The World’s Largest Temporary Cinema
Aug 21, 2013 11:41 AM, By Mark Mayfield
Each year at CinemaCon, the gathering of the world’s theater owners and operators, the major motion picture distributors and studios preview their upcoming releases for attendees. The venue for this year’s screenings was Caesar’s Palace Colosseum in Las Vegas, a massive 4,298-seat performance space, which opened 10 years ago as the home for world-class artists such as Celine Dion, Elton John, and Rod Stewart. (Note: The original Colosseum installation was profiled in SVC in May 2003. Read the full story at svconline.com/mag/avinstall_colossal_sight_sound.)
Turning the Colosseum into a giant movie theater was no small feat. A team of QSC engineers, including Jon Graves, Christian Cook, and David Cepeda, designed and built the system. Since the room was larger than any conventional cinema, QSC designed the system with a combination of professional installation, tour sound, and cinema loudspeakers. Main left, center, and right behind-screen channel systems each included 10 flown QSC WL2102 WideLine line array loudspeakers with three WL218-sw WideLine subwoofers. Below the screen, spread across the stage floor, were 12 QSC SB-7218 Cinema subwoofers, providing a total of 24 18in. drivers.
Perhaps the most unique and challenging aspect of the system was that the space was also used to showcase Dolby Atmos, the company’s new immersive sound surround format. Beyond the requirements of 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound, which typically includes a perimeter array of loudspeakers, Dolby Atmos requires an array of high-power surround loudspeakers suspended over the audience. For a room the size of the Colosseum, the system specification called for 32 QSC AP-5152 high-output, 15in. two-way loudspeakers, rigged onto four suspended trusses. In addition, six ground stacks of QSC WideLine-8 line arrays, each comprised of three WL3082 line array elements and one WL212-sw subwoofer, provided rear surround channel coverage to the main floor seating area. Additional rear and side coverage in the mezzanine and balcony seating areas was handled by several dozen QSC SR-1030 surround loudspeakers. More than 60 QSC PowerLight 3 series and eight CX series amplifiers were used to drive all of the loudspeakers, including all screen channel systems, subwoofers, and the surround arrays. That’s nearly a half-million watts of power. All loudspeakers and amplifiers were monitored and controlled via a QSC Q-Sys audio network. The Q-Sys core also handled all signal processing for the loudspeakers.
Dolby engineers worked alongside QSC engineers and staff to optimize sound in the Colosseum. During rehearsals and events, the sound system was monitored and operated by QSC’s Jon Graves and Brian English. Overall responsibility for the Colosseum’s projection and sound systems was handled by long-time QSC dealer, Boston Light and Sound, headed by BL&S principal Chapin Cutler.
Product at Work:
QSC Q-Sys Integrated System Platform
Q-Sys is an integrated and highly scalable network audio system. It’s built from the ground up on a powerful, open, IT-friendly foundation, using a customized Linux OS and running on Intel microprocessors. The primary elements of a Q-Sys system are the processing Core, the Designer software, the Q-LAN network, and specialized peripherals. For this cinema application, all loudspeakers and amplifiers were networked via Q-LAN and centrally processed on a Q-Sys Core 500i.
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