Installation
Situated in the heart of Newcastle University’s main campus, Northern Stage Theatre is one of the most progressive production houses in the UK. With its three performance spaces, including a 450 seat main house, 160 seat studio and small multi-purpose development room for up-and-coming theatre companies and events, once new production manager Chris Durant arrived nearly a year ago, one of the immediate priorities was to improve the technical infrastructure.
Operating as a charity, the Theatre had done little to upgrade its technology since 2006, when the facility metamorphosed from its previous guise as the Newcastle Playhouse into Northern Stage. Durant already had plenty of experience of RCF’s high value systems, having authorised the spend on a new RCF D-Line line array while at Sage Gateshead, and he was soon back in contact with his local supplier, Nitelites. Having authorised the purchase of an RCF HD32-A active two-way system with SUB705 subwoofers, along with two NX10-SMA stage monitors for the newly refurbished Stage 3, he duly set out his blueprint for the main space.
He discussed the situation with executive director Kate Denby and artistic director Lorne Campbell arguing that it would be a false economy to hire in systems if they wanted to operate as a leading production house. “It was clear we needed our own,” he insisted — and fortunately the request was rubber-stamped. The production manager’s focus was on the ‘epic’ Christmas season production of Roald Dahl’s James And The Giant Peach, in which both Stage 1 and Stage 2 would combine, with the 440 seats enveloping a giant, extended central stage. This helped define the sound system specification.
Nitelites director and system designer Andy Magee outlined the challenges. “While the theatre’s existing loudspeaker had been a premium system in its day it was over ten years old. Its coverage was too wide, it lacked projection and was unable to cover the rear of the room. I knew that with the HDL10-A there would be sufficient energy delivered to the back of the room while maintaining a consistent spectral balance throughout the listening area.”
Two main hangs of five HDL10-A per side are now suspended from a bridge truss while a further pair of HDL10-A, located behind the main array, fire down to cover the audience wrapped around the front of the giant stage. Low frequency is extended by two floor mounted SUB8004 subwoofers, while the system operates under BSS Soundweb control. Chris Durant is more than satisfied with this solution, believing that it has given the production house “a sonic signature”. He states, “For a space as wide as this you need projection, and compared with the point source we had previously, this delivers greater intelligibility with ample bandwidth and directivity, and a more even spread. There is now so much headroom it’s ridiculous.”
Equally delighted with the sonic makeover are fellow team specialists, head of sound Dave Burton, the Christmas show’s FOH engineer, Josep Bria and the show sound designer, Nick Williams. All expressed optimism for the future. Stated Williams: “The new HDL system at Northern Stage empowers the sound designer with such a high level of precision and consistency that it has transformed the space. I now know that every seat in the house can receive the same sonic experience. Mixing and creating in Northern Stage gives the same degree of precision and control that I have in my studio. It is a remarkable and enjoyable system to work with.” In conclusion, Chris Durant was unequivocal, noting the intimacy of the HDL10-A on the one hand combined with sheer power. He also confirmed that with its button presets, it was an easy system for house technicians to operate. “My aim is to produce three years of ‘epic’ Christmas shows so that it becomes a tradition for families. And with the RCF line array I have full confidence that we can deliver that.”
Event
RCF successfully launched the HDL50-A and TTL6-A active three-way line arrays onto the global market earlier this year, confirming the company’s constant effort towards innovation and new product development.
These products were introduced to the Middle Eastern area with a dedicated event this autumn, that was jointly organized by RCF and the Italian manufacturer’s partner in the UAE, VV & Sons.
The two companies’ combined effort led to a live product demo held at Dubai’s Meydan Hotel, with around 100 international participants from the main AV rental and event production companies in the region.
The demo was coordinated by RCF product specialists. A presentation – encompassing other successful products from the Italian manufacturer, such as TT25-A MK II, TT25-CXA, TT45-CXA, NXL 44-A, SUB8004-AS and EVOX 12 – was followed by a demo in the outdoor arena. This featured the HDL50-A and TTL6-A, along with the SUB9007-AS active high-power subwoofer, another new arrival in 2016.
“All products received enthusiastic feedback. Participants were particularly interested in the remote control and monitoring options provided by RDNet,” states Mr. Rebero, product manager of VV & Sons.
The event’s success was underlined by the prompt and positive feedback from the participants, several AV rental and events production companies placing their first order immediately after the demo.
“We are very satisfied with the outcome, and are now planning to conduct more product training and demos with an extended range of RCF products,” confirms Mr. Rebero.
Event
The G20 Summit is undoubtedly one of the most important events in world political and economic calendar. Its latest edition, in September 2016, was held in Hangzhou, China, and was only the second G20 convention to be held in an Asian country. The Summit took place in the newly-built Hangzhou International Conference and Exhibition Centre, strategically located in a modern and well-served area of Hangzhou. The large and spectacular external area around the building was freely accessible during the days of the Summit and hosted breathtaking audio-visual projections that entertained a large public, arriving from the whole region of Zhejian and abroad.
The shows were reinforced with an RCF sound system that comprised 32 P Series loudspeakers, installed both on the ground and on the building’s external walls. The main features of RCF’s P Series are highly efficient coaxial designs, excellent intelligibility and a weatherproof design offering high-rating protection. States Mr. Jiang Chao, general manager of CD Stage company, RCF’s local partner: “We are very satisfied with the outcome of the project. RCF P Series is a powerful line of weatherproof loudspeakers that guarantees a reliable, high-quality performance. The sound of the audio-visual shows was heard clearly across the entire coverage area, ,and the public was delighted throughout the summit.”
CD Stage is a long-standing investor in RCF’s products, with several notable projects being completed every year in China, such as the recently equipped theatre of Zhaoqing University in Guangdong.
Installation
Le complexe paroissial du Saint Esprit de la ville de Porto Torres (Sassari en Sardaigne) est composé d'une église, de salles pour diverses activités et d'un terrain de sport sur une superficie totale de plus de 8000 m2. Le complexe est né en 2016 pour devenir un point de repère important de la communauté locale, avec une dépense totale pour la construction estimée à 2 millions d'euros environ. La structure architecturale de l'église a été fondamentale dans le choix des produits RCF qui composent le système audio : l'intérieur est un « open space » de 36 x 16,5 mètres (sans compter le chœur et la chapelle). Aucun point d'installation n'est disponible entre les parois, et les murs du périmètre représentent les seules zones d'ancrage possibles. Deux colonnes RCF VSA2050 ont été installées sur les parois latérales, plus une colonne VSA1250 à côté de l'autel pour desservir les premières rangées. Un nombre très limité de produits a permis de couvrir intégralement l'espace considérable de 36 mètres de largeur, grâce à la profondeur de la portée des colonnes VSA et à l'ouverture horizontale de 130°.
Les enceintes VSA de RCF représentent une gamme de produits de type array verticaux multiamplifiés munis d'un puissant DSP pour le traitement du signal sonore et le contrôle de la dispersion verticale, ce qui en fait la solution idéale pour les installations fixes dans les espaces intérieurs. Un simple mécanisme de contrôle permet de pointer le signal sonore vers la zone d'écoute et éviter de diffuser l'énergie acoustique vers le plafond ou vers des zones vides en supprimant ainsi les échos et autres effets qui entraineraient la dégradation de l'intelligibilité. Grâce à leur taille compacte et à leur forme plate, les enceintes se présentent de manière discrète et peu volumineuse. Dans le cas de l'église du Saint Esprit, les enceintes VSA installées ont une couleur standard, mais RCF peut livrer des enceintes en nuances RAL personnalisées dans le but de minimiser l'impact esthétique et privilégier une intégration équilibrée à l'intérieur des bâtiments.
Une deuxième colonne VSA1250 sonorise le chœur situé à côté de l'autel. Pour desservir la sacristie, les techniciens ont placé une enceinte compacte à 2 voies DM 41, alors que la petite chapelle fermée à côté de l'autel, de 7 x 6 mètres, a été sonorisée par une colonne de petite taille à 2 voies CS3082 et un amplificateur-mixeur AM 1064 de 60 W avec 3 entrées audio.
À l'extérieur de l'église, la vaste cour sans portique est sonorisée par des enceintes coaxiales à 2 voies P2110-T, munies de grille en aluminium perforée et d'un revêtement interne étanche, installées sur les parois externes de l'église. Les enceintes sont conformes au degré de protection IP 55 contre la pénétration des agents externes de nature solide ou liquide. « Nous avons choisi les enceintes de la série P car elles sont de type à cornet ce qui donne des performances efficaces et une acoustique dirigée dans une vaste zone comme celle de la cour externe. En outre, elles résistent aux intempéries » précisent les ingénieurs RCF impliqués dans le projet.
C'est la société sarde Costec srl de Sassari qui s'est occupée de l'installation du système de renforcement audio dans l'église du Saint Esprit. Le patron Tonino Loi, qui avait déjà travaillé avec RCF pour la réalisation d'importants projets sur l'île, tels que le système de protection contre les incendies de l'hôpital Brotzu de Cagliari en 2007, parle de la grande vitesse d'installation et de mise en route du système à Porto Torres et insiste sur la satisfaction du maître d’ouvrage quant aux résultats atteints. L'église a été inaugurée en juin 2016 en accomplissant un rêve que la communauté paroissiale nourrissait depuis des décennies. Plus de 1500 fidèles ont participé à la dédicace du bâtiment.
Event
Vibration est l’une des plus fameuses radios Françaises, apparue en 1982 et très écoutée dans la majeure partie du pays. Le live Vibration Tour est un évènement incontournable, promotionné par la station auquel participe les artistes les plus en vue, tels Soprano, Black M et Fréro Delavega. Cette dernière édition comprenait 5 concerts à Orléans, le Mans, Tours, Bourges et Blois entre le 14 et 24 Septembre.
La société XCPH en charge de tous les aspects techniques a fourni pour la seconde année consécutive un système RCF. En 2015, un système HDL20-A avait été utilisé avec succès pour des jauges dépassant 8000 personnes. Cette année Vibration s’attendait à une affluence record, pour cette raison XCPH a préconisé la nouvelle référence HDL50-A, récemment ajoutée à la gamme D LINE. Le HDL50-A est un line array actif 3 voies, équipé d’un amplificateur digital de 2200w RMS, de 2 woofers 12’', 4 médiums 6.5'’ en configuration symétrique autour de 2 compressions 2'’. Pour les 5 concerts la configuration du système comprenait 8 + 8 modules en façade, renforcé par des HDL20-A en outfills. 8 SUB 9007-AS en configuration endfire assuraient la réponse dans le bas du spectre. Le SUB 9007-AS est un sub amplifié de grande puissance alimenté par un amplificateur digital de 7200 watts et conçu comme un parfait complément des line arrays HDL50-A et HDL20-A. C’est l’un des plus performants double 21’ disponibles sur le marché. Avant la 1ere date programmée à Tours, l’équipe technique de XCPH a bénéficié de 2 jours de formation de la part du staff technique RCF, venu sur site pour aider à exploiter les performances maximales de ce nouveau système. Ce système innovant est entièrement géré depuis le système réseau RCF propriétaire, le fameux RDNet, depuis le nouveau Rack matrice CR 16-ND.
Nicolas FOURNIER, le régisseur Général pour XCPH résume : «Nous adorons ce système tout en un avec un cablage aisé. Ce Flight apporte un gros avantage sur le terrain, avec toute l’alimentation du système et des accessoires comme les moteurs de levage dans un seul rack. Le système d’accroche avec une résolution de 0.5° est très pratique. Grâce à la mécanique d'accroche innovante, le réglage des angles peut être fait lorsque les modules sont encore sur le chariot de transport, et réduit le temps de montage. C'est extrêmement pratique! Avec le support de RCF, nous avons beaucoup appris sur les immenses possibilités fournies par RDNet.» Le rack de contrôle CR 16-ND, équipé d’une matrice et processeur audio DX 1616 et de son routeur a même permis d’équaliser et délayer nos HDL20A positionnés en outfills.
La tournée Vibration a connu une affluence de plus de 50000 personnes , dont une foule de 22000 fans pour le dernier concert donné à Orléans avec Fréro Delavega. «Nous avons été bluffés par le système qui a fournit une incroyable performance avec une nombre réduit de boîtes et en gardant une intelligibilité parfaite même à 65 mètres de la scène» ajoute Nicolas Fournier. «HDL50-A est très compétitif en terme de rentabilité parmi les systèmes grandes-jauges du marché et sera un objectif d’investissement prioritaire en 2017».
Installation
St Gabriel’s is a Catholic School with a growing attendance thanks to the booming Austin, Texas economy. As they faced space limitations across the board, the school set out to build a new building that would extend an existing building and provide them with much more classroom space, a large lecture hall, a library, teacher meeting space, a remodeled gym and a new Chapel. After a 14-month construction cycle, the new building was opened in May of 2016.
Cedar Park, Texas-based Ridge AV (www.ridgeav.com) was contacted by the school to come in and solve many challenges they had for integrating audio and video into a school environment. The expectations were high and rather complex, but the systems had to be extremely user friendly.
“Probably one the most challenging projects we have ever taken on was their Learning Stairs Lecture Hall and Chapel,” says Ridge President Mark Tarbet. “These were very ornate spaces where the AV system simply could not be visible or stand out. The speakers in both spaces could not be flown and could not be slightly. All we had to mount speakers on to were custom, hand painted stained-glass windows. To make it extra challenging and risky, both stained-glass walls were 100% custom built onsite by Italian craftsmen flown in for this project. No errors or replacements!”
The Learning Stairs is a lecture hall made up of large wood-stained stairs. Up to 175 students can be seated in this space. It is also used for large meetings. The Chapel is a small Chapel that seats 50 people and is used by the School for Mass.
To solve this challenge of sound in these two spaces, Ridge proposed to use RCF’s VSA Series speakers which are vertical steerable line arrays that are just 5” wide and can be programmed to direct the sound specifically to the listeners, avoiding unwanted reflections and reverberation that the glass and hard surfaces that cause sound systems to lose intelligibility.
As they looked at the VSA as a possible solution, Tarbet thought, “If perhaps we could possibly get them painted to somehow match the color of the window mullions and figure out how to re-enforce the mounting brackets on the mullions, we could potentially have a winner by mounting the speakers to the window mullions to hide them, and then use the steering capabilities of the VSA to direct sound coverage as needed.” After conceptual 3D drawings were presented, the School agreed to the solutions.
Ridge AV worked with RCF to try and get a good color match for an aluminum texture. After carefully picking colors and lots of sign-offs, the speakers were painted, and custom mounts were fabricated by Ridge AV. The end result exceeded all expectations. After installation, Ridge AV invited some of the school staff who were not involved in the specification to come in the spaces where the project owners and general contractor were waiting. The staff was asked to “find the speakers,” and no one could initially! It was exactly what the general contractor and owners were hoping for. The sound quality was great thanks to the configurable steering capability of the speakers. ‘We were able to mount the speakers rather high up (less noticeable) and span elevated stair seating to get sound cleanly where it needed to be,” noted Tarbet.
Event
Newcastle-based Nitelites have reported record activity this summer with their RCF hire fleet of flagship TT+ (Touring & Theatre) line array systems and highly cost effective D Line HDL composite series line arrays. “We have hardly had a box sitting in the warehouse all summer,” reports director Andy Magee.
In addition to the high profile Great North Run, where they fielded over 280 RCF enclosures, Nitelites also had to run a mile of standard multicore cable to span the coverage area for the Tall Ships North Sea Regatta, This featured 48 x TTL55-A, 24 x TTS56-A and some TTL33-A, all controllable via RCF’s proprietary onboard RDNet networking platform as the fleet said farewell to Blyth, Northumberland with a sunlit parade seen by thousands of onlookers lining the quayside, wishing the fleet well in the race to Gothenburg, Sweden.
Meanwhile, down in Teesside, Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF16), featuring street theatre, circus performances, dynamic dance and music also saw a full RCF deployment, as the event approaches its third decade.. The main band stage (with finale show) was covered by 24 x TTL55-A and 12 x TTS56-A while all other areas featured HDL20-A, HDL10-A and TT22-A.
Also in the Tyne and Wear area, South Tyneside Festival took place over three months throughout the summer, with open-air concerts, family fun days and live music, including Alexandra Burke and UB40, in the town’s Bents Park. Providing the sound reinforcement for the season were 32 x TTL55-A and 18 x TTS56-A.
Earlier in the summer Nitelites were down in London for the first-ever Esports Championship Series - Counter Strike Finals at London's SSE Arena, Wembley. For this they fielded 32 x TTL55-A; 10 x TTL33-A; 12 x TTL36-AS and 12 x TTS56-A.
Up in Scotland, Midstock Festival is now in its third year at Dalkeith Country Park, and having already hosted such acts as The View, The Fratellis, The Hoosiers, Fish and dozens of great acts, bands this year included The Pigeon Detectives, Reverend & The Makers plus overseas acts such as Vengaboys (although headliners Scouting For Girls failed to appear). Ensuring optimum coverage were 24 x TTL33-A and 12 x TTS56-A subs.
Nitelites were also on duty at the Great North 10K. The popular running event which attracted 5,000 runners, finished inside the iconic Gateshead International Stadium where Nitelites had 24 x TTL33-A and 12 x TTS36-A to help build the atmosphere.
The company also provided sound reinforcement at another major music festival, Urban Field Events’ Corbridge Festival featuring The Coral, Neville Staple Band, Too Many T's, Frankie & The Heartstrings, Mark Morris, Bessie & The Zinc Buckets, Grandmaster Flash, Cortney Dixon and more. Set up in the Tynedale Park venue for the occasion, were 20 x TTL33-A and 10 x TTS36-A.
Finally, the annual Sunderland International Airshow is held near Roker and Seaburn seafronts. The biggest free show in Europe, and first held in 1988, the location provides a perfect amphitheatre for the likes of the world famous Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. For this spectacular event, Nitelites deployed 24 x TTL33-A and 12 x TTS56-A subs for the main stage, plus over 3 miles of 100v line coverage.
Summing up, Nitelites director Andy Magee said, “We have had great feedback to our RCF systems at all these diverse events throughout the summer, and the performances have been exactly what people have wanted.
“In the case of the smaller festivals, many are still growing but are still working on small budgets — and this is where RCF scores, as it hits the perfect price point.
And In terms of staying within sound thresholds on noise sensitive sites he notes that one thing RCF is great at is LF control. “The TTL36-AS flown sub has a vertical steering algorithm so it doesn't radiate in areas you don't want it to go.
“The LF cardioid tuning is highly effective and to my knowledge we’ve never received any complaints about noise pollution.”
Event
Billed as ‘the World’s biggest half marathon’ the Great North Run (GNR) has taken place annually between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and South Shields since 1981, and is one of the major events in the runner’s calendar.
For around two decades the public address and part of the technical infrastructure have been provided by locally based technical service company Nitelites. And as the event has exploded from the original 12,000 participants to today’s 57,000 runners so the logistical challenges of supplying a vast inventory of loudspeakers and building infrastructure through the night — once the main motorway through the city has closed off — have grown exponentially.
With Nitelites MD Jamie Moore project managing the event, this year the company provided over 280 RCF enclosures, including 56 x TTL55-A, 24 x TTL33-A, 24 x TTS56-A, 24 x TTS36-A, 12 x TT22-A from the Touring & Theatre series — and a large fleet of HDL20-A and HDL10-A from the D-Line series.
Working for event founder Brendan Foster’s Great Run Company, Nitelites director Andy Magee said the sound system really came of age around a decade ago “when we convinced the organisers that they should move up from a 100V line distributed system to a full range system.” Today this has become a fully-fledge line array system.
He stated that the biggest challenge had been loading in the equipment overnight without lighting, and loading out again within three hours of the finish to allow the carriageway to be reopened. On top of that, equipment specified the previous day, on the Newcastle side of the Tyne for the Junior and Mini runs, need to be redeployed. Add to that the eight hangs of four flown RCF HDL20-A used along the 200m specially constructed sprint track on the Quayside, for the Great North CityGames — another popular new event
For the GNR itself, most of the activity covered the mile around the Start line, where Nitelites also provided staging, and at the Finish.
Speaking of the system design, Andy Magee said, “We have half a dozen flat bed trucks carrying generators, power distros and control racks, and we fly the PA from these trucks on HIAB cranes, with nine TTL55-A and 6 x TTS56-A subs on each truck.” Further up the course are six ground stacks of TTL-33A — and the total delay time was around 4 seconds.
In addition, ground stacks of six HDL10-A and HDL20-A are also dispersed towards the rear behind the start line. The entire system receives motivational music and presenter mic feeds while at the Finish, many of the feeds consist of pre-recorded stings, appropriate to those clad in fancy dress costume, such as Superman attire.
Nitelites also link with broadcasters on a separate zone, where they specify RCF TT22-A Mk2. “These are great in sensitive broadcast areas as they can be tightly controlled for live links, so we can turn them down when requested,” says the Nitelites man. “There are personnel out on the course with Sennheiser 3732-COM-ii radio systems. The radio mic receiver has two outputs — pressing the button cuts the main and routes audio to the second output for talkback etc.”
Summing up, he says the company had again pulled off a major feat. He praised the crew and in particular system engineers, Tom Geoghegan and Lee Saddington — who were responsiblew for designing the complex cable topology
“RCF’s onboard RDNet [dedicated networking board] was a great asset,” he concluded. “We ran the network over 2000 metres of standard multicore and all loudspeakers across that first mile were on line via RDNet.”
Corporate
Earlier this year, RCF announced the expansion to the popular HDL Series with the new high-powered, large-format HDL50-A line array system. First to take delivery of the product in the United States is Wisconsin-based JEM Productions.
“We have deployed various RCF gear for events from literally five people to over 15,000 and have always been able to perfectly flex our systems to meet the demand of the venue,” says JEM owner Joe Ellis. “When it came time for us to enter the large format market earlier this year, the timing was perfect with the release of the new HDL50-A and SUB9007-AS, and once we heard it we knew our future included this system.” JEM relied on RCF partner Soundworks Systems (www.soundworkssystems.com) to coordinate a product demonstration and purchase of the system.
The HDL50-A is an active three-way line array module, designed specifically for large events — both indoors and outdoors - equipped with two 12” woofers, four symmetrical 6.5” midrange transducers and two 2” high frequency compression drivers driven by onboard 4400-watt RMS digital amplifiers. The system is completed with the SUB9007-AS, an active 6800-watt dual 21” subwoofer.
JEM Productions was founded in 2011 initially to support local bands. At the time, owner Joe Ellis was an airline pilot with the sound company being a part-time operation. “After medical issues forced me out of the sky in 2012,” says Ellis, “and demand grew from other bands and venues for our services, we focused our energy on expanding into the market full time.” JEM now services clients across the country providing audio, lighting, staging and transportation for events ranging in size from small meetings to multi-day, multi-stage festivals. “Crystal clear, tasteful sound reinforcement is what built our company and what anchors our reputation as a first class provider of professional production,” notes Ellis on the philosophy of the company.
Aside from the sound, another major reason JEM Productions chose RCF is because of the support. “Whether a very small or very large system, it is critical to our success to fully support our products,” says Ellis. “Nothing helps us do that better than having a great support network behind us – like RCF.
One of the first concerts using the system featured six-time Dove Award winner Francesca Bettinelli performing in an outdoor event at the Thrivent Celebrates Hope concert in downtown Wausau, Wisconsin. For support with the new system RCF sent in Product Specialist Oscar Mora to assist in deploying the system in its inaugural run. “It was a very acoustically challenging venue with a Grammy nominated artist performing a free concert for a record breaking audience,” notes Ellis. “Mora’s aid in training and operation of the system is exactly what helps us maintain our reputation as a partner our clients can absolutely count on to exceed their expectations.”
One of the first major events JEM put the system to use was at the three-day Sub Octave Music Festival at the Outback Ranch in Minnesota. The event featured over 40 bands of various genres from electronic dance music to art-rock to the weekend of camping, music and arts.
“With the launch of the HDL50-A system and us being one of the first in the U.S. to purchase, we had a timing conflict with our first large festival slated for the system and having enough inventory physically in the States,” says Ellis. “RCF was amazing and sent us the supplemental boxes and transport carts we were missing from their own demo system so we could get the job done!” For the festival, JEM had two hangs of 8 HDL50-A complemented by 12 SUB9007-AS, plus some additional RCF HDL20-A and NX12-SMA monitor cabinets.
What was truly amazing says Ellis, “is that with a 28 box system absolutely cranking EDM, we were clamping peaks of less than 30-amps of power! Unbelievably efficient.”
Installation
Finland’s new Imatra Stadium, located in the Ukonniemi recreation area of the city, is described “as an international standard baseball-, ski-, roller ski- and biathlon stadium” with a web of cross-country snow ski trails connected to the facility.
By relocating the former baseball stadium from the city centre and combining it with the ice rink (and the other winter sports pursuits), the city of Imatra has set a high benchmark. And with many different world-class events scheduled to take place here, a cutting edge communication infrastructure — with both state of the art audio and visual components — was essential to reflect this.
A tender document was prepared by AV consultancy, Ramboll and electrical contractors, Etec Automation enlisted the help of technology specialists Audico Systems, as according to their project manager Ilkka Hilden, the AV requirement was extremely challenging.
The contracts were split into sound and video, and to meet the audio requirements Hilden specified 30 RCF P-series wide dispersion two-way coaxial weatherproof loudspeakers.
The product selection, Hilden said, had been relatively straightforward. “We had been using RCF P-series for many outdoor applications and knew that they are capable of handling high output and producing very high quality sound. As we are situated in Finland, and the weather conditions are quite harsh, it is a very demanding environment for speakers, and so we specified P3115-T for the audience areas and P6215 for the field, as the distances are bigger.”
Henry Tapiola, from the Stadium’s development company, Imatra YH, had foreseen the difficulty in providing even sound coverage for a pair of uniform size football pitches, and both covered and uncovered seating, which would be expandable when needed. And the biggest challenge faced by Ilkka Hilden and his team, as would be expected, was finding the best way to achieve optimum intelligibility throughout the large stadium. “Also, because the speakers had to be placed in so many different locations, the delay settings had to be carefully considered. We then had to make the whole system easy to use by non-AV specialists.”
Audico faced challenging time scales, since the installation had to be completed and commissioned in time to host a major skiing championship. “We were not sure whether we could get the speakers fast enough and I have to pay major respect to RCF — as those guys must have been working extra hours to make sure we got the speakers just in time!”
Summarising the elements of the fit-out that gave him most satisfaction, Ilkka Hilden says, “The best part of the project was to have designed a system that perfectly suits the stadium, and which the customer finds extremely easy to operate.
“The level of clarity and intelligibility from the public address system is extremely good and we have received lots of excellent feedback from it.”
Henry Tapiola also confirmed that he had received nothing but positive feedback from visitors. "The sound is perfect for the audience in every corner of the stadium and across the entire site. Both the speech and music stand out thanks to these very modern speakers and the sound is in a different class to that which external sports facilities have previously been accustomed to previously.”
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