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Nitelites go into combat with RCF heavy artillery

When the top eight Esports Championship Series 1 league teams lined up for the finals at SSE Arena, Wembley, in front of enthusiastic crowds of gamers, it presented audio production company Nitelites with one of their most unusual and demanding challenges ever.
Fortunately they had recently purchased RCF’s flagship TTL55-A active line array, further boosting their vast inventory of the Italian manufacturer’s systems. And after flexing its muscles on various stages at the recent We Are FSTVL event they were ready to introduce it to the famous London venue over the three-day event — brought in by the same production company, Sibar’s Simon Barrington.
Nitelites director Andy Magee says that any thoughts that the high power, three way system would be in cruise control were banished once the system received feeds from the Counter Strike warfare game via the master computer. “The RCF system was so powerful, that had we not used heavy compression, we would have been nailed to the wall with the sound of gunfire,” he said. “But the transient delivery of the system for things like violent gunfire was unbelievable.”
The other challenge was dealing with the unusual way the SSE Arena was laid out, to accommodate a vast backstage area hosting 40-50 PC’s, a warm-up area and battery of commentators with headworn mics. “It was set up with the razzmatazz of American football and the event was screened live on the web,” he said.
But it made the rigging of sidehangs impossible, and thus the front facing left and right PA had to perform full coverage duties, firing 50 metres to the back of the auditorium while at the same time wrapping in the wider off-axis spectators — a feat which it pulled off magnificently over the three days.
With Mike Platt mixing at front-of-house Nitelites designed the system based on 16 TTL55-A elements per side with six of the TTL36 flown bass set behind the main hang for LF extension. “That worked really well in transmitting the realism of the gunfire and took the frequency range down below 30Hz with the various explosions.” Part of Nitelites’ stock of RCF TTL33-A line array enclosures were also used for infills.
Equally satisfying was the fact that the commentators backstage in newsroom-like positions were liaising with presenters outfront, who had their backs to the PA. Said Mike Platt, “As the audience got louder and louder, I needed to give around a 12dB boost for the commentators — but I was able to do so with no feedback whatsoever.
Generally, the system was run fairly flat — barring a couple of shelving filters. “I tailored the system EQ to the tonality of the presenters mics,” he said. “I was really impressed with the degree of control I could have over the system.”
The Nitelites rig was also able to satisfy the players in their soundproof booths backstage by having all the subs designed in reverse cardioid broadside array. This included 12 of the 21” TTS56-A subs, set in two stacks either side of the stage thrust, with two elements in each stack rear-facing to cancel the extreme LF being transmitted towards the soundproof boxes on stage.
Finally, said Andy Magee, having RDNet, RCF’s proprietary monitor and control platform on board was another major advantage. “Having multiple presets for throw distance and so on was fantastic, and we were able to use the onboard EQ, delay and cardioid settings.”
And so it wasn’t only the massive wall-to-wall LED screen, with its narrow pixel pitch, that won the plaudits. Aside from the exemplary sound system, Nitelites also provided rigging services and over 200 lighting fixtures for the event.
Summing up, he concluded, “This event gave the system a really good work-out — the impact produced by the TTL55-A and TTL36-A flown bass was just incredible. The system proved ideally qualified for the job, and because it fits within production budgets, it is already providing to be a wise investment.”
In fact so busy has the company been, that on a single day last month no fewer than 288 of their RCF speakers were out of the warehouse and on duty at various events.