Tag: Stadium Sound

Technomad Articles : Technomad at Tony Gwynn Baseball Stadium

Audio Associate’s All-Star Installation

Tony Gwynn Stadium became the new home of the San Diego State University baseball program during the 1997 season. Groundbreaking for the project took place on August 21, 1996. The structure is named in honor of the former Aztec and current Padre 13 time All-Star right fielder, Tony Gwynn. The 38 year old, future Hall-of-Famer, who has hit a remarkable .368 over the last five years, entered the 1998 season with a lifetime batting average of .340, tying him for 15th place on the all-time list with George Sisler and Lou Gehrig. Also, at the start of the 1998 season, the eight-time batting champion was only 220 hits away from the prestigious 3,000-hit plateau – a level only 21 players have attained.

Equally impressive are the stats of the stadium that bares his name. The $4 million facility was made possible through the generosity of San Diego Padres owner John Moores and his wife, Becky, who donated the funds to make the dream of a state-of-the-art stadium for SDSU Aztec Coach, Jim Dietz, and a reality. The design consultant firm of Helmuth, Obata and Kassbaum, Inc., has been involved in numerous baseball facility projects including Coors Field in Denver, Camden Yards in Baltimore and Jacob’s Field in Cleveland, in addition to several minor league parks including the San Diego Padres spring training facility in Peoria, Arizona.

Stadium lighting consists of six poles using 2000-watt fixtures, making the facility one of the well-lit fields in college and professional baseball. The Coca-Cola Company of San Diego is the Sponsor of the electronic scoreboard located behind the right centerfield fence. A hydraulic elevator takes media and VIPs from the ground level to the radio and television press boxes and there are four adjacent sky boxes for visiting dignitaries and groups. Seating capacity is approximately 4,000. Upon completion, Tony Gwynn Stadium was quickly hailed by Baseball America Magazine, ranking it the fifth-best collegiate facility in the nation and the second best park in the western half of the nation.

“In mid-December 1996, we were approached by the construction management team to provide a sound system, since one was not planned in the original specs,” notes Mike Fay of Audio Associates of La Mesa, California. In spite of the large overall budget for the facility itself, the budget for the sound system was fairly tight, yet instructions stated; clarity, musicality, coverage and power was not to be compromised. The project became a real challenge in where Audio Associates had to budget, design, find and acquire the right equipment, get client approval, and install the job in less than 60 days. Mr. Fay states, “Ultimately, this project allowed us to try out new technology, and continually find success with proven technology, in order to meet the demands of the client and deadlines of the construction team.”

The criteria called for sound coverage on the main seating areas and the right field bleacher seating. As Murphy’s Law would have it, there are a series of apartment buildings in close proximity to the main seating areas, on the west side of the stadium. The project became even more of a challenge when Mr. Fay’s design instructions stated, there were not going to be any structures from where to hang loudspeakers out in front of the seating areas. The university did not want any problems with sound bleeding onto the close-proximity residential buildings. “The designers were very specific,” Mr. Fay is quick to point out. “We had to be very careful about not disturbing the neighbors.”

Therefore, Mr. Fay’s task was to design a system that would cover the spectators from behind their heads and deliver 90 dB at the front row, 80 to 100 feet from the loudspeakers. Mr. Fay notes, “I’m a ‘point source’ kind of guy. I like putting sound in front of people and I have never been real fond of distributing sound from behind the audience. After struggling with several ideas, I decided on distributing the loudspeakers under the roof structure, directly above the rear walkways. All of the loudspeakers are turned at 45 degrees away from home plate, firing out towards first and third base, to keep the sound moving in the same direction. Each zone is picked-up with a delay to reduce zone crossover, and minimize out-of-phase information and comb filtering.”

Posing another interesting dilemma, the sound system was to be left inactive most of the year, from May, when the College World Series ends, until practice starts again in January or February. Eight months is a long time for a speaker system to remain inactive, outdoors. Mr. Fay’s task of making a high-fidelity system sound articulate and smooth, in each and every seat, seemed almost trivial compared to the requirement of, “How are we going to keep these loudspeakers from falling apart every two years?” Mr. Fay states, “If we were to install wooden cabinets, we would incur additional time and labor costs to dismantle, fiberglass, and then reassemble each cabinet. After we did the entire math, it just did not make dollars and sense for us to weatherize wooden loudspeakers. The time and the budget were simply not there.”

Mr. Fay notes, “When I design a system, I start with the loudspeaker. I figure out what it’s going to take to do the job and I design back down the signal path to the microphone.” The loudspeakers had to be physically small as not to cause a hazard. They were to be installed, recessed within the I-beam framework of the lower-than-normal roofs, a little over seven feet above the walkways. The client insisted for the sound system to ‘rock n’ roll’ when called upon to deliver morale-boosting ‘team’ music. Therefore, the loudspeakers also had to have an extremely smooth output, at high SPLs, so not to become abrasive to the spectators seated in the back rows.

Nine, military-specification Technomad WeatherTech Noho/C Installation model loudspeakers were called for since they met Mr. Fay’s criteria for compact size, extremely high output, uniform dispersion characteristics, and studio-monitor-like sound quality. With the Noho’s articulate, subwoofer-like low-end response, the pulse of the rhythm and groove would not dissipate over great distances. A reputation of proven reliability in every imaginable weather condition, combined with the simple, sheer economy of being the only off-the-shelf, high-powered, high-fidelity, weatherized loudspeaker available, assured Mr. Fay the Noho/C loudspeakers would meet, if not exceed, the customer’s requirements and expectations.

Twelve OWI 502 model loudspeakers were utilized as down and spot fills. Mr. Fay points out, “The 502 fill loudspeakers ‘touch-up’ small areas of seats and walkway, almost directly underneath the Noho/C loudspeakers.” The provided mounting bracket for the 502 speaker, coincidentally, perfectly matched the bolt pattern of the Noho/C’s handle. Continuing, Mr. Fay states, “This allowed us to mount the 502 speaker directly onto the Noho/C itself, thereby allowing the 502 to deliver a more uniform down-fill to the areas underneath the Noho/C.

Mr. Fay again continued in a direction of cost efficiency, quality, reliability, and sonic performance, knowing full well, amplifiers can make or break a sound system, and a budget. Mr. Fay did not want to skimp on such a vital component and install something truly cheap just to save a few dollars.

With such a wide disparity in amp prices, power handling abilities, physical sizes, and warranties, it was quickly determined the amp that would make the system sound the best, and provide the greatest piece-of-mind, would be the QSC USA Series. “This job was a matter of; how many reliable, performance Watts can I get for the customer’s dollar? QSC has a nice range of packages stepping through every power requirement. For cost effectiveness, without sacrificing performance, I use the QSC USA and the CX Series,” states Mr. Fay. “The price points are very respectable and they have consistently proven to be very reliable. QSC’s available six year warranty, combined with Technomad’s equally impressive, lengthy warranty, really put the customer’s – and my – mind at ease.”

Three QSC USA 1310s and two USA 900s power the nine Technomad Noho/Cs and twelve OWI 502s that cover the five delay zones. On each side of the stadium, one delay channel and one amp channel is assigned to each mirror-image speaker zone, powering the loudspeakers at 4 Ohms. Mr. Fay notes, “Therefore, I maximize my amp real estate assuring I have ample low-end power for when they drop-in music between innings.”

Since this turn-key system could be operated by individuals of various technical experiences, a double fail-safe of protection was incorporated to the signal chain beyond the compressors. The USA Series’ user selectable clip limiters provide an additional level of protection against excessive distortion, automatically reducing clipping before harsh limiting kicks in. The QSC’s clip limiters continually allow the amp to provide significant power to the loudspeakers, reducing peaks, significantly reducing distortion. Additionally, variable low-frequency filters (30 Hz, 50 Hz, or flat) reduce potential speaker damage below box tuning frequencies, and increases power available for low frequencies within the speaker’s operating range.

Sound coverage for the right outfield bleacher seating is provided by one Technomad Noho. The absence of a roof structure over this seating area made speaker mounting a unique endeavor, aside for the fact the cable run is over 1,000 feet from the amp rack. The closest structure in where to install the speaker was 25 feet above the ground, on the light pole, 45 to 50 feet to the left of the bleacher seats. “That one speaker is working out very well in terms of covering the 55 foot-long outfield bleachers,” states Mr. Fay. “We ran a single pair of 12 gauges to the speaker, from its own amp channel off a USA 900, and we experienced less than 2.5 dB of line loss. The USA 900 amp provides the Noho/C with enough power to project over the 50 foot distance to the bleachers, and cover the entire seating area at 90 dB, within + 3 dB, while making up for any discernible line loss.”

A single QSC CX4T 70 volt amp provides the power for the ceiling mounted internal loudspeakers’ though-out the press and sky boxes. The balance of the system consists of a Mackie 1402 mixer, Marantz Pro model PMD320 compact disc and PMD 501 cassette players, Peavey delays, a Williams ALS system, Behringer compressors and SM58 microphones.

“During the design phase,” Mr. Fay notes, “I kept stating to myself, ‘I think this is going to work, the design criteria’s are all matching up.’ I am always concerned about how one cabinet is going to take over when one drops off, and is the dispersion pattern going to be right for the amount of loudspeakers, space and distances. You never know for sure how such a unique, distributed sound system – where every cabinet is behind the audience and off angle – will work out. You can always plot these things out on paper, but you never know for sure until it’s up and running.”

Mr. Fay continues, “I was here for the inauguration of the stadium and I sat in various seats to gauge the coverage and output of the system. They had the system running very hot the entire day, at about 75%, playing some party and 50’s Rock N’ Roll between announcements, innings and speeches. The moment I knew, for sure, we did the right thing with this system was an opera singer; an operatic soprano – who had NO mic technique at all – sang the National Anthem. At the end of the song, she did an octave jump, full voice with mic-in-mouth. I heard it coming and she nailed the note. No distortion, no clipping; the entire system held together very nicely. That means the gain structure is good, the loudspeakers hung in there, the amps are right, the delays are set; nothing went out of whack. I said to myself, if it can handle that, it can handle anything.”

Mr. Fay concludes, “There are no discernible delay problems. You can walk this entire seating area and stadium and the sound coverage is extremely smooth. SPL’s are +3 dB at any seat in the house, which is very good considering how spread out this entire place is. The customer’s reaction is, they are very happy. Therefore, I am very happy. I have a tendency to be pretty fussy about things and I go into these jobs with certain expectations. This installation met my expectations dead on, and my expectations are pretty high. For this situation, this is darn close to ideal.”

Contact Audio Associates:

Mike Fay
Audio Associates
La Mesa CA 91942
P: 619 461 9445
F: 619 461 9469

The Ultimate High-School Football Field Sound System: Technomads in Bitterroot, MT

» Read more Customer Comments, see customer-shot Videos!


Technomad Noho C loudspeakers were recently installed in a Bitterroot Montana high-school football / track facility.

The Nohos were mounted on the Press Box using Technomad multi-position wall brackets. The wide, open coverage pattern of the Noho (120 degrees vertical and horizontal at 1 KHz) combined with consistent arrival times and 430 watt power handling allows the Nohos to cover the ‘home’ stands, the field, and the away side.

The loudspeakers were delivered as part of a complete ‘turn-key’ audio system, the IPA2 [click here for more info]. The system included a mixer, an amplifier, a microphone, wall brackets, and all cabling.

The Technomad Noho C contains a coaxial 12″ low frequency driver and 1″ compression driver providing unparalleled musicality and voice intelligibility. Like all of the Technomad loudspeakers, the Noho is fully weatherproof due to its three-layer stainless steel, WeatherTech grill, military-specification rotationally molded cabinet and self-draining construction.

Turnkey Stadium PA System from Technomad - the IPA2. Our Most Popular weatherproof outdoor PA system!Technomad loudspeakers offer a unique combination of weatherproof construction, high-fidelity music playback, outstanding voice projection, and high power handling. They are an ideal solution for permanent outdoor installations, and handle the harsh environment of Montanna with ease. In addition to sport facility audio, Technomad loudspeakers are used for military PA, touring sound, theme park audio, cruise ship PA systems, and general sound contracting.

 

The Bitterroot system was installed by:

Maynard Baer
Sound Improvements LLC
Hamilton MT 59840
Phone:  406 375 1396
[email protected]

 

More Information

» Turn-Key PA Systems
» Noho C Loudspeaker
» Why are Technomads so Weatherproof?
» Where to Install Small Stadium Loudspeakers
» How Technomads Are Made

New Delhi’s Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium Overcomes the Elements

The Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India was built by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) of the Government of India in 1982. The massive facility is an all-purpose sports arena hosting football (soccer) and other sporting events, as well as large-scale entertainment events, such as concerts by India’s leading musical acts and entertainers. The facility seats 75,000 for football games, and as many as 100,000 for other athletic events, such as track and field, as well as concerts. Not only is the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium the home to leading sporting events, it also houses the headquarter offices of the Indian Olympic Committee. India hosted the first Asian Games in March 1951 in New Delhi and again the 8th Asian Games in 1982 when the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium was first constructed.

Established in 1990, Electrorama, with a staff of 25 full-time employees, specializes in all forms of sound, lighting and multimedia systems integration and installation projects for facilities such as theaters, stadiums, arenas, projection and Dolby surround sound systems for cinema, and other Government CPWD projects. Mr. Sunil Chauhan, a gentleman with over 25-years of systems integration experience and one of the directors of Electrorama states, “We don’t get hands-on involved in sound system rentals for concerts, although a good part of Electrorama’s business is renting sound and projection systems to other sound rental companies for concerts or corporate events. New build and retrofit system integration projects are where the profits are and these jobs make-up the bulk of Electrorama’s business.”

Electrorama’s redesign work for the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium’s new sound system began in early 2001 and plans were provided to the CPWD in the late spring of the same year. Work began in July 2001 and the project was completed in late October 2001. The sound system design criteria called for a dual-purpose sound system that could provide wide-dispersion, high-intelligibility speech-only output for sporting events and also be used as a high fidelity, full-range delay system for concert events.

“Plus,” Sunil points out, “Long-throw (High-Q) stadium loudspeakers have such a tight dispersion pattern that in order to effectively cover the large seating areas we needed to address, we would have had to mount as many as six loudspeakers per pole, per seating section, for as many as twelve loudspeakers per pole. This would have resulted in large loud speaker clusters that would have compromised the sightline criteria of the project and sent the system price soaring.”

To add to the design complexity, the system also had to be a 70 volt system since the cable runs from the equipment rack rooms to the loudspeakers ranged from 200 meters for the shortest cable run to longest being 300 meters.

Additionally, the installation called for all of the loudspeakers to be angled upward, thereby exposing driver components directly to the weather. Sunil states, “There is no roof structure from which to down-mount loudspeakers in a semi protected area so they fire down onto the seating areas. Such a mounting technique can triple, if not quadruple, the life span of a loudspeaker system. In this installation, with the loudspeakers firing up towards all of the seating areas, the concern that the loudspeakers would fill with water was very real.”

The staff was convinced an upward-mounted bell-like speaker would fill with water during the first heavy rain. Combined with the beam-like output, obstructive size and unsightly appearance of such a speaker, Electrorama’s design team selected a loudspeaker that met and exceeded the strict design criteria for the project. Technomad Transformer version loudspeakers were chosen as the front-end of the system.

Having used Technomad Vernal 15T loudspeakers in a previous smaller installation, as part of a distributed system upgrade in India’s National Stadium, Sunil and the Electrorama engineers were familiar with Technomad’s output, clarity, low profile and durability. “We had competition in this project from Bose, JBL, Community R2, EAW, and Philips,” stated Sunil. “But the Technomads, the smallest loudspeakers we’ve found, featured the overall best output and durability specs, including a US Military Specification (Mil-Spec 810F) that no other product could touch. In this project, the Government of India is the client and to my Government there is no better endorsement or feature/benefit than a US Government Military Specification for product durability. Once the client was aware of the Mil-Spec, combined with our successful experience with the Technomad product, the client’s mind was put at ease very quickly and they were sold on the product.”

Driven by twenty-five Crown CH-1 power amps, the twenty-five Technomad Berlin 15T 300-watt 70volt loudspeakers provide ultra-wide dispersion, long-throw coverage for the upper balcony sections and VIP seating area. Ten Berlin 15T loudspeakers driven by Crown CH-1 amps completely cover the entire playing field area. The lower bleachers and VIP seating section near/mid-field loudspeakers consist of thirty-five Paris 616T 128-watt 70volt loudspeakers, powered by ten Philips LBD 8146 amps.

New Delhi’s leading sound design and installation firm, Electrorama, was contracted by the CPWD in mid-2001 to design a new all weather, high fidelity, wide dispersion sound system for the Afro-Asian Games, which were to be held in New Delhi, November 3 – 11, 2001.Sportspersons from 96 countries, representing over two-thirds of the world’s population, were to take part in the games representing six disciplines – athletics, boxing, football (soccer), swimming, shooting and tennis. Athletics and football were to be held at the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium, tennis at the R. K. Khanna Stadium, swimming at the Talkatora pool, boxing at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, and shooting at Dr. KarniSingh Stadium. Regrettably, recent international tensions have led to the postponement of the Afro-Asian games, but other events still take place in the Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium on a regular basis. The sound system was only part of the massive upgrade to the stadium that also involved installation of thousands of new seats, a complete track and field resurfacing and upgrade and other improvements to concessions, as well as electrical, security and plumbing systems.

Not known for being particularly sparing on loudspeakers, New Delhi’s climate ranges from stifling humidity and 90 to over 100 degree temperatures in the summers, a two-month rainy season in the spring and fall, and temperatures in the low 40s and 50-degree ranges during the winter months. The previous sound system had survived India’s radical client conditions for nineteen years, not without frequent repairs, since it was first installed when the stadium was constructed in 1982. Not only did the Government of India want pristine sound for the Inaugural Afro-Asian Games, the most prestigious games ever to be held in the stadium or hosted by the city of New Delhi, the CPWD wanted to get twice the life span, increased output and fidelity from the new sound system, as well as reduce the frequency of the repairs.

For either sporting or concert events, the installed sound system had to be capable of delivering an even 97 dB SPL to the back of the front bleacher sections, 20 meters from the loudspeakers, and an even 90 dB SPL all the way to the last row of the top bleacher sections, 48 meters from the loudspeakers.

The sound system had to be physically very low profile so not to obstruct sight-lines of lower-level seating, as the loudspeakers are mounted on a series of twenty-five existing 8.5-meter high steel poles that are evenly distributed around the perimeter of the playing field. Every seat in the stadium is open to the environment, as the structure has no overhanging roof of any kind over the seating areas. Therefore, there are no additional places from where to support or suspend a fold-back delay sound system. Part of the criteria even stated that the near and mid-field loudspeakers could be no wider then the mounting poles themselves.

The larger long-throw, wide dispersion loudspeakers were to be mounted at the top of the mounting poles to fire 48 meters to the back seating areas. The smaller near/mid-field audience loudspeakers were to be mounted at approximately 4 meters high, and the playing field loudspeakers were mounted at approximately 6 meters high. The VIP seating areas would have their two smaller near/mid-field loudspeakers each mounted to a two-meter high pole, augmenting the larger speaker configurations flanking the VIP area.

All other long-throw speaker cabinets that were researched proved to be way too large for the restrictive sightline obstruction criterion that was written into the spec. These loudspeakers also simply did not have the combined long-throw and wide dispersion characteristics required to evenly cover all the seating areas from only twenty-five speaker-mounting poles.

The long-throw stadium loudspeakers that were investigated also lacked fidelity characteristics that could make them good candidates for a concert delay ring, as well as a speech-only system. Overall, other loudspeakers proved to be far too beamy to the point that their output would be too harsh on those attendees seated closer to the action and seats farther in the back sections would be hit with an abrupt mid-rangy output with the high-fidelity characteristics of an AM radio.

“It’s a very clean-looking installation,” states Sunil. “At only 21-inches wide, the Berlin 15T is only about 12-inches wider than the pole to which it is mounted. The Berlin 15T and the Paris 616T were also custom ordered in a gray cabinet color to match them to the color of the galvanized mounting poles. So, for the most part, the vertically mounted Paris 616T, which is no wider than the mounting pole, is almost imperceptible, especially at night.”

Such a large-scale project does not come without installation problems. Electrorama’s Technomad system design had originally called for ten Crown-powered Berlin 15T loudspeakers to cover the playing field area, but governmental budget constraints reduced the number of playing field loudspeakers to only six Paris 616T loudspeakers.

Sunil states, “When the job was cut back to only six Paris loudspeakers for playing field coverage, we knew the players would not be able to hear the game calls as well as the audience, if they heard anything at all. After the first game, we received a call from the CPDW requesting that the original ten Berlin 15Tfield coverage loudspeakers and Crown amps be added back into the sound system and that addition has recently been completed.”

Four engineers, two supervisors, eight technicians/wire men, and one welder were involved in this specific project from its beginning. While the project, on paper, appeared like a simple enough jobs to install, reality proved to be quite different. Pulling approximately 32 kilometers of cable took up a substantial portion of the two-month installation time and several days of heavy weather hampered workers from welding speaker brackets into place, thereby delaying the installation of the loudspeakers. Sunil jokes, “Yes, the Technomad loudspeakers are weather resistant, but workers on an 8.5 meter high pole are not resistant to lighting.”

Sunil points out, “The Technomad Berlin 15T is very efficient, but also delivery coverage is very uniform both vertically and horizontally. The Berlin 15T’s two-inch compression driver is mounted to a 120×120 degree horn, so with a wide coverage output, we hit a complete seating section with only one speaker. The output of each Berlin 15T is slightly overlapping the output of the Berlin speaker next to it to eliminate dead spots. The way the Berlin 15T’s are mounted, the lower horizontal cutoff is right at the front edge of the upper section balcony and then just above the last row of the upper section. The Berlin 15T has a very wide efficient and effective output that eliminates the need for more loudspeakers then is really necessary.”

Continuing, Sunil states, “Physically, the Berlin 15T’s driver configuration is correctly designed for its very shallow cabinet. The 2-inch compression driver and 15-inch bass transducer are physically time-aligned in the 11-inch deep cabinet, so 48 meters out from the face of the speaker the spectator is getting the Berlin 15T’s low-end 50 Hz and 17.5 kHz high-end output just as accurately as the guy in the front row of the upper section, who is 25 meters closer to the cabinet. We have yet to find another speaker that can put such an even full-range sound on a crowd. The low-frequency response was excellent, especially when you consider that this is a transformer-driver/70-volt system. Technomad’s high-end 70-volts approach worked very well for us.”

The Paris 616T, also with a 120×120 degree output from its 1-inch compression driver and twin 6.5-inch bass transducers also provides even and accurate coverage for the first level and VIP seating areas. The dispersion cut-off of the Paris 616Tis aimed right above the last row of the first section to avoid reverberation in upper section overhang area.

The balance of the signal chain consists of four Rane DA216 distribution amps, one DOD 231 equalizer, and three Shure DFR11 time delays. The announcer’s booth houses a Spirit by Sound craft LX7 32 channel mixer, two Denon DCM 270 CD players, two Tascam 302 cassette decks, “And too many microphones, patch bays and ceiling loudspeakers to even mention by brand and model number,” quips Sunil.

“For the tight requirements of the job spec,” states Sunil, “The Technomad loudspeakers worked out perfectly. Once you start with a quality sounding and constructed loudspeaker that is designed right, designing the entire system backwards from the speaker is that much easier. A processed sound system, which was proposed by other companies, drove the costs up exponentially, thereby knocking them out of the running. By using such a good speaker, we’ve eliminated a lot of unnecessary processing from the signal chain and reduced the system cost and complexity while still delivering an expensive sounding result

Contact Information: Electrorama Attn: Sunil Chauhan
S-545, Greater Kailash-II
New Delhi
New Delhi 110048
India
P: 91 11 6422294
F: 91 11 6489438
Send Email

Product Information:







Berlin 15/H







Paris 616