Mar 9, 2011 2:23 PM,
with Bennett Liles
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Roaring crowds, blasting music and all the excitement of athletic competition makes installing a stadium sound system all the bigger challenge. Daktronics made it all work in multiple sports venues at Indiana University and design and field engineer John Carlson is here to give us all the details for the sound system at the University’s Memorial Stadium. That’s coming right up on the SVC podcast.
John thanks for being here with me on the SVC podcast all the way from Brookings, South Dakota, here in Atlanta it’s chilly but I have to say I’m glad I’m not in South Dakota right now.
Yeah I’m sure you are. It’s about a -19 with the wind chill here today. [Timestamp: 1:01]
Well it’s probably a good thing you’re not out there on those athletic fields we’re going to talk about. You had a tremendous installation on the campus of Indiana University. A number of athletic venues there got big new Daktronic scoreboards and that’s probably the first name anybody might think of in big outdoor scoreboards and displays but on this one Daktronics also handled the new audio systems. Memorial Stadium is the football venue there, how does the new Daktronics sound system in Memorial Stadium work? That was a major installation.
That’s right, well this was a large stadium like you said so in this stadium we needed reach maximum SPL so we used a Bessel array as a point source system along with some side fills for the main speaker system. On the front end we had to do quite a bit of updating so we installed a large LS9-32 mixer and that accepts quite a few inputs. [Timestamp: 1:52]
OK and where is the mixer located?
The mixer is located on a tabletop in the announcer's control room so the announcer and the audio system controller would be in the same room. [Timestamp: 2:01]
OK that always sounds like an interesting monitoring situation when you have a sound system that covers that much area and its outside. You’ve got this roaring crowd and being inside this announce booth and being able to hear what you’re doing out in the stadium it must take some getting used to and maybe it’s no place for a novice operator.
We’re lucky in this particular installation they actually have a hired-on professional man to run this system so working with a professional system like this and a professional operator they’re able to achieve the best possible performance on the system that they have. [Timestamp: 2:39]
And what kind of sources are fed into this sound system obviously microphones but we what all do they do there?
Quite honestly this system can accept any source that you want to feed into it basically the only thing that needs adjustment would be the type of interface that you would use. But currently right now their taking sources…feeds from our actual video server computers but mainly in this system they actually have a production truck down at the base and that production truck actually sends an audio signal up to the main audio control room. [Timestamp: 3:13]
Ok we’re talking about announcer mics and during halftime shows there are things happening on the field and they need mics down there and there may be even live music from time to time.
Yes there’s actually four wireless microphones receivers within the system that are built in and those systems actually work very well with this system so they have two handheld microphones and they have two belt pack transmitters that they can use for their referees also they have a quick effects style computer up on the front of the announcers control booth. [Timestamp: 3:45]
And I’m sure they can playback pre-recorded music for cheerleaders and things. So how is the signal actually fed out to the speakers from the control room? Is this a fiber optic system?
To actually run the sound system itself from the control room, yes that is a fiber optic transmission with an analog backup. What we’re utilizing is CobraNet signaling and we transmit that CobraNet with fiber optic so they have fiber optic Ethernet transmitters on both ends. That way we have full system control because we can control our amps from the control room that are actually in those speaker cabinets themselves over that same fiber optic link. [Timestamp: 4:22]
What do you have going on for speakers out there in the stadium? What components do they have?
There’s actually 24 12in. drivers in there for low frequency and then there’s nine proprietary Daktronics mid-high boxes in that system itself and those are all self powered so the amplifiers are in proximity really close to the speakers themselves. [Timestamp: 4:42]