For the last 20 years, the Cincinnati Bengals have been taking on NFL rivals at Paul Brown Stadium. This 65,515-seat gridiron arena that has always placed a premium on the strength and quality of its audio systems. Equally known as the site of performances by artists ranging from Kenny Chesney to Guns N’ Roses, PBS, as locals call it, subscribe to the notion that sound traveling throughout its concourses and seating areas should live up to concert-level expectations at all levels, whether it be on game day or for special events.
To that end, a three-phase project to re-energize the stadium’s original, 20 year-old audio blueprint was just completed this fall, debuting on October 4th before a reduced crowd that watched as the Bengals beat the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars. Designed and implemented by Nashville, Tennessee-based Durrell Sports Audio Management, the new system is an amalgam of workhorse legacy components, upgraded audio processing, and custom loudspeakers built in Italy expressly to meet the needs of this unique application by RCF.
“Paul Brown Stadium is unlike any other around the country when it comes to audio,” Durrell’s John Horrell explains. “Every aspect of its game-day production from simple announcements to music is as live as you can get. There is nothing here that even vaguely resembles a pre recorded TV show. That’s why when we were chosen to upgrade the audio we felt it was essential to create a system that was capable of true, concert-level high performance.”
The upgrade project was implemented in three phases, with the first kicking-off in 2018 and bringing, among other things, new delay loudspeakers from RCF to the upper deck and canopy level. Phase two added approximately 120 new RCF loudspeakers to the lower level and 70 more to the canopy level in 2019, along with eight dual 21-inch RCF subwoofers on each side of the canopy level.
Phase three of the project was approved in January 2020, so by February the job was underway, with Durrell working hand-in-hand with Louisville, Kentucky’s United Electric to turn the new vision into reality. As the pandemic tightened its grip globally on labor and material beginning in March, the design and install team steadfastly kept to construction deadlines with help from suppliers and manufacturers including RCF.
Bellator MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is one of the largest combat sports promotions in the world and the second-largest in the United States. The promotion takes its name from bellātor, the Latin word for "warrior". Recently legalized in France, the fight will take place inside an octagonal cage in the center of the building where the fighters are allowed for any attack except for low kicks and behind the neck.
The Accor Hotel Arena, located in Paris-Bercy, is the fifth-biggest indoor tennis arena by dimensions in the globe, with seating capacity ranging from 7,000 to 20,300, depending on the event. The event follows three shows held behind closed doors at the Allianz Cloud in the Italian city of Milan. The initial sound system design, which required several hanging clusters for a 360° coverage of the entire area, underwent a system adjustment since the public used only two sections. Initially, it was supposed to host about 20,000 spectators but due to current Covid regulations, the capacity was reduced first to 5,000 and finally to 1,000 socially-distanced seats.
The event splits into two sessions: one in the afternoon, broadcasting live on the American CBS TV, and one after 11:30 pm, live on the British BBC, restricted to adults-only. The Italian agency Riptide produced the entire event from the broadcast to the video production and from audio to lighting. Provider for the audio production equipment was Piano e Forte Service from Reggio Emilia (Italy), who also provided all rigging equipment for audio, lights, and LED walls.
Bellator MMA is mainly a format for screens, which recently made its debut to the live environment. Given the audience’s numerical limitation present in the room, the television segment has taken on a preponderant value. The system was then designed by making the television and live action autonomous. Following direction from Claudio Giovanetti, who took care of the broadcasting (both CBS and BBC) as well as being the reference for the Italian production, everything is split independently and redundantly.
Reggio nell'Emilia —The RCF Audio Academy hosts its first in-depth certification course called RCF Professional Team. RCF Professional Team certifies pro audio engineers and certifies their knowledge of RCF products. This in-depth training course is creating a team of professionals and companies that guarantee the best sound quality for the listener, and optimum results for the client, when deploying RCF systems."We felt the need to certify the best professionals who use RCF products," said Fabrizio Grazia, RCF Sales Manager and coordinator of RCF Professional Team [Italia]. "Although RCF products are easy to use and incorporate technologies that facilitate installation and setup, we also want to educate our customers with extensive knowledge for optimal use of our technologies in every scenario."