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InfoComm 2024, Part 2: Gear for Big Sound in Stadium and Arena

12/06/2024

InfoComm 2024, Part 2: Gear for Big Sound in Stadium and Arena Immersive live sound is part of sports entities' engagement strategies By Dan Daley, Audio Editor

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 3:29 pm

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Big, immersive live sound is the basis for fan engagement in sports these days, and InfoComm will have plenty of sonic power on hand to experience. Here are some of the systems that attendees can listen to - and some observations on the state of this increasingly important sports-technology sector.

Click here for InfoComm 2024, Part 1: Live-Sound Show Returns in Full Force.

An EAW sound system is installed at University of Michigan's Michigan Stadium.

EAW (Booth C9149, Demo Room N117) is adding new subwoofers and networkable amp racks to its product line to round out the brand's professional-system solutions. The SBX118F subwoofer can be used to enhance any EAW full-range enclosure and is designed to rig directly to NT Series products. With SBX118F, the NT series offers performance fit for high-end installed applications. SB818 and SB828 subs round out EAW KF professional offerings; UXR216 and UXR316 networkable amp racks establish the path to a unified system solution.

L-Acoustics (Booth C9035, Audio Demo Room N107), celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will be exhibiting its big guns, such as its K Series loudspeakers. But it's also emphasizing software. For example, Milan Manager brand-agnostic and free-to-use software platform simplifies configuration, management, and monitoring of any Milan-AVB network. The company is also showcasing immersiveness: AI-powered Mixhalo Translate combines real-time streaming capabilities with advances in artificial intelligence.

PK Sound's Ralph Mastrangelo: Integrators have pointed out a desire for athletes to have impactful music on the field of play during practice or warmups.

PK Sound (Demo Room N221) is demonstrating its T10 and T8 robotic line-source systems and incoming Tx Series intelligent, multipurpose point-source modules. Featuring the company's patented Multi-Axis Robotics, the T10 and T8 systems offer remote and real-time control of vertical and horizontal dispersion via PK .dynamics software, shaping acoustic coverage to the contours of the specific venue or application. In arenas and stadiums, that means carving out reflective obstacles like scoreboards and balcony faces, precisely configuring seams between arrays for optimal coverage and intelligibility, and adapting to dynamic seating configurations on the fly.

Integrators specializing in collegiate and professional sports organizations have pointed out a desire for their athletes to have impactful music on the field of play during practice or warmups, with the ability for that to go away come game time, says Ralph Mastrangelo, director, sales, live sound, PK Sound. This scenario presents a myriad of challenges, most notably cost. Do you install two discrete systems and just mute one when you don't need it? Current technology can make this expensive. However, a dynamic - i.e., robotic - line-array system seems a logical solution in this scenario. In a typical sports-venue deployment, operators can configure the arrays to cover the field of play during warmup and then immediately rearticulate the system back onto the crowd for game time, with just a few keystrokes - all remotely and in real time.

RCF USA's Jim Reed: As higher-resolution video and higher-quality audio are experienced by fans in their living rooms, the expectation [for] AV inside sporting venues has [similarly] increased.

RCF (Booth C9535, Demo Room N101) will debut its X Series speakers, intended for large-scale installations with robust weatherproof designs. Also debuting are the S Series subwoofers tailored for fixed installations and matched to RCF XPS 16K amplifiers. In addition, the upgraded RDNet 5 sound-system-management and -control software boosts audio-management performance with streamlined workflows, improved device discovery, and UI enhancements including advanced EQ visualization and real-time FFT analysis. RDNet and the XPS 16K amplifier are essential components to the operation and performance of the RCF flagship TT+ Audio GTX line-array system, also being shown at InfoComm.

As higher-resolution video and higher-quality audio are experienced by fans in their living rooms, the expectation [for] AV inside sporting venues has [similarly] increased, says Jim Reed, system designer/product specialist, RCF USA. One of the challenges we face today is finding new ways to match the spectator's audio expectations without interrupting the aesthetics or traditions that they've become accustomed to when attending their team's event.

Renkus-Heinz ICLive X Series loudspeakers are installed at Pomona College's Voelkel Gymnasium.

Renkus-Heinz (Demo Room N113) will demonstrate its IC Live X Series, UBX Series, and ICONYX Gen5 Series loudspeakers, alongside the revolutionary OmniBeam beam-steering software. Some are deployed by Pomona College in Claremont, CA, for the $55 million expansion of its main sports venue, Voelkel Gymnasium.

Live sports venues are all about the guest experience, notes Michal Pop awski, director, export sales and marketing, Renkus-Heinz, so high-quality audio is of the utmost importance, which means equal SPL distribution, similar tonal balance, and, most important, superb audio quality. These principles will drive more and more sporting-venue markets. Additionally, networkable solutions will aid mostly in large-scale and distributed systems. We also hope for better integrations between visual and audio, where large line-arrays hanging everywhere will be replaced with more discreet solutions that will allow for an even better experience (visual and audio) for show participa
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2024/06/12/infocomm-2024-part-2-gear-for-b...
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