One of Belgium’s best-known football teams is celebrating an audio refurbishment at its home stadium, the Stade Constant Vanden Stock, better known as Stade d’Anderlecht.
Home to Anderlecht FC, the 24,000-capacity stadium in Brussels that is used solely for football, needed to upgrade its 25-year-old PA/VA system. Following evaluation of three possible solutions, longtime Anderlecht solution supplier Prosonix, together with NEXO’s Belgian distributor’s Pascal Deneef, proposed a NEXO compact, 2-way GEO S12-ST system. The GEO S12-ST, a specialist stadium version of the popular GEO S12, fitted the stadium’s requirement for long-throw line array cabinets perfectly. Another major reason for choosing the NEXO option was the success of the GEO S12-ST system installed in France’s Stade de Valenciennes, a similar venue in size and design.
NEXO’s Paul Massiani, together with Pascal Deneef, used the company’s proprietary NS-1 software to design the 82-cabinet system; 19 clusters of 4x GEOS12-ST + 3 clusters of 2x GEOS 12-ST from the concrete roof, using GEO fixed installation brackets together with custom-made brackets which allow the clusters to be turned.
One challenge facing NEXO was the inherent difficulty of containing noise levels within the stadium due to age and its metal and concrete construction. The GEO S12-ST – a high-output, long throw cabinet – features a tight dispersion pattern, keeping as much noise as possible inside the stadium. The system also produces enhanced speech intelligibility; up to 20 metres from the GEO S12-ST clusters to the lowest seats, and 15 metres to the rear seats in the tribunes; in simulations, sound levels reached 110dB.
The system is powered by 6x NXAMP4x4 powered TDControllers, which support the Dante network protocol. Use of Dante allowed the acoustic designers to specify BSS Soundweb for system control. Operated via a touchscreen in the control room, Soundweb was selected for its processing, presets and zoning functionality. It provides full flexibility for managing the stadium’s 22 audio zones, which can be used in a variety of combinations. This allows messaging to be tightly targeted to each specific zone, which was in fact a special request from the police. Additionally, in the event of a system problem, Soundweb will automatically contact the administrator who can log on remotely to assess the situation.
The network runs on an all-new fibre optic cable infrastructure installed by Prosonix and subcontractor SPIE, providing full redundancy and fire-resistance for up to an hour. It can also accommodate future addition of sub bass loudspeakers and further extensions of the system. Under the supervision of Deneef, SPIE was also responsible for the installation of the 22 clusters and amplifier/processing racks, and managed to get this job done in just 3½ weeks, with incredible results.