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RCF TT Uncaged at Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is one of the largest combat sports promotions in the world and the second-largest in the United States. The promotion takes its name from bellātor, the Latin word for "warrior". Recently legalized in France, the fight will take place inside an octagonal cage in the center of the building where the fighters are allowed for any attack except for low kicks and behind the neck.

The Accor Hotel Arena, located in Paris-Bercy, is the fifth-biggest indoor tennis arena by dimensions in the globe, with seating capacity ranging from 7,000 to 20,300, depending on the event. The event follows three shows held behind closed doors at the Allianz Cloud in the Italian city of Milan. The initial sound system design, which required several hanging clusters for a 360° coverage of the entire area, underwent a system adjustment since the public used only two sections. Initially, it was supposed to host about 20,000 spectators but due to current Covid regulations, the capacity was reduced first to 5,000 and finally to 1,000 socially-distanced seats.

The event splits into two sessions: one in the afternoon, broadcasting live on the American CBS TV, and one after 11:30 pm, live on the British BBC, restricted to adults-only. The Italian agency Riptide produced the entire event from the broadcast to the video production and from audio to lighting. Provider for the audio production equipment was Piano e Forte Service from Reggio Emilia (Italy), who also provided all rigging equipment for audio, lights, and LED walls.

Bellator MMA is mainly a format for screens, which recently made its debut to the live environment. Given the audience’s numerical limitation present in the room, the television segment has taken on a preponderant value. The system was then designed by making the television and live action autonomous. Following direction from Claudio Giovanetti, who took care of the broadcasting (both CBS and BBC) as well as being the reference for the Italian production, everything is split independently and redundantly.

"The system is made up of 4 clusters of 8 RCF TTL 55-A speakers plus 12 RCF TTS 56-A subs positioned behind the screen in end-fire configuration which had the task of supporting the emotional part for the audio-video contributions."

Emanuele Morlini, Sound System Engineer of the event, describes the system hung in the arena: "The initial project included 5 arrays of 10 RCF TTL 55-A speakers plus two clusters of hanging subwoofers formed by 4 RCF TTS 56-A. The reduced version, on the other hand, is made up of 4 clusters of 8 RCF TTL 55-A speakers plus 12 RCF TTS 56-A subs positioned behind the screen in end-fire configuration which had the task of supporting the emotional part for the audio-video contributions." The speakers’ signal management went all through RDNet, directly controlling the DSP on-board of the speaker. Live audio monitoring on FOH console with RCF TT 052-A.
In addition to the audio/video contributions played during the entrances of the athletes at a nice sustained volume, there was a radio microphone for the referee and a video camera transmitting images and sounds of striking blows from inside the octagon!
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