A year of big sound
A year is a long time in professional audio but tackling a number of large projects simultaneously can certainly make the time pass more quickly. For the Australian branch of Bosch Communications, therefore, 2014 must have felt like the blink of an eye as the office collaborated with numerous systems integrators on a succession of sizeable projects. Stretching across the country and into New Zealand, Bosch has been busy updating the audio systems for an extensive list of stadiums and arenas.
The list encompasses locations such as Margaret Court Arena in Victoria, the Cairns Convention Centre Arena in Queensland, Blundstone Arena in Tasmania, Windsor Wolves Stadium in New South Wales, and Western Australia’s NIB Stadium and Patersons Stadium. Collectively, the venues regularly play host to a variety of international, national and local sporting events, concerts, conferences and more. However, each location differed in size, shape, location, purpose and, of course, the technical challenges that had to be met.
The year began with Melbourne tennis venue Margaret Court Arena, which underwent major upgrades including the installation of a retractable roof, additional seating and a brand new sound system. Consultant Marshall Day specified Bosch for the project, with systems integration by Australian Sound. In what was to later become a theme for the year’s projects, EVH enclosures were specified as the main component, with 22 suspended EVH-1152S cabinets in white firing down on the audience area and low-end extension courtesy of six EVF 2151D dual 15-inch subwoofers. Additionally, tight coverage was required for on-court announcements, for which 10 EVF-1152S 15-inch, two-way, full range enclosures were deployed with 40-degree by 30-degree coverage patterns. Power was via 12 CPS4.10 amplifiers fitted with RCM-810 remote control modules.
Later, Patersons Stadium provided its own difficulties to overcome. Located in a Perth suburb and distinguished as the highest capacity stadium in Western Australia, seating approximately 43,500, the venue updated its A/V infrastructure for the early 2014 commencement of the Australian Rules Football season. Having opted for an Electro-Voice solution, the project was made more complex by the stadium’s variety of differently-shaped stands.
Working alongside Audio Source, Bosch’s Bryan Davidson acoustically modelled the venue to design a solution comprising 22 EVH-1152, 11 ZX5-90PI and 16 EVF-1122 enclosures. In particular, the 22 EVH cabinets were suspended from the roof truss, firing down onto the lower seating. ‘The EVH is a fantastic loudspeaker as it maintains pattern control down to 500Hz, allowing sound to be focused on the targeted audience and kept off the field of play,’ Mr Davidson explains.
EVF loudspeakers were chosen for the upper seating level as it only had a short throw distance from source to listener. Custom-built 120-degree HF dispersion was used to act as a low Q device for the short throw, while weatherised ZX5 enclosures were deployed for the seating areas beneath the newly installed score board. All loudspeakers were driven by CPS4.10 multi-channel amplifiers with RCM-810 modules, allowing remote monitoring and control of the stadium’s three rack locations.
The general manager at Patersons, Gavin Taylor, was impressed with the upgrade. ‘As stadium operators we are always looking for ways to improve the fans’ experience,’ he comments. ‘The recent installation has provided fans with a state of the art audiovisual experience. The project was delivered within tight timeframes and installed into a difficult-to-access stadium, which reflected the effective planning from Audio Source and Bosch. We are extremely pleased with the quality and consistency of the sound now being produced and importantly we have received great feedback from both the clubs and fans.’
Nearby, the 20,500-capacity NIB Stadium presented similar challenges with an ageing audio system and coverage difficulties. Consultant John Alekna from Marshall Day was commissioned to design and specify a replacement system in a very short time frame, opting for a combination of EVH, EVF, ZX3, and ZX5 loudspeakers. Once the design was confirmed by Mr Davidson, Rutledge Engineering took over for the systems integration.
The stadium’s new eastern stand now features pairs of EVHs with EVF 2151D dual 15-inch subwoofers, while in the other stands EVHs are used alongside ZX5 15-inch and ZX3 12-inch two-way loudspeakers. A total of 11 Dante-connected NetMax N8000 processors have also been integrated for signal processing and management while a Dynacord ProMatrix 8000 allows paging to any of the stands or the back of house area. Additionally, presets have been built-in so operators can select different event modes via two touch-panels connected to the NetMax N8000.
Elsewhere, Cairns Convention Centre Arena presented a different kind of project. The venue has been attracting various national and international guests to far North Queensland for more than 15 years for major conferences, sporting events and banquets. The arena, which is situated around the heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, was allocated a capital upgrade by the Queensland Government at the start of 2014, including the provision of new audio equipment for the 5,000-capacity Hall 2.
Primarily used as a basketball court for some of Australia’s best national teams, Hall 2 nevertheless has a variety of operating modes with raked seating transferred in and out when required. Pattern control is therefore of paramount importance to eliminate spillage onto the basketball court. To overcome the challenge, consultant Design Stage worked with systems integrator AVLX Solutions, delivering a system comprising 26 EVH 1152 enclosures, which offer pattern control down to and slightly below 500Hz. Additionally, the hall also hosts banquets and conventions, for which a pair of EVH cabinets have been centrally flown. Power is delivered by six CPS4.10 and two CPS8.5 amplifiers, while a NetMax N8000 has again been installed for control.
A further requirement for a front of house system – capable of operating in both landscape and portrait modes – has been met with an EVA system comprising five double 8-inch EVA-2082S enclosures per-side with one per-side QRX 218S double 18-inch subs providing low-end support. Loudspeaker management is via a DX46 processor while power is delivered by four CPS4.10 amplifiers fitted with IrisNet RCM810 modules.
Moving back outdoors, Bellerive, on the eastern shore of Hobart, Tasmania, is the home of Blundstone Arena, described as ‘one of the best boutique sporting venues in Australia’, and used primarily as a cricket and Australian rules football ground. Sometimes referred to locally as the Bellerive Oval, the venue’s western stand has been redeveloped to increase capacity to almost 20,000 whilst preparing for the 2015 ICC World Cup.
Wood and Grieve engineers worked alongside Electronic Technology Consulting and systems integrator BSH Electrical to deploy nine EVH-1152S two-way coaxials plus five EVF-2151D subwoofers for the stand, supported by five 90-degree dispersion Zx3 full range enclosures. Four NetMax N8000s have also been supplied for signal processing, operating a Dante network via four DM-1 networking modules. Six CPS4.10 and eight CPS4.5 amplifiers drive the system.
The stand also boasts a comprehensive BGM system comprising 108 EViD C8.2LP two-way coaxial ceiling speakers located in function rooms, corporate boxes and elsewhere, while 70 EViD 6.2T surface mount speakers are spread around the first and second level concourses. Paging is handled via a ProMatrix 8000 system integrated with eight NetMax N8000s, allowing six paging consoles to be located around the venue. Other speakers supplied for the building include Bosch BCS-CS8E and LBC3090 ceiling speakers plus BCS-HS20E and LBC3482 horns.
Finally, demonstrating that its solutions also apply to smaller regional facilities, Bosch collaborated on the design of the new Windsor Leagues Club grandstand. Home to the Windsor Wolves, the venue is located in the historic town of Windsor, an hours drive north west of Sydney, and required high-end results within a limited budget. The solution comprised six LBC 3210/00 columns from the XLA 3200 line array series plus Plena amplification and zoning.
‘The past year certainly proved to be a big year for fixed installation projects at Bosch Communications,’ concluded Mr Davidson. ‘Despite the challenges presented by each venue, all of the projects were a huge success. The knowledge base within our company and more importantly the products available enabled us to provide an optimal audio solution for all. It’s quite a personal achievement for me to close the lid on these fine projects, as well as other major clubs, pubs, restaurants and houses of worship, in the space of one year. I now have numerous consultants, integrators and end users happy with our brands and our solutions.’