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Sound reinforcement systems from Bay Area audio innovator, Meyer Sound, played a supporting role in the Super Bowl 50 festivities, the biggest Super Bowl week ever celebrated and one that the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee called “uniquely Bay Area”.

In their quest to make the game-day sound for this Super Bowl the best ever, NFL production leaders tapped Meyer Sound to help enhance the February 7 experience between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Meyer Sound’s technical team worked with ATK Audiotek of Valencia, California, to rig SB-1 parabolic long-throw sound beams and SB-3F sound field synthesis loudspeakers at Levi’s Stadium, ensuring that the full house in the upper deck can enjoy game day.

State-of-the-art Meyer Sound solutions were also to be found enhancing the fan experience at many of the Bay Area events leading up to Super Bowl 50. The company’s top-of-the-line LEO® Family of line array loudspeakers supported Metallica’s trademark sound at AT&T Park on Saturday, and powered the party at Project Nightclub on Pier 70 for performances by Dave Matthews Band and Pharrell Williams on Thursday and Friday nights, respectively. The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at Saturday’s Super Bowl eve show there.


The Dave Matthews Band during the Super Bowl 50 festivities at AT&T Park.











In addition, longtime fans at the San Francisco Symphony experienced Meyer Sound’s newest product — the LEOPARD™ linear sound reinforcement system — in two special evenings of big-game orchestral celebrations at Davies Symphony Hall.

The systems at AT&T Park, Pier 70 and Davies Symphony Hall were supplied by Martinez, California-based Pro Media/UltraSound, a company perhaps best known as the Grateful Dead’s sound system supplier since 1980.

Helen Meyer, Meyer Sound’s executive vice president and co-founder, commented before Super Bowl 50:

All of us at Meyer Sound are thrilled to play a role in the big game and in all the festivities leading up to this extra special 50th anniversary.

Of course, we aren’t taking an official corporate position on who we’d like to win, but considering that 30 Meyer Sound CAL™ column array loudspeakers are installed on the upper deck of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, there might be a slight tilt toward the Carolina Panthers.

Unfortunately for Meyer, it was the Denver Broncos who finished up as the worthy winners of Super Bowl 50.

Founded by Berkeley residents John and Helen Meyer in 1979, Meyer Sound designs and manufactures its products, including all of the self-powered loudspeakers and accompanying digital signal processors deployed for these events, on its ever-expanding Berkeley campus.


Danley’s massive new Caleb Horn debuts at the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium

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The University of Iowa’s Hawkeyes football team plays all of its home games in the 70,500-seat Kinnick Stadium, which is located on the west side of campus. It is adjacent to residences on one side and to campus buildings on the other side, one of which is the University Hospital.

Although it’s fair to say that almost all Iowans stand behind the Hawkeyes (there is no pro team in the state) it’s also true that Iowans who are recovering in the hospital next door deserve peace and quiet, even on game day. When school officials became disenchanted with the lo-fi sound and poor coverage of Kinnick Stadium’s old sound reinforcement system, they worried that elevating it to modern standards would only increase game day complaints from the hospital.

However, those worries have been allayed, with Kinnick Stadium’s new high-powered Danley Sound Labs system – the first in the world to use the massive Caleb Horn – delivering reference-monitor-quality audio while keeping sound energy in the bowl. The new audio system provides Danley’s famous pattern control, rich low-end, airy high-end, unrivalled speech intelligibility, and prevents appreciable spillover into the adjacent neighbourhood and hospital.


Marvin Smejkal, owner of Sound Concepts (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), the company under retainer with the University for audio system maintenance and operation, said:

As Hawkeye management and fans travelled to other stadiums, they kept hearing sound systems that were far better than the one they had at home. As the complaints mounted, they asked us to research the sound systems in the five best stadiums they had heard. Three of the five were Danley systems, which resonated with my previous experiences involving Tom Danley’s creations – I was a huge fan of his ServoDrive subwoofer back in the 1980s and 1990s. Based on previous experience and a very impressive blind comparison, we recommended a Danley system for Kinnick Stadium.

The design, installation, and commissioning was a collaborative effort by consultant Anthony James Partners (Richmond, Virginia), with input from Sound Concepts and Danley Sound Labs.


Acoustician and Director of Danley University, Doug Jones, who designed the speaker system using Danley’s new Direct modelling software, said:

The design of the new sound system presented a number of significant challenges. Architectural considerations ruled out a distributed system, so we were asked to throw sound eight hundred feet across the stadium… without affecting the hospital just beyond. The only way to do that is with highly directional horns, which is Danley’s specialty.


Although a range of Danley components – including Jericho Horns and BC-415 subwoofers – contribute to coverage of the entire bowl, the real hero in Iowa is Danley’s new Caleb Horn. Measuring ten feet tall by four feet wide by five feet deep, the Caleb Horn delivers precision pattern control to extremely low frequencies and provides seemingly magical coverage of the opposite stands – and little else – at Kinnick Stadium. It is a single, massive horn with 108 drivers (12 x 18-inch drivers, 32 x 6-inch mid-range drivers and 64 x one-inch high-frequency compression drivers, 40 x 15 degree coverage pattern) with a frequency response that extends down to 30Hz.


Larry Lucas, Director of Audio Engineering at Anthony James Partners, said:

Danley’s Caleb Horn is a game changer. Given the architecture of Kinnick Stadium, the Caleb’s default 15 by 40 degree beam width was perfect to hit the far section, but Danley was willing to modify the horn exit to hit any target we required. Apart from the precision coverage, which extends to vastly lower frequencies than can be obtained with any other solution, the Caleb shares another Danley feature: clean, musical sound without comb filtering or other interference issues.


Kinnick Stadium is the first project to use Danley’s new freely available Direct modelling software from conception to completion. Unlike other modelling software, Direct makes predictions down to subwoofer frequencies, which allowed Jones to predict the low-frequency interactions around the bowl and, critically, at a point where the stadium is open to the hospital. By carefully adjusting the timing and phasing of the subwoofers relative to the Caleb’s substantial low-frequency content, Jones placed a low-frequency null near the hospital within the Direct software. The predicted null translates to reality; although the crowd will still enjoy abundant bass, the nearby hospital is significantly spared. “In addition to being accurate across the spectrum, Direct is very quick to render and easy to use,” commented Jones.


To either side of the Caleb Horn, a Danley J3 Jericho Horn paired with a Danley J4 Jericho picks up the distant sideline seating. The J4 is a highly-directional, high-frequency array of 64 compression drivers that compensates appropriately for atmospheric losses.

Mike Hedden, Danley President commented:

The J4 is a very unique product. Sound from 64 compression drivers seamlessly exits the large format horn via a patented combiner system. This allows unprecedented audio quantity and quality to be provided at extremely long distances. The J4 is capable of reproducing audio several octaves higher than the competition, sounds much more natural, covers a larger area, and is a better value.

Another pair of J3 Jericho Horns, one on each side, provide near-throwcoverage of the main seating areas. Despite their placement on the scoreboard, which is right above the near end zone seating, Danley’s exceptional pattern control allows them to operate “without liquefying the fans immediately below,” in the choice words of Hedden. Four Danley SH-64s are time-aligned and balanced on the near side to complete the even and consistent audio coverage in the stadium. Adding icing on the cake (for those who love a little bass) are four Danley BC-415 subwoofers that complement the Caleb’s low-end output and can shake the press box windows down to 21Hz. Arranged two tall by two wide, the configuration provides a favorable front-to-back output ratio, again keeping energy in the bowl and off the street. Lab Gruppen amplifiers with integrated Lake processing power the system with nearly 150,000 watts.


Smejkal added:

Unlike the stadium’s old system, the new Danley system provides independent zone control. Special events used to be a nightmare because we had to more or less engage the whole system, which added to the noise complaints. Now, we’re able to fire up only certain components of the Danley system. It sounds better, doesn’t waste energy, and keeps the neighbours happy. Even with the entire bowl audio system operating, we found in recent testing that areas around the stadium, where noise complaints used to be frequent, that sound from the stadium is now unmeasurable over ambient background volumes. The reduction in sound spill out of the stadium is truly amazing.


With the new Danley Caleb Horn paired with six Jericho Horns, four Danley SH-64s, and four BC-415 subwoofers, Kinnick Stadium is capable of SPLs it will never have the opportunity to tap into. But all that sheer muscle – usually taken as the primary measure of a sound system’s mojo – is really just a side effect of the system’s extreme pattern control, as Jones advised:

There’s no other way to get that kind of pattern control down to such low frequencies. That was a huge issue at Kinnick Stadium. As a bonus, they will run the system considerably below its potential, which will keep components cool and extend its lifetime.


Like other Danley systems, Kinnick Stadium was comparatively easy to commission, as Jones continued:

Line array systems involve a huge numbers of boxes, all of which interfere with each other in complicated ways. They require delicate aiming, endless tweaking, and plenty of DSP manipulation. Even after all that, the results are never satisfying to an audiophile – they involve huge compromises, especially at larger distances. In stark contrast, we can simply point Danley’s horns where they need to go, and we’re most of the way there. I used only five EQ points for the entire system! We mainly adjusted levels so that the small overlap zones were consistent. The whole process took only six hours.


Kinnick Stadium currently houses the best point source, long throw audio system ever assembled, until the next Danley Sound Labs innovation again changes the playing field.


Başakşehir Stadium ‘sports’ sound reinforcement system

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Alongside the long-established Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, a fourth Istanbul club is making waves on the Turkish soccer scene, Başakşehir, which was founded in 1990.

The Club’s new stadium seats 20,000 and satisfies the highest modern standards. An important role in this is played by the venue’s sound reinforcement system. The installation of which was entrusted to the Istanbul-based Electro-Voice distributor, Atempo, with Istanbul Regional Director, Volkan Konuralp, leading the team.

The solution proposed by Atempo – a combined pro sound and evacuation system – saw off strong competition to secure the commission.

During the planning phase, sophisticated simulation software was employed to discover the optimal sound reinforcement solution. This turned out to comprise of 52 full-range enclosures from Electro-Voice’s EVH series to provide homogeneous coverage of the seating areas – the horns of half of these EVH-1152 cabinets have a 90° x 40°, and the rest a 90° x 60°, dispersion pattern; an N8000 digital matrix, which is responsible for the supervision and control of the installation; and 18 Electro-Voice CPS 4.10 power amplifiers equipped with RCM-810 remote control modules. These 4 x 1,000 Watts amplifiers employ a patented technology known as Variable Load Drive. This enables the power amplifier to always deliver full power at variable loads.

With this installation, Başakşehir Stadium becomes the latest in a long line of top international arenas now equipped with EVH enclosures from Electro-Voice’s EV Innovation series.

Konuralp advised:

Başakşehir’s directors are extremely enthused by the performance of the system. Announcements are clearly intelligible and the reproduction of recorded music is powerful, with sound quality that is first class. For a Turkish stadium, this is something new.

Konuralp firmly expects the Başakşehir installation to become a reference point in the region, with the horn-loaded, weatherproof versions of these coaxial loudspeakers – fruits of the model diversity of the EV Innovation series – meeting particularly well with the sound reinforcement needs of stadium planners.

The sound reinforcement design divides the Başakşehir Stadium into eight separate zones. All the power amplifier channels and loudspeakers are monitored and controlled by means of the graphic user interface provided by Iris-Net software running on a single PC, as Konuralp explained:

This is convenient, quick and reliable. Furthermore, our customer is delighted with the sound performance, quality and wealth of options provided by the system.

The offices, passages and turnstile areas in the Başakşehir Stadium are served by 80 EVID 6.2T loudspeakers, also from Electro-Voice. Additionally, a Bosch Praesideo digital public address and emergency voice evacuation system is connected to over 800 ceiling loudspeakers, as well as to a Bosch Plena Matrix digital sound system, with 50 cabinet loudspeakers. Three Bosch fire alarm systems – with nearly 950 smoke detectors and 160 fire remote indicators – along with a CCTV system featuring around 200 Bosch cameras, in addition to two Bosch access control systems, round off the installation.