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All posts tagged Stadium acoustics

Following in depth consultation and acoustic measuring, PEL Services has provided Celtic FC with a modernised Public Address and Voice Alarm (PA/VA) system, without disrupting the day-to-day activities of the stadium.

Celtic FC is the top football club in Scotland and its stadium, Celtic Park in Glasgow, regularly hosts big European occasions to a maximum capacity crowd of 60,000.  The stadium not only hosts matches, but also daily activities in the hospitality suite. Replacing the crucial safety systems therefore had to be phased to prevent disruption, taking advantage of the limited down time between football seasons. This also allowed some efficient spreading of the capital expenditure budget implications too.

Initially, PEL conducted acoustic measurements (crowd noise levels) during a capacity-crowd UCL match, using the services of Acoustics Plus (an independent acoustic consultant).  It identified that crowd noise sound pressure level (SPL) can consistently reach 99dB (A) for at least 10% of the measured period and can reach 112-115dB (A) during goal celebration!

Phase One has now been completed with the existing analogue PA/VA system replaced by PEL with a Bosch Praesideo digital amplification and control system for back-of-house, combined with an Electro Voice (EV) Netmax system for the main stadium bowl area, all connected on a Dante network controlled from Celtic FC’s IT Department. The Equalisation (EQ) of the system was handled by two Sound Web Digital Sound Processors (DSPs). This work has already improved output quality, despite the outstanding need to address speaker types and configuration in Phase three. The new racks not only increase power and quality of signal, they are more compact, more reliable and have power-saving characteristics which will save Celtic FC considerable energy expenditure.

In the design process, looking at a layout which has grown and developed successively in recent years, PEL’s experts identified and advised the Stadium Manager on additional opportunities to enhance the visitor experience as a by-product of essential works.

Phase Two is already underway, with a new match-day entertainment system being installed.

David Howell of Celtic Football Club said: 

We have been delighted to work with PEL once again on a project which we feel has brought great benefits to the Club and our supporters.

PEL Services has considerable experience in providing sound solutions for stadiums, having worked with Aston Villa FC on its Holte Stand and Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow, which played a major role in the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

For over 35 years PEL Services Limited has been a leading UK systems company, designing, supplying, installing and commissioning sound, fire, security & audio visual solutions. In addition, PEL provides a range of service agreements including routine maintenance and fully comprehensive cover, on third party equipment as well as PEL systems, throughout the UK and Eire.

Juárez Vive stadium brings baseball alive with sound system

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Juárez Vive stadium opened this season to welcome baseball fans in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Ciudad Juárez’ strategic location in the context of Mexico’s drug wars threatened to smother the rich cultural life of its 1.3 million people, but things have turned around in recent years and the city is regaining its footing. The new stadium thus bears a level of personal investment from city and government officials that have influenced its design and construction.

The stadium’s modern game-day experience now includes a highly-intelligible, pleasantly-musical sound reinforcement delivered by Danley Sound Labs loudspeakers and subwoofers, with support from Ashly amplifiers and Symetrix processing. Rich Mason, President of North-Carolina-based Clarity Incorporated, the company that designed the audio installation, said:

The Governor of Chihuahua, César Duarte Jáquez, toured the construction site frequently to track and encourage the progress. Our charge was to deliver ‘sound that was befitting the best of Mexico’. They expected us to jump a very high bar.

The construction company, Afirma, only involved Clarity Incorporated after first determining that the original sound system designer wouldn’t be able to deliver that kind of performance on budget. As a result, Clarity Incorporated started the design three months late and operated on an emergency schedule.

Bill Weir, Clarity Incorporated’s Director of Technology designed the system with assistance from Ivan Beaver, Danley Sound Labs’ Chief Engineer. A small crew from Clarity Incorporated spent three weeks on site to assist Afirma with the installation. Weir said:

This is a value-engineered system. Occasionally, you get a big-budget project in which issues can be overcome simply by throwing money at them. You don’t have to give them a lot of thought. But in this day and age, and especially for a government client, money is tight and you have to carefully balance the tradeoffs inherent in any decision, but in such a way that no one feels that it’s a compromise. That’s a value-engineered system.

Loudspeaker and subwoofer placement at the new stadium looks deceptively simple. Nineteen Danley SM-80 full-range loudspeakers ring the lip of the roof that covers the stands, and every other SM-80 is joined by a Danley TH-118 subwoofer. Weir observed that subwoofers are often omitted from stadium designs:

With conventional subs, it’s hard to retain low end definition or clarity in a stadium situation. It’s just mud. In contrast, Danley’s tapped-horn subwoofers have vastly lower group delay and a very definite focus that you can’t get from conventional designs. Put another way, it doesn’t matter how loud or low something goes, it’s the manner in which it does so that matters. And Tom Danley’s bass is not only loud and low, it’s musical and defined.

The stadium’s roof and appropriate spacing also contribute to exceptional low frequency definition. Heil microphones and a handful of other input sources feed a 16-channel Yamaha LS9 console, which in turn feeds a Symetrix 8×8 DSP with a Symetrix BreakOut12 for additional outputs. Weir added:

As well as one might plan things out, the system requirements are likely to change on site. Symetrix has a reputation for building solid algorithms that are supported by well-designed analog circuitry. Its flexible open-architecture topology allowed me to perfectly tune the system functionality while I was in Juárez.

Nine Ashly pe3800 and four Ashly ne2400 amplifiers power the system. All of the Ashly amplifiers are networked to allow Ethernet control from a central location. Weir concluded:

Clarity has no obligations to any manufacturer. I can use whatever I want in my designs. Given the design expectations and constraints at Juárez Vive, I’m certain that this is the only combination of gear that would have succeeded. It’s a very unique synergy, and I’ve never heard a better system for anything less than five times the price. From the client’s perspective, it’s simple: they have a far better audio system than even dared imagine possible, and they stayed on budget.