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.”
Installation
23 floors, 190 rooms and suites, 760 sqm of technically-equipped rooms for conferences and meetings, 3 bars, 3 restaurants, a modern health spa – and everything in a privileged position in the centre of the capital city: the Plaza Hotel, a new 5-star structure in Tirana, Albania, is definitely one of the Balkans’ top destinations.
The modern skyscraper, inaugurated in 2016, hosts tourists and business travellers, as well as luxurious ceremonies, sumptuous refreshments and meetings. The Plaza Hotel is equipped with as many as 4 conference rooms, one of which, the Queen Geraldine, can host up to 350 people.
Every detail of the new hotel has been developed with the utmost care. The vocal alarm and music distribution system, engineered by RCF and installed by local company Al Vision, is no exception. Several customizations were made upon the customer’s request, including a control application for iPad.
The keystone of the system is the DXT 9000 digital matrix system. It is EN54-16 certified and allows the distribution of entertainment music, vocal alarms from microphone consoles and automatic evacuation messages. The system, divided into 12 zones, is structured in order to allow a dynamic and fully versatile management of background music, zone by zone: conference rooms, lounge bar, corridors, offices, rooms, car parks, health spas, gyms and so on.
The interface for the control of background music is an iPad application developed by the RCF Engineering Team, specifically for the customer. “The working principle is really easy,” RCF engineers tell us. “It can work from any area of the hotel thanks to the full wi-fi coverage. After selecting the zone, the user can decide whether he or she wants to disable the music distribution in that zone, regulate the volume, select the listening source and so on. There are also several additional functions, allowing the advanced management and room combining of the conference halls: each one is divided into several sectors, that can be either used together or dynamically combined according to the needs of the customers and the event.”
Moreover, in addition to general sound sources, the lounge bar’s music programme can be transmitted throughout the hotel’s areas, including meeting rooms, as required by the customer. Thanks to the iPad interface, maximum versatility is ensured for all the guests’ needs. The RCF Q Series monitors are installed in the lounge bar and two main conference rooms, in order to maximise acoustic quality in harmony with the interior design.
The vocal alarm functionality is ensured by automatic evacuation messages and BM 9804 and BM 9804FM microphone consoles, with BE 9808 extensions, certified according to the EN 54-16 and with integral monitoring of the critical path of the signal.
The entire system is centralized in the hotel’s technical room and contained in three racks. Besides the MU 9186 digital matrix, the system also comprises the UP 9504, UP 9502 and UP 9501 multichannel amplifiers, that are used in different coverage zones and all EN54-16 certified. The system is completed by PL 68EN, DU 50EN and BD 5EN speakers, all EN 54-24 certified.
Event
From 27th to 30th September the security and fire prevention industry will be gathered at the Security Essen trade fair.
RCF will be part of the Security Essen show with new products and innovative technologies. Visitors will have the possibility to discover our latest evacuation system and speakers at Hall 3, Stand A 43.
Explore RCF’s EN54-compliant products here or visit the Security Essen website here.
We look forward to meeting you! The RCF Team
Installation
The J Medical health center, recently inaugurated in Turin, Italy, was born from an idea of the Juventus soccer team and Santa Clara Group. The J Medical is a highly advanced structure of more than 3500 msq, providing high-quality health services not only to the Juventus team athletes, but to all citizens. The venue includes 19 doctor’s offices, 2 gyms, pools and areas equipped for physical therapy and rehabilitation.
The whole building’s evacuation and background music transmission system was provided by local company SIELT with RCF’s products. In 2011 RCF had amplified the nearby Juventus Stadium with an innovative customized audio installation project. This time, the products chosen for the J Medical center belong to the EVAC product portfolio – audio systems for the control, management and diffusion of music and paging that comply with EN 60849 standards.
Among RCF’s vast portfolio the choice has fell upon the DXT 9000 Series: it is a distributed system where each component, including the speakers, has its own address and can be monitored according to EN 54 standards. The multizone system at the J Medical center is managed by the MX 9504 master unit, linked to the UP 9504 amplifier. This configuration allows the expansion of the system in order to create 8 zones of 125 W each.
The system includes three BM 9804 multi-zone paging microphones, one for each reception desk, equipped with BE 9808 additional selective call paging microphones. Models PL 68 (ceiling speakers fire domes) and DU 60 EN (wall/ceiling universal steel speakers) are installed in all areas of the health center. All abovementioned products are by RCF.
The SIELT company has been working with RCF since the Eighties and has a trust relationship with it. RCF provided its support for the commissioning. The system is used both for evacuation and paging; in some areas, such as waiting rooms, it is also used for background music.
The excellent results and high quality of certified products has left the health center’s management greatly satisfied. The J Medical center was inaugurated in March 2016 and expects several thousands of visitors per year.
Event
Hailed as an R&B supergroup, New Edition has embarked on their 2016 tour. Nearly 40 years since they first formed, the original six members are once again out on the road. Production for the tour is being handled by Georgia-based Atlanta AV with the assistance of Raleigh, North Carolina-based Alpha Productions. For the tour, they are relying on an RCF TT+ system. Included are 32 TTL55-A three-way line array modules for primary coverage, 12 TTL33-A three-way line array modules for outfills and 18 TTS56-A dual 21” subwoofers set up in cardioid configuration to control low frequencies.
During a recent stop at the Barclay Center in New York with New Edition and Babyface, the RCF live sound team was on hand to provide assistance. “We are happy to assist one of our longest standing touring partners Atlanta AV at one of the country’s premier concert venues,” commented RCF National Sales Manager Tarik Solangi. “This was a very exciting opportunity for RCF, and we appreciate the chance to support these legendary acts.” RCF System Engineer Oscar Mora oversaw the setup, design and system processing. With the 18 TTS56-A, they were positioned in six clusters of three each, creating a cardioid configuration which covered that large arena perfectly while keeping the low frequencies off the stage.
New Edition rose to fame in the early 80s at the forefront of the boy band craze with hits including “Candy Girl”, “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man”. The group went on hiatus in the 90s with the various members embarking on solo careers as well as other projects including Bell Biv De Voe and Heads of State. They re-united in 2011. The tour continues through the end of summer.
Corporate
RCF UK has announced the appointment of SigNET (AC) Ltd, leaders in life safety audio communication (voice alarms), as its Specialist Distributor in the United Kingdom for the DXT 3000 Emergency Evacuation System.
In addition to the Italian manufacturer’s EN 54-16 certified DXT 3000, SigNET will also be able to offer sales of RCF’s associated EN 54 certified Voice Alarm products into the Fire Alarm and Security Systems market within the UK. These were shown for the first time on stand G140 at FIREX International 2016 (London ExCeL, June 21-23).
The DXT 3000 system integrates amplification, control, routing, line monitoring and power supply in a compact, wall-mounted cabinet for single- or multi-zone applications. A wall-mounted emergency microphone and controller are also available, as is a desk-mounted paging microphone.
Stated Phil Price, RCF’s International Sales Manager for Voice Evacuation Systems, and Commercial Audio/Installed Sound, “SigNET is well known for its AFILS hearing loop systems but also has a strong track record supplying Fire Alarm and Voice Alarm systems, which gives a considerable advantage in this strategic market. SigNET will offer full trade distribution and excellent technical support facilities for RCF in the UK.”
SigNET’s Sales Manager, Tremayne Crossley, confirmed this and added, “SigNET has considerable experience in supplying and supporting Voice Alarm systems ranging from shops with a single evacuation zone through to airports with more than 200 zones. We are very excited that this, combined with the innovative design and competitive pricing of the DXT 3000, will allow us to provide the Fire Alarm market with a simple, effective, fully-compliant voice alarm solution.”
Installation
Nine years after his death, Luciano Pavarotti still attracts thousands of fans and followers. The residence of the Master in Modena, Italy, was turned into a Home Museum and inaugurated during last year’s Expo in Italy. Now it has become a permanent project, joining the vast patrimony of Italian cultural and artistic attractions.
A few kilometres from the city of Modena, the ancient villa represents an important part of the tenor’s life and it contains a vast collection of personal items, souvenirs and scene costumes that Pavarotti was particularly fond of. Unreleased pictures and videos are projected in the rooms where the Master spent his last years, and constitute a great opportunity to get to know more directly the artistic and human heritage of the tenor.
The quality of the audio system is a key feature of the Home Museum. Mr. Willy Gubellini, a sound professional who has worked on all editions of the famous charity project Pavarotti & Friends, was charged with providing the audio in the villa’s interiors. RCF’s Ayra studio monitors and EVOX two-way arrays were installed in the Home Museum under his guidance.
“We are using two EVOX 5 systems for the rooms where unpublished works and clips of the Master’s life are projected,” Willy explains. “It is a portable compact two-way system, with two 2’’ drivers and a 10’’ woofer. The speakers can easily be moved should it be required. Another important feature is that they were designed with particular care to vocal frequencies, in order to amplify them with the utmost accuracy and precision; this ensures excellent reproduction of the masterpieces sung by Luciano Pavarotti.”
The Ayra studio monitors are installed in several rooms of the Home Museum and their positioning guarantees the best audio coverage, while minimising the visual impact. Models chosen are eight units of Ayra 5 and Ayra 4, the smallest of the series, together with two Ayra 10 active subwoofers. Willy Gubellini stated: “Ayra studio monitors allow precise detail on all frequencies, and the use of subwoofers has strengthened low frequencies. We managed to obtain an exceptional quality of sound, comparable to a recording studio.”
Event
A crowd of more than 10,000 party-minded folks gathered at the Stoppelmarkt in Vechta, Germany, for the premiere installment of the “Tante Mia tanzt” – “Aunt Mia’s Dance” – electro festival on May 5. Staged for the first time by the local agency plus2event, the festival was to be something very special from its inception, with a star-studded line-up, a unique stage, spectacular special FX and top-flight sound reinforcement for all areas.
The promoter's lofty aims were achieved, as the enthusiastic feedback from festival-goers would attest. The outstanding line-up with top acts such as Echo award-winners Lost Frequencies, Belgium’s Headhunterz and the US collective The Chainsmokers certainly did its part to wow the audience, as did the main stage, which was tricked out to look like a supersized portable radio. This unique design is the most striking product of Thomas Wernikowski and his team's painstaking efforts, but their rigorous attention to detail was everywhere to be seen throughout this well-planned and executed festival.
Acoustic Sound, another local outfit from Vechta, held up the technical end with equal aplomb. To this end, the audio service provider opted to deploy brand new RCF systems.
The crew equipped the main stage, dubbed “Aunt Mia's Dance Garden” by the promoters, with two sets of 12 HDL50-A 3-way active line array speakers and 18 SUB9007-AS dual 21" subwoofers in paired clusters. It was the first time this type of rig was rolled out in Germany. Touring & Theatre series TTP5-A point source enclosures served as in-fills, with front-fill support provided by stacked TTL33-A line array speakers of the same series.
Flown double clusters of TTL6-A units, another brand new 3-way active line-source speaker, covered the floor in “Aunt Mia's Vestibule”, otherwise known as the festival tent. TTL33-A line array modules were used as fills to augment the TTL6-A units. Six double stacks of TTS56-AS dual 21" subwoofers held up the low end.
DJs were treated to a monitor system consisting of TT25-SMA and TTP5-A point sources for the side PA. The artists had nothing but lavish praise for this system's performance, and the clear, punchy sound in the audience areas also got rave reviews.
Learn more about the HDL50-A at www.hdl50-a.com
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