Event
https://www.facebook.com/events/1051514704911897/
RCF will be hosting some special events during NAMM 2016, in order to present the company’s recent achievements in pro audio R&D.
JOIN US for our product demo at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim on Friday night, and you’ll have the chance to hear RCF's HDL50-A ultra-powerful line array for large events, following the success of HDL20-A, and TTL6-A line source – the latest addition to RCF’s top-of-the-range Touring and Theatre Series.
Please e-mail RCFHDL50@gmail.com for invitation and additional information.
FRIDAY, 22 JANUARY 6 - 8 pm : HDL50-A presentation 8 - 11 pm : TTL6-A presentation @ Phoenix Club, 1340 S Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, CA
Let’s make it loud!
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HDL50-A ACTIVE THREE-WAY LINE ARRAY MODULE The HDL50-A is an active three-way line array module for large events, indoors and outdoors. Equipped with 2x12” woofers, 4x symmetrical 6.5” midranges and two 2” drivers, it offers excellent playback quality and high sound pressure levels with a built in 4400W powerful digital amplifier. Using advanced neodymium magnets and a groundbreaking new housing constructed from lightweight plywood and polypropylene, it has a remarkably low weight.
TTL6-A ACTIVE THREE-WAY LINE ARRAY MODULE The TTL6-A is a high power, three-way, active line source engineered to deliver high fidelity output for use indoors and outdoors, for medium to large spaces. TTL 6-A provides all the advantages of line array technology, such as high direct sound, increased range and a uniform level distribution, with additional ease of use. It is the preferred sound set-up for stacked systems and when a wider dispersion is required. The 3-way TTL6-A line source is equipped with 2 x 12” low frequencies woofers, 4 x 6.5” midranges and a 3.0” voice coil compression driver with wave-guide for distinctive homogenous directivity. The integration of four channels of digital amplification and the advanced digital processing set a new standard for distortion, noise and thermal efficiency.
Installation
The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, recently inaugurated at Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, is one of the largest and most spectacular places of worship in the world.
This architectural work of art can host up to 28,000 worshippers and features 65 domes, six minarets (more than 80m) tall, 24 carat gold-plated accessories and precious hand-woven carpets. The building’s area is 39,000 sqm (excluding the majestic courtyard and external areas): it is the second largest mosque in the UAE and it was built using marble and fine materials from all over the world.
Because of the mosque’s size and its architectural features – in particular the high ceilinged domes that are typical of the Islamic style – the mosque is an extremely reverberant venue. Similarly to other large-sized places of worship, the main challenge for RCF’s engineers was to attain good intelligibility across the entire listening area without neglecting the requirement for minimum visual impact.
For these reasons the choice of the main audio system fell to RCF’s VSA 2050 multi-amplified digitally steerable columns. The directivity control function allows a clear and faithful reproduction over the listening area while minimising energy dispersion towards the ceiling and the side wall concavities, thus reducing the reverberant field. White VSA 2050’s are elegant and ensure a minimum visual impact, integrating naturally in the building where white and gold are the prevailing colours.
RCF’s L2406-T three-way column speakers, also in white, have been used as delay lines and sound reinforcement in smaller areas inside the mosque. Thanks to their narrow vertical coverage angle (30°) and an excellent quality of sound, these columns complete the main system with superlative results. They are also very easy to install through, with an integrated transformer that is particularly useful for installation on pillars or in other points where there are restrictions on wiring.
The audio system also comprises CS 6940 column speakers, which have been installed in hallways and small secondary rooms, and P 4228 outdoor speakers, which were the right choice for the mosque’s main courtyard. RCF’s horns (HD 410 and H 6045) were installed on the minarets, and guarantee long throw and incomparable SPL. The installation and commissioning were carried out by Oasis Enterprises.
The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque officially opened in September 2015, for the Islamic festivity of Eid-al Adha. Over 40,000 people visited the venue and remained amazed by the building’s richness and its unrepeatable atmosphere of peace and prayer.
INSTALLATION DETAILS
12 x VSA 2050 digitally steerable column speaker - main 8 x L2406 three-way column speaker – delay lines
6 x P 4228 weatherproof two-way loudspeaker – outdoor 16 x CS 6940 two-way column speaker – corridors and secondary rooms 18 x HD 410 horn speaker – minarets 14 x H 6045 horn speaker – minarets
Installation
The newly-renovated Cathedral Museum in Florence was inaugurated on 29th October with a DXT 9000 evacuation system from RCF.
The Museum, located a few steps away from the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, is the largest permanent exposition of sculptures dating back to the Tuscan Middle Ages and Renaissance. A group of distinguished architects led the massive renovation project and this resulted in a doubling of the area where the artworks are shown, and is now around 6000 sqm.
The COO of the Museum’s special systems, Mr. Daniele Baccellini from GM Engineering studio, expressed his satisfaction with the system: “The DXT 9000 is compliant with the EN 54 standard, works very well and allows pre-recorderd evacuation announcements to be integrated with vocal messages that are broadcast to the public in specific situations.”
The system was designed by professor eng. Giancarlo Martarelli and can broadcast messages in both Italian and English as part of the fire alarm system. The package includes an MX 9504 amplified master unit, a UP 9504 four-channel amplifier and a BM 9804 multi-zone paging microphone, all manufactured by RCF. The evacuation system is completed by around 60 PL 70EN ceiling speakers, that blend into the Museum’s interiors in a subtle and discreet manner. As Mr. Baccellini explained: “This is an extraordinary exposition, so presentation is also really important. We chose the ceiling speakers not just because of their functional features, but also because of their look.”
Mr. Francesco Fallani, a representative from the company C.L. Impianti, which installed the Museum’s electrical systems, was no stranger to the DXT 9000: “We had already used this evacuation system in other projects in the past and we will keep on proposing it. Besides the functionality and efficiency of the products, we value RCF’s collaboration and technical support in all operation phases.”
High-quality products and a fruitful collaboration were the key elements for the evacuation project in the Cathedral Museum, where thousands of tourists have already enjoyed the artworks of Donatello, Michelangelo and other masterpieces of world sculpture.
Event
French rental company XCPH recently fielded its premium RCF HDL20-A composite line array for the Vibration radio tour headlining the young stars (and former TV talent show winners) Louane and Marina Kaye.
With support from production coordinator, Jean Louis Couleard, the opening concert at Le Mans was one of six, also including Orleans, Blois, Tours, Angers and Bourges. It saw 7,500 people arrive at the Place des Jacobins in the centre of the city for an event that almost didn't take place, as the tropical storm Henri had crossed the country on the day of the show.
By then the Orleans based production company had rigged the PA comprising two clusters of RCF’s HDL20-A, each with seven elements, and a further six HDL20-A enclosures as front fills. Nine 8006AS subs, in 3 x 3 stacks, provided cardioid pattern control.
“We were almost ready to cancel the concert,” admits XCPH’s sound engineer Nicolas Fournier. “Finally the rigging was made secure but we really appreciated the rain cover accessories provided with the HDL.
“In fact we appreciated everything about the system: it was very easy to set up and its modularity meant that when we were playing small to mid-sized venues we could use just a few speakers in a stack configuration. In addition to that, the mechanics are also pretty clever and that saved us a lot of time.”
Generally, XCPH deploy their HDL20-A in an indoor configuration along with their HDL18-AS single 18’ subwoofers in an array. But for the Vibration tour, they extended this, and beefed up the LF with the double 18” subs in cardio configuration.
Reviewing the attributes of the sound system, Nicolas Fournier notes the extreme power generated from a mid-sized PA that is powered by a 1400W (peak) 2 way digital amplifier, and controlled from a powerful DSP. “We are always impressed by the energy from the HDL20-A,” he said. At the concert in Blois, over 12,000 people attended, with special guest artist Shy’m added to the show. “Once again we kept perfect clarity thanks to a delay cluster of six HD20-A at 40 meters from the stage.
“The 8006AS subwoofers were also incredible, producing an extremely strong and deep bass response. Cardioid control is very easy — it only requires a preset button to be pushed and the internal DSP manages all the pattern behaviour.”
But the main advantage of HDL, he says, is the sweet and natural equalisation, which rarely requires much external processing.
Summing up the reasons why they prefer the HDL20-A, Nicolas Fournier concludes, “For rental companies like us, concerned with tight budgets and cost effective systems, RCF’s HDL20-A guarantees a similar performance to ‘premium’ systems that are two or three times more expensive.”
Event
Two of Europe’s biggest DJ/dance festivals, Splash! and Melt! have grown considerably over the 17 or so years they have been running, and today find themselves running on consecutive weekends at the Ferropolis disused colliery site at Gräfenhainichen, near Dessau.
This German venue is also known as the “City of Iron”, and with Splash! specialising in hip hop and reggae and Melt! one of the largest electronic open air music festivals in Germany, a premium sound system was required. Thus a top of the range RCF TTL line array system was specified, provided by TSE AG of Berlin, with Silvio König as technical director and Marcel Kuch as project manager.
In both cases, RCF’s TTL55-A line array system had to provide coverage for crowds of up to 25,000 people. The rental company fielded a total of 24 x TTL55-A (12 elements per side) and 18 x TTS56-A subs. These were arranged in three stacks on end in a straight line across the front oft he stage (rather than as a cardioid array).
A further eight RCF TTL33-A were also placed atop two of the TTS56-A to act as front fills while a further four RCF SUB8004-A and a pair of TTP5-A were deployed as stereo monitors for the DJs. The whole set up was driven and controlled by RDNet, RCF’s proprietary protocol.
The challenges facing the production company were due to the distance from the FOH position to the stage, which was approximately 50m. “For events of this nature the FOH technical team needs to rely on continuous, powerful and deep bass response — and this was delivered by the special set-up of the TTS56-A,“ a spokesman confirmed.
Event
The Live and Touring series gives voice voice reinforcement to Pope Francis as he addresses believers packed into the city squares
The Pontiff’s historic trip to Cuba last September was amplified by RCF audio systems.
Pope Francis landed in Cuba on Saturday 19 September in the afternoon. The next morning he celebrated Sunday Mass and the Angelus in Havana’s Revolution Square, in the presence of more than 40,000 people, who were divided into separate zones for security reasons.
The closest area to the stage, set aside for VIPs, politicians and diplomats, was reinforced by eight TTL55-A three-way active line arrays (four per side), plus six TTS36-A high-power subwoofers, in cardioid configuration.
On Sunday afternoon the Pope celebrated Vespers inside the Havana Cathedral. An RCF system comprising eight HDL20-A active line arrays and two 8006-AS high-power subwoofers ensured good SPL and intelligibility to more than 2,000 people gathered in the Cathedral’s square.
On the morning of Monday 21 September the Pontiff flew to Holguín, the third-largest city in Cuba, where he celebrated Holy Mass in Revolution Square, which was filled with around 15,000 people, according to the authorities. The system used to amplify the Pope’s voice in Holguín consisted of 24 units of TTL55-A and TTS36-A, in cardioid configuration.
Back in 2012, during Pope Benedict’s trip to Cuba, the local government had chosen RCF’s TT+ Series to amplify the Mess in Havana’s Revolution Square. Even before that — back in 2010 — the Touring and Theatre products had ensured a homogeneous and powerful coverage to the immense crowd (more than 120,000 people) that had flocked to Brno, in Czech Republic, for the visite of Benedict XVI.
Event
“It was great. The system performed very well everywhere we went, both in open squares and indoors,” said Francesco Monti, known as Fré Monti, one of the most promising emerging musicians on the Italian scene. A finalist in the first edition of The Voice of Italy TV programme, he toured Tuscany, Sardinia and Latium in summer 2015 with an RCF audio system that comprised two EVOX 8 and several ART 712-A MK II, winners of the Red Dot award – a prestigious international prize for product design with more than 15'000 submissions per year.
Besides regularly performing outdoors in the most popular localities, such as the exclusive Costa Smeralda area, Fré Monti also played at the Cala di Volpe Hotel and Porto Cervo’s Yacht Club, in front of many members of the international jet set – including the business magnate Karīm al-Husaynī, main pioneer of Sardinia’s tourist boom.
EVOX 8 turned out to be the perfect companions for Fré Monti’s trio, thanks to their outstanding portability, high power and constant horizontal directivity of 180°. ART712-A was designed to offer strong resistance for an intensive usage, high sound definition and a complete range of frequencies.
“The products exceeded my expectations, and worked perfectly, both in mid-sized closed venues, as well as in open squares, where our music was heard from a great distance,” states Fré Monti. “It is a particularly agile audio system. This feature was essential during the tour, because we were assembling and dismantling almost every day.”
During the intense tour of around 70 concerts, the 28-year-old songwriter’s trio (voice and acoustic guitar; percussion; bass) performed original songs as well as covers on stage. Fré Monti will continue to play live shows in Italy and abroad, and is currently preparing an album of previously unreleased songs.
Installation
The Philharmonia Orchestra of New York along with the Concert Chorale of New York and several soloists performed at the Lincoln Center Festival in Manhattan’s world-class venue Avery Fisher Hall. The event, held from July 6-12, was a tribute to Danny Elfman, the phenomenal composer of Tim Burton’s movie soundtracks.
Elfman was present in person and sang the part of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas with his powerful baritone voice. The orchestra and chorus – led by Grammy-winner conductor John Mauceri – managed to offer a truly unforgettable show to a jubilant crowd, with a precise and portentous interpretation of Elfman’s inventive, creepy, yet hilarious compositions from Edward Scissorhands, Mars Attack, Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, and several other Burton’s movies. The show was also supported by spectacular visuals.
The audio system installed at Avery Fisher Hall for the occasion was composed of 10 x 2 clusters of RCF TTL33-A II active three-way line array and four TTS56-A active high power subwoofers. Four TT052-A ultra compact high output speakers were used as lipfill, and two TT2-A active high-output two-way speakers as sidefill.
One of the reasons behind the choice of the TTL33-A II lies in the need to cover the whole concert hall, comprising three levels of balconies. With its 100° horizontal coverage angle, this line array was capable of ensuring perfect coverage to all seats, even those in the highest balcony. On the other hand, the TTS56-A subwoofers provided an excellent reproduction of very low frequencies through their two 21’’ neodymium woofers.
The whole system was monitored with RCF’s proprietary RDNet protocol, that allowed fine tuning of the system for a homogeneous coverage in the whole complex area.
Paul Bevan, FOH engineer for the show, explains that one of the principal challenges was to maintain a very natural “orchestral” sound at a slightly elevated level than a purely acoustic presentation. With a wide range of dynamics, incorporating a male and female chorus, vocal soloists, electronic sounds from keyboards and some pre-lay tracks from the original scores, the concert required a system that was capable of great clarity.
“When designing a suitable system for this project, RCF TT+ line arrays were recommended to me by several people whose opinions I respect,” Bevan says. “We had very little time for set-up and tuning the system. The cabinets went up quickly and easily. The RDNet software gave an extremely even and natural sound throughout the venue, even before the small amount of tweaking that would be necessary in any venue and with any system. The clarity and separation that I was able to achieve, given the many different textures, made mixing the show in an extremely reverberant hall much easier than I expected. The system integrated these various elements beautifully.”
The concert was filmed for a TV show, and a further validation of the system came during the mixing of the recorded tracks. In the words of Paul Bevan: “The cleanliness of the recorded tracks is astonishing, with no sign of the PA spilling back into the microphones. Considering that there were approximately 90 microphones in use throughout the orchestra and chorus, this is a testimony to the control that I was able to achieve, while maintaining a full and dynamic mix in the hall. I look forward to the next opportunity to use this system.”
RCF TT+ systems had already been used in the same venue in 2012, when the Philip Glass Ensemble, along with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Collegiate Choir, had performed Philip Glass’s soundtracks. The two-and-a-half-hour event of 2015 was a huge success, largely praised by the critics and public, that offered an impressively long ovation to the performers.
Installation
Sound Advice carries out complete audio upgrade as mediaeval meets post-modern
Back in 2010, when the medieval Tewkesbury Abbey was considering the installation of a new LED environmental lighting system it simultaneously saw the opportunity to rectify the problems it had been having with its sound system — which was becoming unreliable and lacking in intelligibility — and at the same time take advantage of the new cabling infrastructure.
The contract went out to tender, and from the five companies originally approached, Jon Hunnisett’s Sound Advice PA Installation, specialists in houses of worship, provided the successful bid. He based his proposal around an RCF VSA (Vertical Steerable Array) solution, having seen it successfully deployed in other famous heritage buildings such as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
VSA would need to be sensitively installed in Tewkesbury’s Grade I-listed visitor attraction under the watchful eye of the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee) since it dates back to Norman times. In fact The Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin (to use its correct name), is the second largest parish church in the country and a former Benedictine monastery. Founded in 1087 by nobleman Robert FitzHamon, building of the present Abbey did not start until 1102 and was eventually consecrated in 1121.
Jon Hunnisett’s company has worked on many projects with RCF — aside from installing column speakers in houses of worship they have fitted many of their conference systems in commercial meeting rooms and chambers. “They are a great company to deal with — we always get excellent support, including the technical expertise in Italy to back us up,” he said.
In this case the back-up came from the project manager from RCF’s in-house division, who provided the measurements and analyses. This gave the project team the acoustic background in which to design their series of VSA2050, VSA1250 and VSA850 columns in a six zone system incorporating the main Nave, Quire and Lady Chapel.
In another zone — the Ambulatory walkway which runs around the perimeter behind the altar — these were supplemented by eight passive CS6940, powered by a pair of RCF UP8504 quad channel power amps, a column speaker the installer has used on many occasions in the past (and which features in Westminster Abbey).
Hunnisett continues, “This time around I didn't want a large number of distributed speakers with separate delays so much as minimal equipment that would provide a lot of options with more versatile delay and EQ options. I had heard VSA and knew it would tick all the boxes while still hitting the price points.”
And so in addition to the high directivity CS6940, he specified a total of six of RCF’s flagship VSA2050 powered and steerable vertical array columns (four for the nave and two for the high altar), five VSA1250 (for the Choir, the Font and Lady Chapel) and a pair of VSA850, which sit under a pair of the larger VSA’s either side of the aisle at the front of the nave. While the VSA2050s handle the long throw focus over a 20-metre distance, the VSA850’s cover the near-field. The two VSA1250, installed on pillars facing the Font, provide independent local coverage for specific services.
The Diocesan Committee were already aware of the power and flexibility of the preset beam patterns, as the Sound Advice team had earlier provided a VSA demonstration to the entire Abbey church committee. “We put one speaker up and they were enormously impressed,” Jon Hunnisett remembers. “As a result, the Faculty immediately approved [the investment].
“The trick was to use the loudspeakers in conjunction with the excellent natural acoustics of the space to amplify the sound, rather than try to overpower the reverberation.”
So what attributes make this multi-amplified RCF series, in which each VSA2050 contains 20 x 3.5in RCF neodymium full range transducers and 20 x Class D 50W digital amps, so impressive? The principle is based on the power of the DSP’s which process the audio signal sent to each speaker for controlling its vertical acoustic dispersion. This enables it to address the audio signal to the listening area, rather than scattering acoustic energy to ceilings and empty floors, creating unwanted reflections that would affect speech intelligibility in buildings with high reverberation time, such as churches. This speaker offers vertical coverage selectable within 10°-30°, with steering angle selectable within 0°-40°, and frequency response 100Hz-18KHz with best steerable directivity control between 150Hz-6kHz.
The values measured at the end of commissioning by the RCF team, using the latest analysis software, make interesting reading. STI average values were recorded at: 0.57 (Nave), 0.59 (Choir), 0.56 (Lady Chapel, Ambulatory), with a 40dB background noise correction factor enabled. At the same time, the RT60 average value over different measurements on octave bands revealed 4.85 secs (125Hz), 4.63 secs (250Hz), 4.44 secs (500Hz), 4.18 secs (1KHz), 3.36 secs (2KHz), 2.08 secs (4KHz) and 0.94 secs (8KHz).
The decision had already been taken to leave the speakers in factory finish white, rather than apply a custom stone finish that would see them disappear into the stone columns on which they were mounted, but the same was not true of the cable runs — on 12-metre drops from the Triforium above — as these have been painted to blend invisibly into the background.
Yet these physical demands were nothing compared to the challenges of providing highly sophisticated control that could nevertheless be managed intuitively from a remote Crestron interactive touch tablet. Even clergy in a mediaeval abbey are still expected to sign up to the iPad/remote tablet generation.
With all the control housed in a remote 32U rack, the architecture is based around three Symetrix DSP Radius digital 12 x 8 matrix devices, giving 36 input channels (including CD player and recorder) feeding 24 output channels; it is this that issues relay commands via the processor.
Jon Hunnisett explains the rationale. “There was not a manual slider available which would meet the requirement and so we spent ten days programming each of the zones so that the matrix could be controlled over wi-fi, with individual input control and volume control for the outputs.”
For the speaker coverage it could scarcely be simpler as graphic representations of each zone appear on the tablet, clearly showing masked areas that can be selected for sound coverage, depending on the service rota. “For example,” says Hunnisett, “for the Lady Chapel the remote touch screen would tell the DSP to access certain outputs as required. Behind the scenes a lot of programming has taken place to achieve this.”
The iPad also contains an app for the radio mics so that the control panel will show whether any of the five lapel mics are muted or not, as well as the status of the rechargeable batteries. These radios are joined by two condenser microphones for the lectern and pulpit, hardwired to the equipment rack.
An audio feed is also sent to the new induction loop system, but as RCF’s Phil Price notes: “Some people may be reluctant to use aids, even though they may be hard of hearing — but now they can hear every word of the sermon. Another interesting fact about the new sound reinforcement system is that if there is choral music at low level the sound appears to come from the choir itself rather than from the speakers.”
At the end of it all, mediaeval abbeys were never built to host music — such as CD’s for weddings and baptisms — and were hardly built with slide rule precision. At the survey stage Jon Hunnisett realised that the pillars down the nave tilted slightly, and he had to decide whether to follow the line of the pillars with the steerable columns or take a true vertical approach (which he eventually opted for, with the aid of a laser leveller).
He could scarcely be happier with the implementation. “The new set-up offers two-way interactivity and with all the DSP pre-programmed, and the beam steering computer optimised by the RCF specialists, anyone who can tap a button can now use this.”
Corporate
RCF has appointed Freund Elektronik A/S to handle all their voice alarm products in Denmark.
The new partnership was confirmed, with immediate effect, by Jørgen Freund, director of the Danish company, and Phil Price, who has taken on a new role heading up Voice Evacuation, Commercial Audio and Installed Sound for RCF in Europe.
Founded in 1981 to supply the country’s wholesalers and electricians with high quality products, Freund Elektronik A/S has been specialising in the sale of Voice Alarm systems for the past ten years.
States Freund Elektronik technical consultant, Thomas Knoth, “We researched the market, and realising that RCF was the industry leader, we approached them at ISE 2015.
“With the new and high demands of voice evacuation equipment we were pleased to discover that RCF had EN54 compliance on all their VA products, combined with easy installation.”
He added that with the company’s heritage in supplying fire alarm and fire protection equipment the partnership with RCF was a natural fit. “With the RCF VA systems portfolio we will be able to offer customers product that fits perfectly within their field of specialisation,” he said.
In reply, Phil Price added, “RCF has been involved in PA/VA for over 15 years and this marries well with the our general pro audio heritage, stretching back 66 years.
“However, with the new EN54 legislation we decided to make a major investment in our in-house technology by mounting a strategic and ongoing R&D programme.
“In some instances this has required a channel to market that differs from our traditional routes, and in identifying suitable partners in the fire and voice alarm sector, I met Freund Elektronik. I was very impressed with the technical support they offer customers and their ethos of long-term after-sales support — and this made me realise that they were a partner we could work with.”
Pic (left to right): Jørgen Freund, Thomas Knoth, Phil Price and Kenneth Freund
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