Installation
Astana Hz. Sultan Mosque is one of the distinguished buildings in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. It features an incredible worship area of over 60.000m2 to allow for 10.000 people to pray at the same time. The main hall has 1 main and 8 smaller cupolas, of which the main has a diameter of 28 metres and a height of 43 metres. All floors are covered with specially woven carpets, resulting in a fair absorption on the higher end. Most surfaces expect for the floors are covered with marbles and encaustic tiles from Iznik, Turkey. This unparalleled beauty has a price to pay acoustically, making the halls extremely reverberant especially on the lower end, thus making the electroacoustical design the ultimate challenge.
Complete structure was modelled in EASE4.3 and the exhaustive design process started, adding and removing lots of speakers so as to keep the intelligibility and sound pressure levels as high as possible, taking into consideration that even the simple breathing of 10.000 people is a significant noise. Since the construction schedule was very tight, time spent for design was of a big issue. After days of around the clock recalculations, Asimetrik (Turkish integrator company) engineers came up with the final design using RCF’s TT+ Touring and Theatre series speakers, which not only solved the reverberation issues but also the abundant amplifier power in these small-in-size cabinets provided the power needed for the over 120.000m3 halls. The state of the art TTL11A-H and TTL11A-B arrays were placed on two sides of the altar (mihrab) to provide for the main source with 6 delay lines of TT051A speakers in the main hall and another TTL11A-H and TTL11A-B array for the extended praying area with 2 more delay lines of TT051A speakers to fill in all the corners and also to maintain an even coverage of sound pressure and a flat response for the entire praying area.
The importance of discretion of sound systems in such venues with spectacular features cannot be overstated. Thus, all these speakers were customized to fit in the colours of marbles and tiles. Following the installation and completion of the venue, measurements proved the design to be right, with remarkable coherence to the computer model.
Event
Maintaining a cutting-edge technical inventory can be an expensive business when you run a turnkey live events production company.
But for Wetherby-based AV-Matrix it is certainly paying off — and the demand to service increasingly bigger functions has now led to them purchasing an RCF TT+ (Touring & Theatre) TTL33-A II, as the premier line array system in their hire fleet.
Managing director Mark Parker confirmed the order for 12 elements of the powered loudspeakers with RCF’s Northern Sales Manager (and TT+ touring specialist), Mick Butler. The order also included four TTS36-A subs — and the AV-Matrix MD stated that this was just the beginning.
Mark has been buying from RCF since setting up the company back in 2003. His company specializes in providing event solutions for functions ranging from conferences to exhibitions, product launches, fashion shows, corporate events and concerts across the UK.
And it has been the increased size, and frequency, of these events that forced the new acquisition. “Clients are now expecting higher production values and so we needed to fill a gap at the top end of our sound reinforcement capability. We took the RCF system out to hear it in a live situation, and purchased it purely on the strength of its performance. It’s stunning.”
Other systems they had reviewed did not deliver the same value and high definition, he said — but the real clincher for AV Matrix was the control offered by RCF’s proprietary RDNet platform. “This networking capability allows us to keep in touch with every component in the system, making it extremely user friendly,” he explains.
The TTL33-A has already provided coverage for corporate dinners hosting up to 1200, as well as 1500-capacity music events. “But its capability is way over that and the system is really delivering on all fronts.”
And with AV Matrix systematically winning ever larger contracts, their turnover has rocketed by 50% in the last 12 months alone.
Corporate
Rondinelli Audio, located in Dubuque, Iowa, has been providing guitars, drums and PA gear to the area since 1977. In 1986 they expanded the company with sound company services and have been a staple at local events ever since.
Last year, the owner of the company, George Rondinelli, added an RCF TT+ line array system to their inventory. He was so pleased with the TT+ system that he recently added a few more modules, bringing his total up to 12 and also purchased the NX line array for smaller events, making their inventory even more versatile.
Rondinelli Audio provides sound for anything from political rallies and graduations to regional fairs and national acts at the local casinos. "We needed something that would be extremely versatile," Rondinelli adds. "The RCF line is beautifully made and sounds terrific. The TT+ line array was exactly what we were looking for."
The TT+ line array replaced an array system that was sold to another organization. "It was a great provide a terrific system to another company while offering us the opportunity to check out the new line array systems and find something that fit our needs perfectly," he added.
The TTL33-A is a compact, wide dispersion, 3 way active line array module that offers high performance from a small size line array. High output, accuracy and high frequency extension plus the compact size makes it ideal for the variety of events Rondinelli Audio provides sound for.
Each cabinet is loaded with a two 8-inch neodymium woofers, one 8-inch horn loaded midrange neodymium woofer and three 1-inch neodymium compression drivers for excellent vocal presence and high SPL.
"The small footprint of the TT+ array was a huge plus," notes Rondinelli. "It's small and light weight which translates into less truck space and quicker load-in/load-out. And many of our clients like the system, when hung, to be as unobtrusive as possible – and this is."
Adding the NX line array added more flexibility to the services Rondinelli Audio provides the area.
Rondinelli continues, "The NX system will allow us to do two events at one time, neither system requires as much manpower to get up and running so I can literally do more with less."
Rondinelli Audio is the sound supplier to both the Diamond Jo Casino and Mystique Casino, which are also located in Dubuque. As a result the RCF TT+ line array has been the system of choice for the national acts that come through the area to perform including Brett Michaels, Davy Jones, Uncle Cracker, Air Supply and the Little River Band.
"There is no such thing as a good, cheap line array," Rondinelli continues. "So when you make the investment you are investing in a relationship with the company for the next couple of years. RCF has been great and I look forward to working with them more in the future."
RCF designs and manufactures high-quality professional audio sound system components including transducers, powered and self-powered loudspeakers and line arrays, power amplifiers, digital loudspeaker management systems, recording monitors, microphones and rack components. Headquartered in Reggio Emilia, Italy, RCF USA is a subsidiary of the RCF Group, which is comprised of RCF S.p.A and AEB Industriale s.r.l. (which owns dBTechnologies), and is listed on the Italian Stock Exchange.
More information is available at Tel: +1 (732) 901-6100, email: info@rcf-usa.com or by visiting www.rcf-usa.com
Installation
New RCF sound system for Florence Airport
Several years ago, the Amerigo Vespucci Airport’s terminal building in Florence was equipped with an RCF sound system.
But by the time it came to equipping the new terminal earlier this year, new regulations for security and evacuation, coupled with an evolution in sound system technology, meant that while RCF was once again chosen as the preferred supplier, the company was now required to deliver a far superior solution, in keeping with the new regulations.
Work began on the project in mid-August 2011 under the supervision of RCF project manager, Aristodemo Preda, and the whole system became operational in mid-December.
At the submission stage, various acoustic simulations were carried out, necessary to determine the efficiency of the system and necessary compliances. For in addition to meeting the normal requirements of speech intelligibility (public messaging), background music and flight information in the form of automatic announcements, the system also needed to address security standards regarding emergency / evacuation procedures.
Thanks to the EASE 4.3, which is able to provide 3D modelling, it was possible to accurately reconstruct the architecture of the main rooms ‘virtually’, and set the ‘acoustic fingerprint’ of the speakers, simulating the behaviour and final result with great precision. In this way, the sound pressure levels and intelligibility (STI) could be measured, and compatibility with the parameters set in the reference standard determined.
The entire structure was divided into 14 distinct audio zones, to which mic and pre-recorded announcements, including emergency messages, and background music could be routed. Each zone is served by two or more lines of speakers, driven by the same number of amplifiers a best intelligibility. Thanks to the careful speaker placement this solution helps ensure a consistent and continuous announcement service in the event of one line failing.
The use of an RCF system ensured the total replacement of sound sources, including the connecting lines, already installed in the old terminal so that the digital network can be extended between this and the new building, currently under construction.
The system management is under the command of the RCF DXT 5000 digital matrix system which is EN 60849-compliant. This allows each component to be assigned its own physical address, designed to completely control and manage background music and paging, even for emergency and evacuation purposes.
Device monitoring and self checks can be carried out via the MU 5100, central management unit, with audio inputs and outputs, messaging, speaker circuits and digital connections verified in real time. The system is fully configurable from either the front panel of the MU 5100 or more easily from the GUI installed on a PC.
In addition to being interfaced to the fire detection system using programmable logic contacts, the system is connected to the automatic announcement system by transmitting digital audio and serial port for activation and routing of messages within all the designated areas.
Using the RCF solution, therefore, it has been possible to upgrade the audio system to the current legislation, in the interests of both security and flexibility, while at the same time expanding the network to accommodate the expansion of the Airport.
Event
Japan’s recent Big Beach Dance Festival at the Makuhari Seaside Park in Chiba, again saw crowds of around 20,000 people assemble to see an all star line up, including The Chemical Brothers (playing a DJ set), John Digweed, Beardyman, Timo Maas and many more. Promoted by alife Entertainment, adding to the atmosphere of the legendary beach party was a full RCF rig on each of the three stages. RCF’s sales manager for the region, Lars Yoshiyama, reported that the event was a major success.
Contracted to provide the sound was rental company, Comestock, and such was the scale of the PA requirement that they needed to buy a complete new system. After careful consideration they opted for RCF, and placed an order with territorial distributor Ballad Co.
Managed by Norihiro Matsuyama, Comestock chose the TT+ system because of its clarity and its exceptional power handling. The company noted that the system was very easy to fly while the proprietary RDNet allows complete control and system monitoring. In fact during the event it was possible to monitor all components through the remote RDNet tool.
As a result, the main stage saw 14 elements per side of RCF’s premium TTL55-A line array in a spiral configuration, with 12 TTS56-A and TTL36-AS subs — in straight line stacks across the centre, with one TTL36-AS double 18in box on top of a TTS56-A double 21in sub. Nearfield coverage was provided by four TTL31-A compact line arrays — all under RCF RDNet control for delay and monitoring. Stage monitors were provided in the shape of six TT25-SMA and two TTS28-A subs — while coverage for a VIP area close to the stage was also provided by a pair of TTL31-A enclosures.
The second stage was equipped with four RCF TTL33-A per side with a pair of TTL31-A providing nearfield coverage and four TTL36-AS adding low frequency extension. Artists reference monitoring included two RCF TT25-A, two ART722-A and four NX15-SMA wedge. Finally, sound reinforcement in the auxiliary tent, which provided the third sound stage, was again RCF — this time four TT22-A active non-linear boxes were used, underpinned by a pair of SUB 718-AS.
The event was supported by RCF product specialist, Oscar Mora, who provided system training as well as helping to identify the crosspoint between TTS56-A and TTL36-AS subs. In addition, he took care of the system’s fine tuning and guided Comestock through the most efficient way of using the RCF RDNet controller.
Also present was RCF’s Lars Yoshiyama, who was involved in the planning of the event. He organised the availability of the system as part of his role of managing the strategic planning of RCF in the Japanese market.
However, the production was not without its challenges. Such is the location of the beach that sand blown by the swirling wind presents a constant threat. Heavy rain the day before and the proximity of neighbouring residences, potentially giving rise to noise complaints, presented further challenges.
However, the TT+ system managed to overcome the wind problem with its uniform, constant coverage pattern. “The extraordinary power in the high frequency range and the high definition helped a lot in negating any kind of wind problem, while the cabinets are completely water resistant and were impervious to the rain,” said Lars Yoshiyama.
As to the noise problem the RCF products — and expertise of the engineers — helped to obviate any complaints, and the coverage remained tight and directional, yet still maintained a punchy 122 dB max at FOH, 52 meters from the stage.
BBF has been voted the best dance music festival for the last three years and is one of the most respected events in Japan. Hence their endorsement of this sound system became a great profiling exercise for RCF with many PA guys, sound engineers and stage directors wanting to hear the next generation of sound.
One top boy band producer simply said: “The system is number one.” And sound engineers who routinely specify other line array brands when touring had only good things to say.
But perhaps the best quote of all came from Alex Nightingale, manager of the Chemical Brothers, who said, "Sonically the production enhanced the set to create the effect of the sound of a club on a beach."
Installation
One of London’s top rehearsal studios has upgraded its flagship Studio A with end-to-end RCF TT+ active loudspeakers.
Charlie Barrett, who has run Terminal Studios for the past 28 of its 33 years, has been heavily committed to providing leading edge PA systems for its premier clientele, since moving the business to Bermondsey in 1990. Last month he introduced line array technology, commissioning six RCF TTL33-A active enclosures — three elements a side — and two ground-stacked TTS28-A subs to maintain their competitive edge.
It was in the early 90’s that Barrett started to periodically renew the technical infrastructure but recognised recently that his trusty 12-year-old system had reached end of life.
“I have always been a bit of a gear nerd and having a good PA that would keep us ahead of the game has always been our USP.”
A couple of years ago he made his first investment in RCF in the form of 12 processor-controlled RCF TT22-A full range point source system and six TTS18-A subs as a dry hire rental system for Terminal’s corporate and small scale live work. At the same time he purchased six TT25SMA dedicated stage monitors.
“We liked the system a lot when we heard it,” he remarked. “It goes out regularly but has been absolutely reliable and not one component has ever broken down. On top of that a number of engineers have passed favourable comment.”
So when it came to upgrading the premier of Terminal’s five studios he was eager to revisit the brand — aware that although RCF has penetrated many market sectors it is still developing a touring pedigree. “This room is hugely influential and is used a lot for record company showcases. RCF may not have the brand visibility yet in the touring world but there were a number of positive reasons for choosing it,” he said.
The proven reliability of the earlier TT+ system had been a key driver. “We wanted to keep the amount of power we had from our previous system — but without the harshness.
“Because we had already tried the RCF TT+ range I knew it to be both powerful and sweet sounding and also that it had been built without compromise. The big turn on was that it is very tightly processor controlled — in fact it sounded so great straight out of the box we were able to run it flat. It also takes up less space because there is no amp rack and you don't need to put separate crossovers in.”
As for the stage, following their positive experience with the TTS25-SMA wedge monitors, Terminal Studios have added a further six — plus three of RCF’s TT45-SMA 2 x 12 biamped wedges and an RCF 4PRO 6001A and 4PRO 8003-AS 4-way active drum fill. Once again, he notes that self-powered floor wedges can be added and subtracted more easily.
The room has around a 50ft throw and so benefits from having more components operating at lower level, believes Barrett. “Although the TT+ system doesn't sound loud, the whole room is completely filled with sound, and the bottom end is also impressive. Using RCF’s proprietary flying frame we can rotate the speakers to point either at the listener or the band.”
In the short time since its installation The TT+ (Touring & Theatre) system has already proved itself with a wide variety of acts including Jessie J, Chase and Status, JLS, Ollie Murs, The Wanted, Dappy and Brian May.
The sight of the TTL33-A certainly brought back memories for Chase and Status’s experienced sound engineer, Rampton — prepping for the latest festival tour; he immediately recalled playing through the same system at Cologne Live Music Hall with the two men last year.
“The Cologne show was the last in the run and the tech advance had been a little sketchy. So when I walked into the venue and saw these small boxes flown left and right with just the four subs under the stage, I was a little intrigued as to what it was going to sound like. I was blown away immediately by the power and clarity this medium size array was producing. Furthermore, the four subs under stage were sending my kidneys through the back wall!! I was running the system flat at my end and was amazed to discover that there was no pre-EQ on the rig apart from a tiny little dip around 315 Hz and nothing else. I was amazed at the detail I was hearing and the two lads, Saul [Chase] and Will [Status] came out front and were knocked out by what they were hearing. It was awesome.
“I used the same show file that we had been using with more familiar PA systems, yet this was another level completely. The show was the best of the German run and I would certainly be more than happy to walk into any venue and find the TT+ hanging there.”
Pics: Charlie Barrett in Studio A at Terminal Studios, with the new RCF TT+ rig
Corporate
In a radical departure from its conventional marketing style, RCF has produced five new poster-style display ads, designed to overturn popular perceptions and present a brand new image for the company.
Using cartoon-style cut-out characters they address all the company’s core areas, such as “Recording”, “Professional Speaker Systems”, “Precision Transducers,” “TT+ High Definition Touring & Theatre” and “Installed Sound” … under the umbrella of “Sound Culture”.
Each concept has been purposely designed for the application, and the artworks have all the impact of a Norman Rockwell-style Saturday Evening Post front cover.
Said head of marketing Gioia Molinari, “We have deliberately introduced a fresh and innovative graphic style, designed to stop the reader in his tracks — as if he had just seen a billboard, banner or magazine front cover. It will certainly shock people who see RCF as a traditional loudspeaker company.”
But beneath the humorous veneer lies the serious message of a 62-year-old company with a matchless pedigree.
The new campaign will address each of the appropriate market segments, and will go live in June 2012. “The company has now shed its old skin and this will provide a glimpse into the future of RCF,” concluded Ms. Molinari.
Event
When Pope Benedict XVI recently visited the Cuban capital of Havana, the government of Cuba chose RCF TT+ (Touring & Theatre) series to broadcast the Papal Mass.
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans from the capital and neighbouring provinces filled Havana’s José Martí Plaza de la Revolución — at 72,000 sq. metres one of the biggest squares in the world.
The system specified comprised 64 x TTL55-A (16 elements left and right of main stage and two 16-hang outfills) and 24 x TTS36-A subwoofers (12 per side). In addition, 27 xTT25-A’s were deployed as delays — in 12 towers (each containing two cabinets), and three towers with one cabinet in each.
Finally eight TT25-SMA and eight NX12-SMA wedges provided stage monitoring while system control was in the shape of two DX 4008 4-in/8-out digital loudspeaker management devices and RDNet Control8 control and monitoring network.
The system designers were both extremely impressed with the power and intelligibility of the TT+ series, which registered 106dB at the furthest point of the site (210 meters). In particular, they praised the coherent, constant coverage pattern and definition of the system — as well as its power.
In conclusion, RCF product specialist, Oscar Mora, stated: “The coverage was such that the mass of Benedict XVI could be heard clearly right across the Square, demonstrating the intelligibility of TT+. Those related to the event expressed their delight with the system and I received many plaudits and congratulations afterwards.”
Event
The first Red Bull Soundclash in Greece recently was supported by a TTL+ active line array system from RCF — provided as part of a complete sound, lighting and visual package across two identical stages by Greek production company, Kariotis Meletios Events Productions.
This unique band competition, famous throughout the world and held for the first time in Athens’ Building 56, saw a battle between Greek bands Vegas and Melisses.
With two identical stages installed opposite each other in the same venue the concept of the competition was that the audience would vote vocally for the best group after each of the songs (Melisses recording 124dBA on the decibel meter to emerge as victors).
Sound reinforcement for the event included four arrays of four TTL55-A active line arrays and a TTS36-A flown subwoofer, with four stacked arrays of two TTS-56A subs, divided equally cross the two stages. In fact the presence of the TT 55-A was its first official outing in the country.
With RCF TT+ product specialist, Emanuele Morlini, providing on-site support to help set up and optimise the system — controlled and monitored by RCF’s advanced remote control system, RD Net — the TTL solution offered an ultra dynamic and high energy live experience to the audience and delivered a continuous 120dB free of distortion over the entire period.
Kariotis Meletios had been awarded the contract by Red Bull’s American-based events company, Eleven Productions. Explaining the concept, Pandelis Kariotis said that the two famous bands participating on the two stages represented different genres. “A db meter mic was installed measuring the volume of the crowd screaming right after each performance and displaying the results on two big LED screens at the back of the two stages.”
The Greek production company had around 16 technicians working three days for the preparation of this project in order to manage the installation of the trussing and staging, the installation of the sound, light and LED displays, with soundchecks on the third day. MTV Greece, who hosted and broadcast the event, then moved in with a production crew, ten cameras and a OB van, while Eleven Productions managed all structures for Red Bull as well as crowd control.
The RCF system received a highly positive reaction all round. “The fact that the performance of TTL was state of the art was recognised immediately by the sound engineers of both groups,” confirmed Mr. Kariotis.
“The USA production company was also delighted with our standard of organisation, state of the art equipment and the expertise of our technicians.”
Installation
Dominated by its dramatic ceiling, featuring nearly 3,000 diamond-shaped pieces of LED-lit cut crystal, London West End membership nightclub Jalouse recently underwent a complete audio revamp as part of a general structural refurbishment, to prepare the award-winning luxury venue — owned by Moruf Yoozooph and Freddie Achom — for its next phase.
The three-year old club had never been entirely happy with its original sound system. Brought in with the task of upgrading the system and resiting the DJ console, Cosmic Electronics opted for an RCF dancefloor solution, redeploying the existing system to peripheral bar and lounge infill duties. At the same time they carried out some digital rewiring, and placed the crystal ceiling under computerised lighting control.
“We have worked a lot with RCF over the years and it was only when we became involved in another club project recently that we realised just how powerful and compact the new generation of products were,” stated Cosmic Electronics MD, Keith Damon, who managed the project.
Wrapping the clientele in an improved, and more potent dancefloor sound are two pairs of RCF C5215W's — containing15” high-output LF transducer with 3” voice coil — facing each other across the dancefloor. At the same time the existing subwoofers have received further LF extension with the addition of an RCF S8015 single 15” high output unit, which is sufficiently compact to recess neatly under the existing seating with 1mm tolerance. Capable of delivering 1kW of power (RMS) and maximum SPL in excess of 135 dB, this leaves plenty of headroom for the DJ (and trouser flapping for those seated above).
Finally, in order that the DJ can monitor his own output, a tiny powered RCF TT051A (with 5” woofer and 1” dome) has been flown above the console.
With an eye on the budget, Cosmic UK has continued its optimization programme by completely re-configuring the existing Crest amplifiers and reprogramming the gain structure of the BSS Soundweb DSP.
“The result,” says Keith Damon, “is a clean, warm sound, rich in bass, which envelops the entire club.”
The Mayfair club’s elegant interior, which originally cost £3.5m to build, was designed by Mark Humphrey London. And having been voted best new club at the London Bar and Club Awards in 2009 and Best Club at the same awards last year, Jalouse’s new RCF sound system is perfectly placed to keep its clientele on the dancefloor for the foreseeable future.
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