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EV and DYNACORD bring excellent sound quality to Suzhou Olympic Sports Center

Invested by Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou Olympic Sports Center is a multifunctional sports center that includes a 45,000-seats stadium, a 13,000-seats gymnasium, a 3,000-seats natatorium and a commercial plaza with a hotel tower. Its design and planning was inspired by classical garden architectural art. Suzhou Olympic Sports Center is built as a dynamic, fully opened sports park that delivers the atmosphere of ancient garden in a modern approach. All venues were designed by the German company GMP, which used to be responsible for the Berlin Olympic Sports Center project, strictly following the standards of the individual intercontinental event. The sound reinforcement system includes the following EV products: 104 EVH weather-resistant loudspeakers, 70 X2 line array loudspeakers, nearly 100 TG7 amplifiers integrated RCM28 modules and EV UW30 underwater loudspeakers. In addition, DYNACORD Cobra series loudspeakers provide an excellent audio performance for portable use in three venues of the Olympic Sports Center, while DYNACORD VL series loudspeakers deliver exciting music to all the players in the skating rink.

The single-layer cable membrane structure

Each stadium has its own features, Suzhou Olympic Sports Center stadium is the first stadium with saddle-shaped, single-layer cable membrane structure roof in China. This also brought the challenges to the entire sound reinforcement system design. The leader of the Project Design Department of Suzhou Olympic Sports Center mentioned, “Generally speaking, most stadiums adopt the steel framed structure. The special structure used in this project means that we have to use 40 cable heads across the stadium to fasten the membrane.” Due to this unique design, the catwalk is above the membrane and there are no fixed mounting points for loudspeaker installation, thus making the installation and maintenance very difficult. Furthermore, the swing range of up and down exceeds 1.5 meters. Those increased the difficulty of whole sound system design. “After elaborate consideration, Bosch team introduced the installation method of London Bowl. Bosch guys worked with specialized designers to make a mounting point on each tapered end and install a pulley. Then we can use a winding engine to lift the loudspeakers, or take down for inspection and maintenance. By this way, the challenge of installation was finally conquered.” He also added, “in addition to tackling the hanging technical difficulty, another reason why we choose the single-layer cable membrane structured roof is that we hope to make a breakthrough in the aesthetic appearance of the stadium. EV’s white-coloured EVH weather-resistant loudspeakers perfectly match the cable membrane structure not only on colour but also on overall environment. What’s more, EVH’s audio quality makes sure that every audience at any position can hear clear sound and dynamic performance.”

Gymnasium integrating sports and cultural recreation

As a comprehensive venue, this 13,000-seats gymnasium has been designed to serve multiple purposes since very beginning. The central funnel screen is designed according to the standards of large international events such as NBA. It can offer superb viewing experience for variety shows and exhibitions. In order to provide both visual and audio enjoyment, 70 pcs EV X2 new-generation line array loudspeakers achieve 360º sound coverage for floor and audience area. This allows the audiences to enjoy clear, real and exciting sounds on live. During daily use, the audiences on site are shocked by the audio quality delivered by X2.

Natatorium integrating sports and fitness

In addition to standard competition pools and training pools, the natatorium also provides various spa facilities, stores selling water sports supplies, children’s amusement and leisure equipment for local citizens. The owner also chose the white EVH loudspeakers below the roof of the natatorium, which blended in decoration of the venue in terms of appearance and sound clarity. “Considering the needs of diving as well as training and performance of synchronized swimming, we have also selected EV’s UW30 underwater loudspeakers in the swimming pools, so that people under the water could hear the music, as well as the messages through microphone sent by people on shore clearly without additional receivers.” added the leader of the Project Design Department.

Commercial plaza with comprehensive functions

The commercial plaza, which is designed with affiliated functions including shopping, office and hospitality, supports the three sports buildings and adds the leisure entertainment atmosphere to the entire park. The ice rink in the commercial centre is installed with DYNACORD VL series two-way full range loudspeakers to cover every corner in a balanced manner and add more fun to the skaters with beautiful music.

All audio and control signals within the sports venue including stadium, gymnasium, natatorium and ice rink are transmitted on the basis of OMNEO protocol. The main digital signal and redundancy digital signal can be the backup to each other. This ensures smooth, stable signal transmission throughout the sports centre. EV and DYNACORDs’ total solution on sound reinforcement not only addresses the design and application requirement of the sports centre, but also helps boost the robust development of China’s cultural and sports.

ETC boards the Polar Express

When guests arrived at the train platform for a ride on The Polar Express this holiday season, they knew they were in for a magical evening — but chances are they never thought about the technical challenges that come with mounting a show on a moving train …

“The Polar Express ride is like Broadway on train,” explains Guy Rhodes, lighting designer for the show. “We deploy a complete theatrical lighting and sound system in the luggage racks of each car, and treat the show as we would a show in a proscenium space. We have a full crew, including myself on lighting design, a sound designer, props designer, costume designer, two stage managers, and multiple production managers. In one small train car.”

Guests of the show, based on the well-known children’s book and film, are taken on an hour-long train ride and treated to a live performance in the aisles of the train.

Rhodes and his team started researching the lighting in July for an opening the second week of November. And because of the limitations of time and availability of the train, teched the show ahead of time in a mock train car they built in a warehouse in Colorado. This enabled Rhodes and his crew to finesse the show in a relaxed environment, as opposed to years past when they fought against time and space. “When you throw a railroad into the mix, everything is just compressed. You lose the time to fine tune and you’re always rushing,” Rhodes explains. “Lots of quirks come from producing a show and doing technical theatre on a train.”

That quick timeframe and quirky environment also made ETC an easy choice for his lighting needs. “Triggering lighting cues off Eos was a no-brainer. It’s my go-to platform in theatre, musicals, and dance, so I knew that working in such a rigid environment would be a natural fit,” says Rhodes. He also needed a system with which the local techs at all four locations would be familiar. Eos was the answer.

The iRFR app was also extremely helpful in the tight space. With iPad in hand, Rhodes could walk down the train during tech and load the cue stack without lugging the console around. “Polar Express has forced us to up our game on technical knowhow,” says Rhodes. “It’s unlike anything I do during the year. Any technology we can get our hands on to make life easier is great. Our electrician even already had the app on his phone.”

If the looks on the passengers’ faces are any indication, it looked like another great year on The Polar Express.

Electro-Voice introduces the new RE3 UHF wireless microphone product family

  • Next-generation UHF wireless product family, featuring pre-packaged sets with the latest EV microphones and an extensive range of accessories for every application
  • Designed to deliver superior audio performance with best-in-class wireless flexibility and ease of use
  • 10 sets available: five handheld transmitter systems and five bodypack systems
  • Five frequency bands available in alignment with the latest global RF requirements

“New UHF wireless microphone system engineered for best-in-class sound quality!”

Burnsville, MN (January 2019): Electro-Voice is pleased to announce the launch of the RE3: a new UHF wireless microphone system engineered for best-in-class sound quality, wireless flexibility and overall ease of use in alignment with the latest RF regulations. The RE3’s user-friendly, state-of-the-art technology and roadworthy construction extend the rock-solid reputation of its predecessor the RE2.

RE3 receivers and transmitters are available in 10 pre-packaged sets, configured to cover a wide range of performance and presentation applications. Sets contain one 1/2-rack-space diversity receiver with antennas, universal power supply, rack mount kit, transmitter, batteries and an input device.

Additionally, the RE3 portfolio contains a comprehensive assortment of accessories to aid in the creation of large, multi-channel systems. The RE3’s UHF design with clear frequency scanning makes multi-system wireless operation fast and simple.

The RE3 handheld combines robust aluminum build quality with a sleek profile. Five handheld system sets are available with a choice of interchangeable mic capsules: ND76, ND86, ND96 (dynamic) and the new RE420 and RE520 (condenser). These capsules can be purchased separately.

The compact RE3 bodypack features cast magnesium construction for maximum durability. Five bodypack system sets are available for instrument and lavalier/headworn microphone applications: OL3, CL3 (lavalier), HW3 (headworn), GC3 (instrument cable) and one bodypack-only system.

All RE3 transmitters offer excellent battery life and run on regular alkaline or rechargeable AA cells.

The RE3 operates on three bandwidths for the North American market, chosen to minimize the complexities of today’s challenging RF environments. These include two 36 MHz-wide bands in the low and high 500 MHz spectrum, as well as one strategically chosen to operate within the 600 MHz duplex gap which the FCC has dedicated for wireless microphone use. Additional bands are also available for use in Europe and Asia, in the 600 MHz and 800 MHz ranges.

Key features:

  • 36 MHz tuning bandwidths (most bands) / 1440 selectable frequencies
  • Eight groups with up to 22 frequency coordinated channels in a group
  • Electro-Voice ND and RE series capsules on handheld transmitters, for superior sound quality
  • Selectable low/high transmitter output power — 10 mW and 50 mW in most bandwidths (10 mW only in EU-specific band)
  • Rechargeable transmitters and battery charging station (optional accessory)

Electro-Voice and Dynacord match high performance with great value at The Bayou Church

The EV system felt much more rich and present at any volume. It just felt right in our sanctuary.

Located in the heart of Acadiana in Lafayette, Louisiana, The Bayou Church is a contemporary Christian house of worship. Regional production company and system integrator Gulf Coast Sound was among the companies the church consulted when exploring options for upgrading the sound system in their 600-seat sanctuary.

Larry Habetz, owner and CEO of Gulf Coast Sound and a lifelong resident of the area, was excited to be bidding on the job. “I knew some of the audio and IT guys at The Bayou Church, so it was really more of a consultation and mutual learning experience for all of us,” he says. “I was impressed with their sincere desire to make good decisions, and we developed a great relationship over our time working together. They were asking all the right questions, so I was happy to arrange a demo of the product we felt was the best fit.”

For precise coverage of the sanctuary’s rectangular shape, Habetz designed a demo system based on Electro-Voice XLD line arrays supported by Xsub subwoofers, all straight from Gulf Coast Sound’s rental stock. The system made a big impression on worship pastor Ed Gore and his team.

“We did multiple product demos, and the EV system really stood out,” says Gore. “Of all the systems we tried, this one just sounded best in the room. Other systems we heard could only achieve the enveloping experience we wanted at higher volumes. The EV system felt much more rich and present at any volume. It just felt right in our sanctuary.”

Larry Habetz was unsurprised at the outcome. “I knew the XLD system would be a great fit for the room, and the church team was extremely impressed with it right out of the box,” he says. “Once we got it tuned and time-aligned, it was incredible. What I really loved was the fact that the EV system was clearly preferred over another, much more expensive system that the church demoed.”

With an EV solution given the go ahead, Gulf Coast Sound designed a networked system consisting of twin hangs of eight XLD281 loudspeaker arrays, all with 120-degree dispersion. A pair of EVC-1082 front fills on the stage lip cover the center-front seats. Low frequency reinforcement was upgraded to EV’s acclaimed X-Line Advance dual-18” subwoofers, with six X12-128 units deployed together in front of the stage. Network control for the system is provided via the Electro-Voice N8000 NetMax digital matrix controller.

Another upgrade from the original demo system was via six C3600 amplifiers from EV’s sibling brand Dynacord, a new model that was launched to market during the design process. The C series offers high-end features not previously available on install amps at their price point, including advanced FIR-Drive to optimize system performance; sophisticated protection circuitry to ensure safe, reliable operation under all conditions; and an efficient standby power mode that can reduce running costs and power consumption by up to 90%, leading to a very low total cost of ownership.

The system design at The Bayou Church underwent some final fine-tuning to ensure sightlines to the stage and screens were optimal from the outer seating areas. The EV applications engineering team used EASE modeling to move the XLD arrays about two feet upstage, while maintaining coverage; Gulf Coast Sound then created custom trussing for their precision deployment.

“That’s one of the reasons we love working with Electro-Voice,” notes Larry Habetz. “We have a great relationship. They are always there to support us, whether it’s with design assistance like this or product updates that give our existing systems new life, adding value to the original investment. That commitment gives us confidence in the systems we install, and we pass that along to our customers.”

Ed Gore of The Bayou Church agrees. “I really admire the way Gulf Coast Sound stayed committed to making the final install the best it could be,” he says. “That was just very reassuring. As for the system, the coverage is very even everywhere you go, and the more I listen to it, the more positive I am that Electro-Voice was really the right choice for us. We’re really pleased.”

ETC’S Motorised Rigging Systems in SA

ApexPro, the local distributor of Electronic Theatre Control’s full range of lighting, control and automation technologies, recently hosted a brace of launches featuring ETC’s motorised rigging systems in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Nils Becker, the global ETC rigging products manager, spoke with ETECH during the Johannesburg leg of the launch, held at The University of Johannesburg in October.

ETC has been a global leader in the design and manufacture of lighting and rigging technologies for the theatre, film and television studio environments for more than 40 years, and has a well-established reputation for innovation, responsiveness and outstanding customer service. ApexPro, the distribution arm of Prosound, has a long-standing relationship with ETC, having distributed the company’s lighting and control systems for a number of years. With the rapid adoption of automated staging technology in theatres across the globe, ApexPro decided to invite Becker to introduce ETC’s innovative range of stage automation solutions to the South African market.

NEW POSSIBILITIES

In 2009, ETC introduced the Prodigy range of automation solutions: a new class of over-stage machinery systems that were custom-designed to meet the needs of medium-sized theatres, studios and corporate venues.  According to Becker, ETC’s Prodigy family enables smaller venues to access to motorised staging technology that, as little as a decade ago, was only accessible to the world’s largest and most affluent professional venues.

Prodigy hoists are built around a groundbreaking sloped drum, which makes for a smaller, lighter machine that fits into more places and requires less structural support. There are a variety of models, each of which can be installed in a number of configurations, with a slender design that enables close line-set placement.

All Prodigy hoists use ETC’s unique compression-tube technology, which allows the system to be connected to a structure with fewer brackets, independent of the loft-line placement. This technology cancels out the lateral forces usually created by traditional rigging systems, meaning it can reduce new-installation costs and allow for retrofits in spaces not traditionally designed for stage-machinery systems.

SIMPLICITY DELIVERS RESULTS

The Prodigy system requires an extremely simple infrastructure, as each hoist needs just one cable for power and one for control. A package of 24 machines only requires a single Cat5e cable to connect the hoists to the controller. Prodigy can include a low-profile cable-management system that cleanly hides cabling, as well as pantographs or traditional power options. They accommodate many circuits of power, including emergency circuits, and can contain DMX or network-based data communication.

ETC’s automation controllers deliver high functionality at an affordable price and have been designed with the end-user in mind. From the most basic QuickTouch series to the flagship Foundation controller, the user interface features easy-to-understand displays, such as current weight and position. Also, the system offers a range of installed and remote options to fit the specific requirements of the particular venue, enabling the end-user to execute set changes efficiently and effectively.

SAFETY STANDARDS

ETC’s commitment to safety means that operational safety is a priority of the design and everything in the load path is engineered in terms of a ten-to-one safety factor. The ETC Prodigy hoist has built-in sensors that constantly track, test and log information, such as distance travelled and weight load errors. Every model includes a slack-line sensor and load cell displaying the real-time weight, coupled with an intelligent profiling technology; each motor will instantly halt when it unexpectedly encounters an obstacle in its path.

“In response to increasing awareness about the importance of safety and risk reduction in the workplace, there is a growing aversion among universities, professional theatres and corporate venues to placing people on ladders and within fly rails to access equipment. As a result, there is a growing demand for affordable motorised rigging systems that make it possible for equipment to be lowered and adjusted, which is exactly what the ETC Prodigy range allows,” says Becker.

SCALABILITY

“One of the most important features of the Prodigy family is that it offers venues a highly scalable and customisable solution, that is easy to install and cost-effective to maintain. Also, the system is highly flexible and can be implemented in phases. A venue may invest in just two or three hoists to start with and add to the system as the need arises over the years. As a result, the capital cost of changing from a counter-weight to a motorised system can be managed over a number of fiscal cycles,” Becker concludes.

ETC’s Prodigy offers a package that is user-friendly, affordable to install and increases both the functionality and safety of flying equipment. The Prodigy family promises better access to your flown systems from an approachable interface, thereby making your venue safer and more efficient.

Kindly visit www.etcconnect.com/Products/Rigging-Systems for more information about ETC’s innovative motorised rigging solutions.

ETC lights leading news channel Al Arabiya, 24/7

For over 10 years, an ETC Eos Classic has been used to light the broadcast studio of leading TV news channel Al Arabiya, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week live on air without any technical faults.

Al Arabiya is the chief news station in the Middle East, based in Dubai. ETC dealer, Oasis Enterprises has been in partnership with Al Arabiya since 2008, supplying and installing technical equipment to the TV channel. The news studio commented positively on the relationship with Oasis Enterprises, remarking that their ‘reliability and support’ influenced the decision to choose ETC for their broadcast studio: “They offer us a great service and are always available whenever we need them,” comments the Head of News Resources, Mahmoud Issa.

This year, Al Arabiya was upgraded to ETC’s flagship lighting control desk Eos Ti, bringing the latest technology and most powerful hardware to the broadcast studios. “As our channel runs 24/7, it is crucial that there are no errors with lighting, vision mixers or consoles. We need to be equipped with the best and ETC’s Eos console is one of the best so far,” remarks Mahmoud Issa.

The TV company is also equipped with ETC dimmer racks, Eos Remote Processor Units and lighting fixtures – Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr Daylight HD and Source Four jr luminaires. “The Eos family software platform and the Lustr Series 2 output perform extremely well. We are very happy to have them in our studios and look forward to investing in more in the future,” commented Safwan Harcouss, Lighting Manager at Al Arabiya.

ETC’s signature Eos lighting console was the ultimate choice for Al Arabiya for several reasons. The product’s features were key: the Eos operating system’s powerful magic sheets conveniently allows the TV company to coordinate multiple studios at a time and the built-in blind mode makes it easy and practical to work with. The training offered by Oasis Enterprises to staff at Al Arabiya was also extremely valuable and beneficial for the new employees that the firm regularly hires.

Going forwards, the TV company plans to network the entire building that they are currently in, using the Eos Ti control desk. The team will set up the desk in ‘The Gallery’, a central space in the broadcasting area, ensuring ultimate lighting control across all studios.  

“As the console is in constant use for the 24-hour news channel, the reliability of the system is crucial,” commented Karim Abdel Massih, Lighting Systems Manager at Oasis Enterprises. “Al Arabiya is live on air around-the-clock so it can be challenging from a maintenance perspective, however, ETC’s equipment continues to deliver at a high standard.”

Symetrix ramps up for growth with new owners

Mark and Rachelle Graham bring over 30 years audio industry experience to the team.

Creators of high-performance digital audio processing solutions Symetrix has announced that Mark and Rachelle Graham have joined the team as the new owners of the business.

Mark Graham brings over 30 years of audio industry experience to the team, filling the CEO role.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” he said. “We have admired Symetrix, both the company and the people, for a long time. I’m really looking forward to building on the successful foundation built over the past four decades and maintaining the rock-solid reputation of the company.”

Symetrix’s current owner, Julia Ogden, has been considering a change in ownership of the company for some time after 32 years with Symetrix. “I knew I could never sell this business unless it was to the right people. It had to be someone who cared about the business and all the exceptional people who work here, and our business partners around the globe,” she said. “I was looking for continuity and an alliance with the same high standards and core values that sets Symetrix apart from the crowd. I believe the Graham’s are the perfect fit.”

Mark Graham was CEO of LOUD Technologies for the last eight years. Before that, he was the president of Crown Audio, a Harman company. His industry experience includes working for Hewlett Packard in their test and measurement division and owning his own audio contracting business. “Mark has a depth of industry experience and engineering expertise that is exactly the right background to accelerate the growth trajectory of the company, especially with his laser-focus on continuing to deliver innovative products,” Ogden explained.

Rachelle Graham has been a marketing manager for several large organisations including Agilent Technologies, the University of Kansas and BioServe Space Technologies, one of NASA’s Commercial Space Centers.

Symetrix is poised to launch several new products in the next couple of months: “The launch of our new products will move ahead seamlessly. We’ve put a lot of thought into how to make the transition as smooth as possible so that none of our deadlines slip. We will assure that Symetrix customers continue to experience the benefit of our ease of doing business, award-winning customer service and tech support, and products that provide the solutions and reliability they have come to expect from Symetrix,” added Ogden.

Symetrix will remain at the same location, and all employees will be retained. Julia Ogden will continue to work for the company throughout a transition period and will also serve on the company’s board of directors going forward.

Khoroni Resort in Thohoyandou buy Electro-Voice Evolve 50 systems

The Khoroni Resort in Thohoyandou recently upgraded their mobile PA systems and the Electro-Voice Evolve 50 was their choice of speaker.

Pepe Khumalo met with the resort management team and did a demo of the Evolve 50s, to highlight its superior quality sound, functionality and ease of use. There was no hesitation from the Khoroni Resort decision makers, and they ordered Evolves on the spot.

Prosound delivered the system to the resort in the Limpopo Province, and handed it over to the AV staff. They were very, very pleased.

Afrocoustic Sessions at Rockets use Electro-Voice Evolve for live shows

Rockets Restaurant in Bryanston have been hosting the Afrocoustic sessions on a Thursday night, and the live acts have been thrilled to use an Electro-Voice Evolve 50 system as the main PA.

The Afrocoustic sessions give a platform to established and up and coming musicians to perform at one of Johannesburg’s top restaurants. The sessions are filmed and broadcast by Pockittv, so lovers of Afro Soul can watch the shows on their mobile devices if they can’t make the live show that night.

The Evolve system was perfect for the venue, which has noise restrictions as it’s based in a residential neighbourhood. The linear line array design allows for the perfect levels within the venue, without bothering the neighbours. The built in Bluetooth DSP control allows the venue manager to control sound levels via the EV app throughout the night.

To add colour to the shows, Prosound have also provided ETC parcans and lighting controls.

The Afrocoustic Sessions take place at Rockets in Bryanston every Thursday nights. Line-ups for the sessions will be announced by Rockets and Pockittv, follow their Facebook pages to get regular updates.

Electro-Voice fills The Camfield

The Camfield is Australia’s largest pub. At 9,000m2, it accommodates up to 3,000 patrons alongside the Swan River and Optus Stadium in Perth. It also houses 96 Electro-Voice loudspeakers and amplifiers, supplied by Audio Source and integrated by Vision Cabling, that provide sound for ambience, functions and entertainment purposes.

The canteen area serves food along with BGM from Electro-Voice Evid-S commercial installation loudspeakers. EKX passive subwoofers extend the frequency response of the system.

Several terraces surround the pub, offering views of the river, the stadium and beer garden, respectively. Each terrace is equipped with Evid ceiling speakers, while ZX5 loudspeakers have been installed in the corners of the spaces. In the aforementioned beer garden, a custom-built screen receives audio reinforcement from further ZX5 speakers.

Electro-Voice CPS amplifiers power the entire sound setup at The Camfield – 2-channel models drive the ZX5 loudspeakers, while 4-channel units power the Evid-S cabinets.

‘Vision Cabling Systems designed the concept around the Evid-S wall-mount and the ZX5Pi weatherised range for the performance, quality and ease of installation,’ said Marcus Stackpole, project manager for Vision Cabling. ‘With The Camfield being so close to the Swan River, speakers that could perform in an environment such as this were integral to deliver the project.

‘The performance of both the indoor and outdoor speakers selected outdoes what was proposed to the client, exceeding their expectations and delivering a higher quality of sound than previously thought with acoustic challenges throughout the venue, including stadium ambience.’