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.
Vibration is one of the most important radio stations in France. Set up in 1982, it can be heard throughout most of the country.
The Live Vibration Tour is the main event promoted by the station, involving some of the most famous national artists – such as Soprano, Black M, and Fréro Delavega. This year’s edition included five concerts in the cities of Orléans, Le Mans, Tours, Bourges and Blois, which took place between September 14-24.
The rental company XCPH took care of most of the technical aspects of the tour and provided an RCF audio system for the second year in a row. Several HDL20-A had been used to cover a crowd of over 8000 people in 2015; however, this year Vibration anticipated higher attendance, therefore XCPH suggested the use of HDL50-A, the latest addition to the Italian manufacturer’s D Line.
The HDL50-A is an active three-way line array module with a built-in 2200W RMS digital amplifier, with 2x12’’ woofers, four symmetrical 6.5’’ midranges and two 2’’ drivers. For all five dates of the tour, the system comprised 8 + 8 HDL50-A cabinets (as a main PA), plus several HDL20-A as outfill. Eight SUB9007-AS subwoofers in endfire configuration provided reinforcement of the low frequencies. The SUB 9007-AS active high power subwoofer is powered by a 7200 W digital amplifier, and has been conceived as the perfect companion for the HDL50-A and HDL20-A line arrays. It is one of the most powerful 2x21’’ subwoofers in the field of live sound.
Before the first date in the city of Tours, the XCPH team had received a specialised two-day training session from the RCF staff, who demonstrated how to make the best use of the HDL50-A system. Everything was managed with the RCF proprietary RDNet networking board and the recently released CR 16-ND control rack, designed to handle the HDL50-A line array.
Mr. Nicolas Fournier, XCPH’s sound manager, stated, “We really appreciated this all-inclusive system with its easy wiring solution. The rack is very useful in live situations, with the whole power supply contained in one box. The configurable mechanics with 0.2° minimum angle is very convenient. Thanks to the advanced machanics, the set-up of the angles can be made before rigging, when the modules are still in their cart, thus reducing assembly times – it is extremely practical! Furthermore, thanks to the support of the RCF team we learned a lot about the wide range of possibilities provided by RDNet.” The CR 16-ND control rack with built-in DX 1616 matrix audio processor was also used to manage the processing, EQ and delay of the HDL20-A outfill cabinets.
The Vibration Tour was attended by a total of over 50,000 people, with a crowd of 22,000 for the last date of the tour in Orléans featuring Fréro Delavega. “We were very impressed by the system, that provided high performance with only a few cabinets and kept the intelligibility constant even at 65 metres from stage!” adds Mr. Fournier. “The HDL50-A is very cost effective among large-format line arrays and will be our target investment in 2017.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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
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.
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