ETC Control System Scores Touchdown at SoFi Stadium
Any event at Inglewood’s SoFi stadium is likely to be upstaged by the venue itself. Along with the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, SoFi stadium’s place in Southern California iconography is assured. Site of the Super Bowl LVI (sorry Bengals fans) seen by millions around the world, it is arguably the pinnacle of stadium design. The superlatives are in the numbers: 70,000 seat capacity, 302 FTE roof panels containing 28,000 LED “pucks,” a 360-degree infinity screen, and 25,000 miles of cabling all set in a grade 100 feet below ground level. Passengers flying into LAX can view games or concerts projected on to the 80-million-pixel roof. But no less impressive is the ETC control system that keeps it all running.
The Body of SoFi
“The end-users’ journey through the stadium had to be considered on both game and non-game days, with attention paid to enhance memorable views and ‘Instagrammable’ moments along the way,” says Stacie Dinwiddy, Associate Principal at KGM Architectural Lighting, who handled the indoor hospitality area lighting. “We found ourselves addressing new and unique challenges as we navigated to complete a project of this scale during an international pandemic and lockdown, for a building and program originally designed for mass gatherings and public displays of face and body paint.”
To enhance the experience and promote movement around the concourse, KGM worked closely with a custom manufacturer to design a ribbon-like LED feature pendant that could twist and glow like neon to reflect a meandering path throughout the entire concourse. Another integrated installation that was thoroughly engineered is within the entrance corridors leading to the Owner’s Club. The original design was a continuous linear line of light that went up one wall, across the ceiling, and down the opposite wall. “To shake up a popular detail, we opted to offset the lines at the wall to create a more dynamic effect through the corridor and allude to the laces on a football – a theme carried out in many areas on the project,” she added.
LAM Partners’ James Perry describes the task of lighting the exterior of the massive structure. “The field of play is certainly the primary focus of the project, but the overall stadium was envisioned as a living, organic form that could pulse with activity and motion from the field all the way out to the exterior skin of the building. The lighting design and controls were a part of the story-telling of the architecture and the NFL excitement within.”
Of the many firsts attributed to this project Perry notes, “The LED media mesh that is draped across the clear membrane roof canopy was a first as far as we know. The entire roof and fifth elevation of the building becomes a large video board. But the interesting design challenge was achieving this for the exterior view of the building without impacting the environment or event within the stadium bowl below. None of that lighting is visible when ‘on’ from within the seating bowl.”
The Brain of SoFi
Providing the often overlooked but critical component of control went to 4Wall Entertainment, who integrated all the ETC control elements which form the backbone of this impressive project. Buddy Pope and Brent Pritchett headed up the team that linked it all together. “Every single light that turns on and off we controlled via Paradigm – restrooms, locker rooms, offices, concourses, exterior lighting, and even the signage a few blocks away are controlled by ETC Paradigm,” says Pope.
On the entertainment side, Mosaic Show Controller X and an Eos console control the sports lighting and color-changing lights throughout the venue. No stranger to huge installations, Pope notes that “a big challenge was the sheer length of data and DMX runs – the equipment list is short but has big numbers.”
To comply with California Title 24 rules, over 1200 Paradigm occupancy sensors are everywhere, but the Paradigm system easily dealt with any customization. “We were able to tweak the Paradigm advanced controls to make overrides,” says Pope. “The lights never go out in the Rams’ locker room during a game, for example.”
Not surprisingly, the sequence of operations for the building was extensive and called out for specific looks. The Paradigm system stores not only game and concert modes building-wide, but campus-wide. A Mosaic controls all the signage on the campus, color changing and white light controls as well as a retail section that is under construction. Even the landscape lighting has its own distinct presets.
Not even the restraints of COVID protocols and supply chain holdups during the construction cycle, could hold up the creation of this truly remarkable addition to LA’s sport and cultural life.
ApexPro’s Justin Acers experiences the Meyer Sound Panther first hand at Infocomm 2022
Our managing director, Justin Acers, had the pleasure to meet with Meyer Sounds Director of Global Marketing, Tim Boot, to experience the power of the Panther firsthand!
“We are very excited to bring the Panther to the African market. No other line array comes close to matching PANTHER’s remarkable output of over 150 dB in such a compact cabinet. PANTHER delivers unrivaled linearity and headroom, only achievable with a self-powered system.” ApexPro technical director Mark Malherbe points out.
Level 42 level-up with Electro-Voice and Dynacord for UK tour
The recent Level 42 UK tour called on the versatility of Electro-Voice and Dynacord equipment to ensure that every audience had the best possible experience, no matter what kind of venue the band was performing in.
The British jazz-funk band toured with an Electro-Voice X2 system as its main PA, driven by Dynacord TGX amplifiers with control from SONICUE sound system software.
The tour marked the first time that the band’s FOH engineer, Mark Clements, had moved away from Level 42’s usual equipment supplier for 25 years. However, the band had been working with Merlin PA on overseas and festival packages, and it became a natural move to tour the UK with the rental company too.
A further reason for the switch was to move to Electro-Voice’s X2 system, which Clements had heard several times. The solution’s size and form factor made it the perfect choice for a concert hall tour, but the technical qualities of the X2 also made it a strong choice for Level 42.
“The percussive and transient nature of Mark King’s style really shone through with the use of the X2’s 12” driver on the Mid Band Hydra,” explains Merlin PA’s Neal Allen. “That’s what the technology in the MBH allows you to deliver.”
The capabilities of the X12-128 dual-18” subwoofers were also an important factor for the performance. “This tour was one of the first where we consistently used a cardioid sub arrangement in almost every venue,” recalls Allen. “Due to the nature of the stage setup, some venues required a super-cardioid sub design, which dramatically cleaned up unwanted resonance onstage for Mark King.”
In addition to the X2 main PA, compact 8” two-way XLE cabinets were called into action to provide further support. “XLE was required to provide extra intelligibility and consistency,” says Allen. “This was particularly important at Sheffield City Hall, which is a notoriously tricky venue to contain with a full house when you need to cover all three floors.”
A further aspect that enhanced the tour was the Dynacord electronics and software that drove every performance. “TGX amplifiers and SONICUE sound system software provided the backbone power to the Electro-Voice system,” notes Allen. “The intuitive nature of SONICUE enabled us to make effortless on-the-fly changes at different locations, while also providing an overall picture of all aspects of the system.”
Introducing Electro-Voice MTS Loudspeaker Systems
Each MTS model is equipped with four 15″ woofers and dual coaxial mid/high-frequency compression drivers. The system is capable of generating more than 151 dB peak SPL with exact directivity for very long-throw applications.
According to Richard Lawn of Pro AVL Asia, “Having blended new technologies with long-established designs, Electro-Voice has delivered a powerful yet versatile enclosure that refuses to be boxed into a familiar niche.”
Richard sat down with Bob Rieder, Andrew Pardoe, and Oliver Sahm to find out more.
Find out more about the Electro-Voice MTS Series HERE: https://products.electrovoice.com/na/en/mts/
ApexPro is the leading distributor of Electro-Voice products and services in Africa.
Contact us to find out more.
David Butcher joins ApexPro
ApexPro would like to officially welcome David Butcher to the team. David joined as of the first of March. He is the newly appointed Technical Support Manager. With more than 10 years’ experience in AV Design, Software Conceptual Design, Sound Design, Hardware Interfacing and Generic and Automated Lighting, David is an institution in the local industry. His addition is a major boost to ApexPro’s capabilities. Welcome David!
Pictured left to right are: David Butcher, Jeremy Roberts (Associate Regional Manager, ETC Ltd), Mathew Lewis (ETC Product Specialist) and Ian Blair (GM Lighting and Structures). With unmatched levels of practical experience and expertise and the right combination of the very best people in their respective fields, ApexPro is poised to make a huge success of 2017.
New Brands for ApexPro
ApexPro, Prosound’s new Distribution company, is proud to announce that they are the official distributors of Symetrix, Atterotech and Stewart Audio in South Africa. The three brands complement one another perfectly in installed sound applications and are all extremely valuable additions to ApexPro’s product portfolio. The team at ApexPro are confident that these three prestigious brands will find many happy users and many applications around the country.
With a singular focus on installed systems DSP, Symetrix delivers high performance audio hardware and software, backed by the highest caliber of customer care. Symetrix continuously expands the scope and capabilities of their product offerings to range from simple single unit budget installations to state-of- the-art 100,000 seat stadiums, and everything in between. Their purpose is to lead by innovation: early-stage implementation of Dante™ network audio is just one example. Join with AV specialists around the globe who turn to Symetrix again and again for reliable, high-performance audio DSP and accessories.
Attero Tech is a leading provider of unique and cost-effective networked AV solutions for small and medium sized venues. Attero Tech solutions help AV systems integrators reduce cost, improve audio quality, future proof systems, and meet their most demanding design requirements. Leveraging their deep background in audio networking and audio theory, Attero Tech engineers have developed out-of- the-box solutions for virtually any connection scenario. If there is a need, Attero Tech has the solution.
Since 1982, Stewart Audio’s singular focus has been making a difference in sound reinforcement. Our broad array of compact standard and network amplifiers span both analog and digital worlds. With a commitment to innovation and quality, we provide our customers with a unique combination of features from RS232 control to DSP in a compact package.