Going for Gold
While a new Chinese sports centre is providing a platform to take Olympic events to a new level, its Electro-Voice sound systems are doing the same for audio. Caroline Moss reports from Suzhou:
The Chinese city of Suzhou is known more for its traditional gardens, nine of which have UNESCO world heritage status, than for its sporting facilities. However, the new Olympic Sports Centre could be set to change that. The sports centre, designed as a new city landmark, is based in a zone built to consolidate all of Suzhou’s sporting facilities in one new area, including the existing stadium which will be relocated from downtown. Sound systems for the sports centre’s three main venues, some of which will also stage music events, have been provided by Bosch China.
Built to a design by German architectural practice, Gerkan, Marg and Partners, the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre takes its cue from the Chinese landscape gardens that populate the city. A 47-hectare, publicly accessible landscaped park accommodates extensive sporting facilities as well as offices and a shopping mall. The three main sporting facilities – a 45,000-capacity stadium, indoor arena and aquatic centre – have been equipped by Bosch in a tender that was won by Hangzhou Tianlong Audio. According to the brief, all three venues had to meet the most stringent of standards to ensure the project got top ranking among Chinese sports facilities and is able to host international sporting competitions and other events.
Xianghua Zhou is one of the proprietors of the systems integration company, which is based in the nearby city of Hangzhou. Sporting facilities are becoming a bit of a speciality for the company, which recently completed work on the Shanghai International Circuit, the venue for the annual Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix. Hangzhou Tianlong Audio was employed on the Suzhou project as a subcontractor, working for the main contractor to provide and install the audio systems.
The main structures of the buildings were already in place when Zhou and his team started work in the summer of 2017. This included the stadium, which has the distinction of being constructed with the first single-skin steel cable network roof in China. While the visual aspect of this roof gives the stadium a distinctive and striking look, the practicalities of flying a powerful sound system from it presented some specific challenges. There wasn’t much that could be done about movement in the roof caused by heavy winds, which can add a swing range of up to 1.5m, but the effects of other extreme weather conditions have been mitigated by the installation of Electro-Voice EVH weather-resistant speakers which have been mounted on the lip of the roof. The speakers have been supplied in white, so the aesthetic qualities of the stadium roof have not been spoiled in any way.
However, the main challenge thrown up by the special roof was that it wasn’t capable of bearing very heavy loads. This caused problems, as the tender specified that all speakers should be capable of being derigged for maintenance at any time. Hangzhou Tianlong Audio worked closely with the Bosch team to come up with a solution for this. Their first design included lifting mechanisms to be flown at each point, but this would have added too much weight to the structure. The company played around with the design, changing it many times before finally hitting on an ingenious solution: they would design their own piece of lifting equipment that operates from the ground. Two such systems have been built and supplied, allowing the loudspeakers to be lowered to the ground by means of a motorised winding engine and raised back up on wire cables wound around a winch. This method of installation was inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Stadium which, like Suzhou, has a cable-supported fabric membrane roof, covering approximately two thirds of the audience area. The London stadium is installed with Electro-Voice EVH speakers, which have also been used in Suzhou.
A total of 80 EVH-1152S full-range, horn-loaded speakers have been installed on 40 rigging points around the perimeter of the roof, in alternate groups of three and one; the trio of speakers covering the spectators in the stadium seats, and the single ones – 20 in total – projecting sound outwards onto the playing field. The system was designed using EASE prediction software. ‘The general acoustics of the stadium were very good, and there were no major problems,’ says Zhou, explaining that coverage is even throughout the entire audience area.
The entire system is being driven by Electro-Voice TG7 3500 w/ch amplifiers, with audio transmission throughout the stadium via Dante. Cables to each speaker have been run through the roof of the stadium from amp rooms on either side, and Zhou estimates that at least 20km of Cat-6 cabling has been used for the installation.
Up in the control room, the mixing console is a Stage Tec Auratus Platinum. During most sporting events held in the stadium, the console usually receives audio signals from TASCAM and Pioneer CD and DVD players in the control room rack playing recorded music, and announcements via Shure wireless mic systems consisting of UA844+SWB antenna distribution systems, UA874 active directional antenna, SLX24 and SM58 handheld mics and MX418 goosenecks. The stadium is mainly being used for football matches, and has become home to a local team. Additionally, and befitting its name, the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre can also accommodate all the different Olympic sporting activities, with a track circling the stadium pitch for sports such as running, hurdling, jumping and throwing events. The stadium’s PA system, therefore, will find most of its use in providing background music and speech for sporting applications, with its secondary purpose being for emergency evacuation and other announcements.
When the stadium hosts rock concerts, however, as well as the protective covering that is applied to the pitch and the stage erected in the centre, the audio system is expanded with the addition of a portable Dynacord Cobra-2 compact line array system, which can cover the entire venue, working together with the installed system. This portable system has been used for a popular TV show, Running Man China. Large touring productions may often choose to bring in their own systems, however.
In one of the distinctive, curved buildings that makes up the sports centre is a gymnasium, or indoor arena, with 8,000 fixed seats that can be expanded with portable seats stored underneath them to accommodate a total of 13,000. This venue is approved for CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) league games, the first-tier professional basketball league in China, of which Suzhou boasts a local team, the Jiangsu Kentier Dragons. The gymnasium can also be used for other sports, such as badminton and curling.
According to CBA requirements, a cuboid LED screen has been installed in the centre of the gymnasium which can be raised and lowered. So, this presented the main challenge when it came to installing the Electro-Voice X2-212/90 high-performance compact vertical line array system. ‘We needed to avoid hitting the LED screen but, by using EASE to predict the system design, this was a straightforward job,’ says Zhou.
A total of 70 X2-212/90 speakers in black have been installed here, divided into six hangs of eight, and two of 11, both flown in the centre of each of the long sides of the gymnasium, where they can focus more energy on the VIP seating areas.
This venue can also be used for musical events – a recent Jacky Cheung concert was held here – with a stage erected at one of the shorter sides of the gymnasium, above which a lighting rig has been fixed. Again, the sports centre’s portable system can be deployed here if necessary, but, quite often, supplementary equipment will be brought in by the production itself. However, Zhou is impressed with the capabilities of the installed Electro-Voice system. ‘For concerts, you definitely need to add subs in here of course, but this model is compact and powerful and has a very good performance at the low end,’ he says.
Amp rooms on each of the long sides of the venue are installed with Electro-Voice TG7 3500 w/ch amplifiers, and again the signal is transmitted via Dante. Up in the control room is a further Stage Tec Auratus console, while a Shure radio mic system is in use here as well.
Over in the 3,000-seat aquatic centre, which houses two swimming pools, two separate speaker systems have been installed, one for spectators and the other for the swimmers competing in the main pool. ‘They put on water ballet in this pool, so they needed to have an underwater system,’ explains Zhou.
Six Electro-Voice UW30 underwater speakers in white have been installed along each of the long sides of the competition pool, 1.2m below the surface. Hangzhou Tianlong Audio constructed special boxes with a grid to contain these 12 speakers, which have been hardwired into the pool via conduits that run below the poolside and up into the amp rooms, and are networked via AES digital cabling. Electro-Voice claims that these speakers are able to offer a fast transmission speed underwater courtesy of the patented structural enclosure which acts as a sound transducer. This waterproof enclosure also ensures that no metal parts are exposed, increasing the longevity of the speaker and allowing it to operate in deep water.
The audience system for the competition pool consists of 20 Electro-Voice EVH-1152S weather-resistant speakers, which have again been supplied in white to meet the high standards required for the installation. A cluster of three of these has been flown in the centre of each of the long sides of the pool, facing downwards to cover the audience. To the right and left of these central clusters are two further clusters targeting the audience, each consisting of two EVH speakers, while single speakers at either side of these focus on the pool itself.
Up in the control room, all sound sources – mainly prerecorded music for swimming competitions and water ballet, plus announcements – are run from a DiGiCo S21 compact digital console, with a Yamaha MGP24X installed for backup. Again, a Shure radio mic system has been provided here.
Outside in the commercial plaza, an ice rink in the shopping mall is covered by a sound system of Dynacord VL Series loudspeakers, which plays music for the skaters.
With the addition of its new Olympic facilities, Suzhou’s ambition to develop a new sporting zone is well and truly off the starting blocks.
Article from: www.proavl-asia.com
Electro-Voice launches Multi-Function Monitors
Electro-Voice has unveiled the MFX Multi-Function Monitors range at InfoComm 2019, engineered to complement the Bosch brand’s X-Line Advance X1, X2, X12-128 and X12-125F line array models and corresponding installation versions.
This MFX catalogue comprises the 12-inch MFX-12MC and 15-inch MFX-15MC. They are two-way coaxial monitors that use high-output, coaxially aligned HF and LF transducers paired with a new Constant-Directivity waveguide and crossover design. Coverage in monitor orientation is 40° x 60°. The dimensions and location of the waveguide are said to interact with the woofer to create a bipole output that enhances coverage control through the midrange frequencies.
As well as providing a stable sound image when the performer moves off-axis, the compact coaxial design of the cabinets reportedly results in a low-profile footprint onstage in comparison to other high-end monitors. The cabinets also employ a brand-new concept with dual monitor angles of 35° and 55° that allows the output to be focused directly towards the performer.
The MFX Multi-Function Monitors have also been optimised for use with TGX10 or IPX10:4 amplifiers from EV’s Bosch sibling Dynacord. Both the MFX-12MC and MFX-15MC can be deployed in passive or biamp configuration, and can be put to use for different applications via DSP settings in the amps. Power handling for the MFX-12MC is 400W (continuous) and 4,000W (peak); the MFX-15MC delivers 500W (continuous) and 4,000W (peak). Both models have maximum SPL ratings of 135dB and 136dB, respectively.
In addition, the MFX monitors feature an integrated pole cup, allowing use as short-throw main/full-range loudspeakers for sound reinforcement when needed.
Electro-Voice EVA powered by Dynacord C series amps: A high-performance, cost-effective audio upgrade for Grace Church
“EVA has the right tone, covered the space very evenly, and there was nothing abrasive or harsh. We knew right away that we had found the right system.”
Located in suburban Akron, Ohio, Grace Church is a contemporary Christian church with eight locations. They sought a more musically coherent sound system to replace the aging point-source system in their main Bath Campus location. Integrator Kevin Root of Rootaudio saw the 620-seat sanctuary as an excellent candidate for a line-array system, and suggested Electro-Voice as a solution.
“Electro-Voice systems deliver amazing sound quality without breaking the budget, so I spoke with my representative, CL Pugh,” says Root. “They set up demos of the X1 system and Expandable Vertical Array (EVA) for us. The larger-format, longer-throw X1 was more than this sanctuary – which seats just over 600 – needed, and the EVA filled the room perfectly. EVA has the right tone, covered the space very evenly, and there was nothing abrasive or harsh. We knew right away that we had found the right system.”
Working with EASE software, CL Pugh and Rootaudio designed a highly efficient system based around two five-box hangs of EVA-2082S dual-element array modules. The top three boxes have 90-by-6-degree dispersion, transitioning to the 120-by-20-degree version beneath them for nearfield coverage. This layout provides full HF coverage from about three feet off the stage, eliminating the need for front fills, side fills and delay speakers. The arrays are each paired with three EVA-1151D subwoofers, flown separately, directly behind each line array. As a final touch, three Electro-Voice ETX-18SP self-powered subwoofers are mounted beneath the front stage extension.
The entire system is powered by just four Dynacord C3600FDi DSP power amplifiers. Each array requires just one amplifier, with one channel for the top three modules and the other feeding the bottom two boxes. Each flown set of three EVA1151D subs is powered by a single amplifier.
“These are great amps,” says Root. “With the power they have, and the efficiency of the EVA arrays, there’s so much headroom that they haven’t even hit the limiters yet, even during services.”
The actual installation went very smoothly, with all speakers flown in just one day, followed by time alignment and final tuning. Root reports that the EVAs sounded great right out of the box, requiring very little system EQ beyond a bit of filtering due to the room shape, which is 60 feet wide at the back and about 100 feet wide in the front. The entire process was completed in less than a week. The EVA’s installation-dedicated design also ensures a clean, architecture friendly look, with hidden rigging.
“Working with churches, budget is always a driving force, so some people end up designing a system around the budget instead of the room,” says Kevin Root. “That’s what makes EV and Dynacord such a great value. We designed the right system for the room, which turned out to be within budget and with no compromises, which is how it should be. Everyone involved is thrilled at the result.”
EV Rig Shows its Clout
On Friday May 3, beloved Bedfordview venue Bailey’s Live welcomed the iconic South African rock band Clout. With the gig powered by a new Electro-Voice (EV) rig, the crowd were treated to a night of great music and top-quality sound.
Musician Gary van Zyl has played bass in some of South Africa’s most esteemed bands, including Juluka and now Clout, who are best known for their hit single, “Substitute.” He explains that Prosound have been sponsoring him since the 80s, though he has worked at the company – as repairs manager – for the last 11 years.
This relationship led to Prosound sponsoring the rig for the Clout show at Bailey’s. The rider featured new gear from US company Electro-Voice, including two EV ETX35P speakers and two ETX18sp subs for the main PA (left and right), solutions which have been praised around the world for their power and portability. This was complemented by a stage setup of one EV TourX TX 1122FM 12” monitor speaker; three EV Phoenix PX 1122M 12” monitor speakers; one ZLX 15p powered speaker and two EV Q1212 amplifiers, with EV PL series drum microphones to ensure fantastic low-end response and snappy snare drum sounds.
Murray Grassow, the full-time sound engineer at Bailey’s Live, says that he “likes the EV rig, because for its weight and size, it packed a hell of a punch.”
He also mentions the attractive look of cabs, and says that – in his experience – the company makes durable and reliable gear.
“For example, I have been working with a second-hand TourX single 15” tops and single 18” subs for many years, and they just keep pushing on like they’re brand-new.”
Reflecting on the show, Grassow says “it was great to work with Prosound and Clout are still some of the best musos I have worked with.”
From the band’s perspective, “We had a fantastic night and Lee Brune (of Prosound) did a great job as always,” van Zyl says. “Bailey’s is a beautiful venue and Murray, their sound technician, was very helpful. The EV rig kicked butt!”
Australia’s Largest Pub puts its Trust in Electro-Voice Sound
Nestled by the Swan River and right in front of Perth’s new $1.5 billion Optus Stadium, The Camfield boasts an impressive set of numbers: 9000 square metres, 3,000 person capacity, 2 km from CBD, 300 kegs of beer delivered every week, 125 kegs of beer made in-house, 80 m long bar, 175 beer taps, and 180 staff on an average night. Then there’s 96 Electro-Voice loudspeakers and amplifiers used to provide sound for functions, ambience and pure raw entertainment, whether it’s a game coverage or live music in its spacious beer-garden.
The pub is extremely spacious, and welcoming at the same time. It caters for a wide variety of patrons and uses: from the sports fan visiting next door, to workers popping in for lunch or an after work drink, through to meals with friends and family, or corporate events of all shapes and sizes. Not only does The Camfield provide the suitable spaces, extensive menus and a wide selection of beverages (including in-house micro-brewery products) for a wide variety of patrons, it also features the professional audio system required for a venue this size.
“The performance of both the indoor and outdoor speakers selected outdoes what was proposed to the client”
The bright and tasteful bistro space caters to reservations, walk in guests and small to large functions. The combination of bar, dining and lounge style seating offers an ideal space for meeting up with friends and family or networking with clients.
Electro-Voice’s EVID-S, the latest award winning commercial installation loudspeakers, provide background music in this space. EVID-S offers impressive performance, faster and easier installation, and great value for money. Due to the expansive area and changing volume in chatter from varying numbers of patrons, EVID-S loudspeakers are reinforced with Electro-Voice EKX passive subwoofers, to extend the frequency response of the system at all volumes.
The Terraces & Surrounds
There are a number of terraces with spectacular views of either the Swan River, Optus Stadium or the Beer Garden. Perfect for cocktail events, or just for chilling out, the spaces combine both high and low seating. Industry staples, the Electro-Voice EVID ceiling speakers are used across the terraces. Designed with both the contractor and the listener in mind, EVID ceiling speakers are aesthetically pleasing and sonically proven to provide exceptional sound for patrons. Corners of buildings feature ZX5 loudspeakers that easily fill the outdoor spaces with music.
The Beer Garden
The Beer Garden is at the heart of the venue. The space has access to the Main Bar, Garden Bar and the Container Bar with roof-top seating. The space has a huge, custom-built screen surrounded by an arrangement of high and low seating, as well as beanbags. Across the outdoor spaces a full-range of high performance Electro-Voice ZX5 loudspeakers provide sound for the big screen as well as outdoor entertainment.
The ZX5 is lightweight and combines audio performance, with versatility, aesthetics and a tremendous output capability. ZX5 loudspeakers are known in the industry for their installation versatility, durability and high-spec performance. They deliver 600 W power continuously (2400 W peak), produce a maximum SPL of 132 dB and have a very smooth frequency response.
Every amplifier used to drive the loudspeakers at the Camfield comes from the Electro-Voice CPS range. Engineered in Germany, the CPS 2 and 4 channel amplifiers are industry workhorses known for their reliability and value for money. The 2 channel models drive the low-impedance ZX5 loudspeakers while the 4 channel models drive the EVID-S 100 V line loudspeakers.
Words from the Integrator
Marcus Stackpole, Project Manager from Vision Cabling explains why Electro-Voice gear was chosen for the project. “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. Backed 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. Since the opening of the venue the support for the product from an integrator’s perspective has been outstanding and we look forward to working with Electro-Voice and Audio Source (Distributors of Electro-Voice in WA) again on upcoming projects. 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.”
Christian Reformed Church Sutherland Shire
The Christian Reformed Church was established in Sydney’s leafy Sutherland Shire in 1960 and is one of 45 Reformed Church congregations across Australia. Following three location changes the current church building was completed in 1991, in the suburb of Barden Ridge, and serves an average service attendance of 250-300 parishioners.
“The sound quality is great. Dispersion is very even throughout the church and the band are raving about how good they sound.”
The first loudspeakers installed in the new church were only good enough for speech and were not used for the amplification of the band. Few years later, Matthew James, the sound specialist at the church, sourced a pair of the ever-reliable Electro-Voice SX-100 speakers from Bava’s Music.
When asked how Matthew got introduced to EV audio gear he replied: “I’ve always been interested in sound and speakers and used to build my own speakers using the “loudspeaker design cookbook”. I soon learned that to get the most natural best sound it takes years of testing drivers, crossovers and cabinet design, something that is impo ssible to do in the garage on a very limited budget!
I think what got me first interested in EV speakers was when we used to go down to the Black Stump conferences once a year at the Cataract scout site. EV speakers were extensively used, and I thought they sounded great.”
The New Audio Visual System
Earlier in the year the church committee took the decision to upgrade the Audio Visual system for a number of reasons. Firstly, even though the SX-100 loudspeakers did a decent job for over a decade, the coverage they produced was not ideal around the back or sides of the church. “The EV SX-100 loudspeakers are great value for money and they sound nice, however they were just not designed for a church space of this size. There were a few areas where the sound was a bit thin.”
Apart from the church band screaming for a new system, the second major reason for a new audio system, was the introduction of two new projectors and projector screens. The SX-100 loudspeakers were in the way. Hence, Matthew James started researching which Electro-Voice loudspeakers might suit a church if this size and provide quality sound, even coverage and value for money. He came across the Vari-Intense model and sought advice from Bava’s Music and subsequently Electro-Voice product specialists who confirmed the choice was very suitable.
The EVC-1122-VI (Vari-Intense) in Detail
With the main floor of the church being 18 m long x 14 m wide, and ceiling height of 7 m or more, it made sense to use the EVCVari-Intense loudspeakers. As they are hung at just over 6 m, the unique driver, horn and waveguide combinations allows the EVC-1122-VI loudspeaker to throw and cover evenly across an area of 3 times their height position to the front, and 2 times their height to each side. This meant that just two of these would suffice to deliver quality sound across the entire floor.
The advantage of the VI approach is that there is reduced variation in sound level from the front to the back of the audience, compared to typical point source solutions. The high frequency section of the EVC 1122/VI loudspeaker comprises a single 1¼-inch pure titanium dome compression driver directly coupled to a compound waveguide that combines long-throw and short-throw behaviour in a single acoustical device. This unique waveguide creates uniform pattern control and smooth, linear response.
Dynacord L Series Amplifier
Dynacord’s L2800 amplifier was chosen to power the Vari-Intense loudspeakers. With 1400 W per channel at 4 ohms, the amplifier is more than capable driving the 300 W continuous (1200 W peak) Vari-Intense loudspeakers. The L Series amplifiers are engineered for demanding live music applications. They are ideal for live performances in venues such as houses of worship, sports venues, school auditoriums and clubs. The L Series power amplifiers comprise a best-in-class, tour-grade feature set that brings real professional performance to a new price point. Their high-quality components and professional processing power and performance characteristics enable exceptional sound quality with plenty of headroom.
An on-board DSP includes multi-band PEQs, crossovers, limiters, and delay per channel. It also has true channel grouping control with extra DSP capabilities like PEQ, GEQ and delay for each group. The amplifier is also equipped with advanced FIR-Drive, a premium feature normally reserved for the highest quality tour-grade DSPs. It optimizes original factory loudspeaker settings, yielding a level of performance unheard of at this price point. Due to these reasons no additional DSP unit was required for this project.
EV PolarChoice Lectern Mic
An Electro-Voice PolarChoice lectern microphone was chosen for the spoken audio. PolarChoice is apremium lectern microphone that is very flexible in terms of pick-up patterns. The user can select between omni, cardioid, supercardioid or hypercardioid patterns.
The microphone is designed to provide a smooth and uniform frequency response, no matter what pattern is selected. An extended low frequency response and switchable high-pass filter can be utilised.
The band, featuring 3 vocalists, keyboard/organ/piano player, drummer, bass and guitar players, use three EV ZLX-12P powered loudspeakers as monitors. An EKX-15SP powered subwoofer for supplements the monitors and FOH speakers.
Electro-Voice and Dynacord audio upgrade for Twin Lakes Church
Located in Aptos, CA, Twin Lakes Church is a large faith community, offering three contemporary Christian services per week in a sanctuary seating about 1750. The church relies largely on the expertise among its 5000 members to drive its technical ministry, an approach that bore fruit in the selection and installation of a new premium audio system. The team chose Electro-Voice X-Line Advance X2 line array loudspeakers, powered by the latest in amplifier technology – the Dynacord IPX series.
Director of Technical Ministries Barry Schneider led the process, using an in-house tech team from design through physical installation. Twin Lakes sound engineer Karl Heebner, who designs and installs sound systems for AV Now Fitness Sound in nearby Santa Cruz, was tapped as the official integrator.
Having heard several sound systems demonstrated at trade shows, the X2 and a system from another major brand were selected for an on-site evaluation. After a shootout, the X2 system was the clear winner. “All the demo systems were good, but we really loved the consistency across varying ranges and levels with the X2,” says Karl Heebner of AV Now. “There was a conversational quality that we loved for spoken word, with immense clarity and power for full concert events like our Christmas shows.”
The system design was a collaborative process among Twin Lakes, AV Now and Electro-Voice. The main PA consists of twin 10-box line arrays of X2-212/120 loudspeakers, supported by eight X12-128 dual-18” subwoofers hidden beneath the stage. Eight ultra-compact EVU-2062 dual-6” speakers provide audio in the lobby area, while legacy loudspeakers remain under the balcony. The entire system is powered and processed by Dynacord’s new IPX series power amplifiers.
“We tend to take on these projects ourselves, so it’s a little different from the average church,” explains Schneider. “AV Now helped us to collaborate with Electro-Voice on the system design. It turned out to be an outstanding experience.” To aid in the transition from design to integration, a structural engineer was engaged to produce final drawings. The installation was done by the Twin Lakes technical team, then commissioned by Electro-Voice.
“The great thing about the X2 system is how completely it fills the space,” notes Schneider. “We no longer need front fills, and only about three rows are shaded by the balcony. We’ve got great uniformity across the room, without the need for a lot of additional support.”
Dynacord’s IPX series powers the entire X2 system, requiring just six IPX 20:4 and two IPX 10:8 models (four- and eight-channel respectively). The IPX 20:4 offers a power density of up to 20 kW from a single unit with all channels driven. IPX amps offer the highest flexibility both for low- and high-impedance applications with parallel and parallel/bridged power drive modes, and up to 50 percent less power consumption thanks to Dynacord’s Eco Rail technology. Fully integrated 96 kHz DSP with FIR-Drive processing and OMNEO IP architecture supports Dante audio networking and OCA protocol.
“We loved the idea of going forward with the latest technology, and the new Dynacord amps fit right into our Dante network,” notes Karl Heebner. “That allows us to send a full digital signal to the speakers. Our IPX amps were first run, commissioned prior to them hitting the market. With that kind of factory support, we knew we had made the right decision.”
Reactions from the congregation and tech team support that view. “Everyone loves the new system,” says Barry Schnieder. “I would like to say that direct support from the EV team played a big role in our success. They always answered our calls, and spent a couple days here commissioning the system to make sure everything was just as we wanted it. It really gives us confidence in the long term, knowing the kind of support that’s backing it.
Two stadiums, one sound solution: Electro-Voice and Dynacord system design a winner for Texas school district
- Five weatherized Electro-Voice EVH and EVF loudspeakers provide full-range coverage for 8,000-seat stadium
- Dynacord C3600 amplifiers provide power, DSP and FIR-Drive speaker optimization for cohesive, full-range audio
- Southwest Building Systems delivered cost-effective service with a single system design custom-integrated into two similar stadiums
“We’ve had nothing but awesome reactions from everyone. People are blown away by the sound. Now we can really get the place rocking, from the time the team comes out of the locker room and all through the game.”
When legendary Texas football coach Mike Spradlin joined Magnolia Independent School District in suburban Houston as Director of Athletics in 2016, he set about upgrading the football experience at the district’s high schools. Part of that plan was the installation of new video scoreboards and sound systems at both Magnolia and Magnolia West. Southwest Building Systems (Sillsbee, Texas) was engaged to design and install new sound systems at both facilities.
“Our old systems were just a few horns mounted on top of the press box. They sounded terrible, and music was out of the question,” says Robert Patty, Sports Information Coordinator for the district. “We wanted to create more of a college-type game day experience, to get the fans and players pumped up.”
The goal was to deliver full, even coverage in the bleachers, with clear, high fidelity sound quality for game announcements, music, and sponsor video commercials. Southwest Building Systems designed a PA system featuring long-throw Electro-Voice loudspeakers powered and processed by C Series amplifiers from EV’s sibling brand Dynacord. The same system was installed in both stadiums, which have virtually identical bleacher and scoreboard layouts.
The system is based on three EVH-1152D/43 coaxial loudspeakers, a two-way, horn-loaded design that delivers up to 139 dB SPL. This highly directional 40 x 30 version provides the tight dispersion required to deliver clear sound throughout the 8,000-seat venue. Two 1152s cover the home side of the field, with the third handling the smaller visitors’ bleacher section. Two EVF-2151D subwoofers provide low frequency support.
Power is provided by four Dynacord C3600 amplifiers, with integrated DSP and FIR-Drive to optimize loudspeaker performance (Dynacord amps are optimized for use with EV speaker systems). One is dedicated to each biamped EVH-1152D, while the fourth amp powers the two subwoofers. One interesting problem posed was the fact that there are no other buildings near the scoreboard. As Brent Thornhill, President of Southwest Building Systems, explains, “Normally we house the amplifiers in a nearby fieldhouse, but that was over 500 feet away. We wanted to put the Dynacord amps close to the speakers, so we came up with an outdoor-rated, climate-controlled rack room to put them in. We call it The Fridge.”
The speakers feature Electro-Voice’s fully weatherized design option, with fiberglass cabinets, powder-coated stainless steel grilles with hydrophobic mesh, and water-tight input panel covers. The loudspeakers are housed in an enclosure above the new video scoreboard, providing further weather protection while keeping them out of sight.
“We like to provide a sleek, integrated look to our end zone systems,” says Thornhill. “The enclosure has a special black fabric cover that blocks out the wind-driven Texas rain but doesn’t interfere with the sound. We printed them with the school logos, so they look like part of the scoreboard.”
As a final touch, the announcer’s microphone in the press box was outfitted with the Electro-Voice PC Desktop-18, a gooseneck design with sturdy, weighted steel base and selectable pick-up pattern from the PolarChoice range.
Fans, teams, coaches and administrators of both the Magnolia Bulldogs and Magnolia West Mustangs are impressed with the way things are sounding:
“We’ve had nothing but awesome reactions from everyone. People are blown away by the sound,” reports Robert Patty of Magnolia ISD. “Now we can really get the place rocking, from the time the team comes out of the locker room and all through the game. Our superintendent was there for the first game, and came over and told me, ‘Man, this sounds like a rock concert!’
It’s really brought our whole football program to a higher level, just like we hoped. We couldn’t be happier.”
The Overtones hit all the right notes on tour with Electro-Voice X-Line Advance and Dynacord TGX
Platinum selling vocal harmony stars The Overtones sold out concert halls across the UK when they set out on a 26-date tour at the end of 2018, accompanied by long-term front of house engineer Mark Clements. For technical production specialist Merlin PA Hire, the sheer variety of venues on the tour meant that the sound system had to be as flexible as possible while still delivering the clarity of performance required for the precise and detailed Overtones sound.
“The guys are very particular about what they want and for me it needs to be precise; crystal clear vocals and the ability to retain the character of their individual voices,” explains Clement, the band’s engineer for nine years. “It’s not a broad-spectrum EQ, it’s very defined for each performer and there’s a lot of time spent riding the faders.” Most importantly, Overtones shows are renowned for inspiring audiences to leap to their feet and dance in the aisles.
Delivering the all-important blend of versatility, performance and power was an Electro-Voice X-Line Advance X2 line array system driven by one of the first Dynacord TGX-20 amplifier set-ups to hit the road. In choosing to use the already award-winning Dynacord TGX amps, Merlin PA’s Neal Allen also adopted a fully OMNEO workflow for the tour, combining Dante audio transport with OCA control.
“It was a leap of faith,” confirms Allen. “The TGX amps arrived two weeks before we came away and this was our first time using OMNEO all the way through, a fully Dante workflow. But everything worked flawlessly.”
Depending on each venue’s size and load bearing capacity, Allen specified a configuration to suit with a mixture of EV X2-212/90 and X2-212/120 elements, plus XLE181 in-fills and front-fills and X12-128 subwoofers. Five Dynacord TGX-20 amps per-side were housed in the rack.
“When you’re preparing for a tour you need to think about the biggest venue and the smallest venue and select a system that will cater for both,” he says. “Truck space is always at a premium, so you need flexibility in the speaker rig and the amplifiers. That’s what we get with X-Line Advance and TGX.”
Mark Clements adds: “The X2 sound is crisp and precise. It also throws for days and the detail is top notch. With the TGX amplifiers, the headroom is a massive improvement and they sound great. They’re also very easy to use, with the software everything is accessible in a second.”
For the band, meanwhile, achieving what they call “the perfect sound” in the auditorium means they can focus on their performance. “We couldn’t do what we do without our technical team and without the equipment they use,” reasons Lachie Chapman. “On our tour, every night we have people up on their feet from the second song, literally every night. I think that’s testament to the amazing sound that we have.”
Waterstone School upgrades to Electro-Voice
Waterstone School in Johannesburg recently updated their portable PA system, and chose Electro-Voice ELX200 loudspeakers.
We think this is an excellent choice not only because of the lightweight design and superior sound quality but that it also comes with built in DSP and is Bluetooth enabled. This allows teachers to control volume levels on the speakers from their smart phones. Yes, if the kids are too loud, you can turn them down.
The EV Quicksmart app is available in all App Stores and is very easy to use. Check out the video at the link below for a run through of the app.
The system was complimented with Electro-Voice ND76 microphones and a Soundcraft Signature 10 mixer. All cables and stands were also provided.