmon. “We talked about room acoustics and treating it, but the music minister didn’t want to change the natural acoustics of the room. Another issue brought up by one of the pastors, was the ‘echo in a cave’ sound of being when speaking on the stage, which we determined was bounce-back from the backwall. We knew we could solve these issues with a line array system and few fills throughout the room,” said Harmon
RCF TTL 4-A - ACTIVE TWO-WAY ARRAY SPEAKER