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Audio in the End Zone at Texas Christian University, Part 1

Jan 10, 2012 2:20 PM

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OK, and you have the mixing control point obviously some serious distance from there.
Yes, the audio control room is on the club level in the northwest corner of the stadium, and we’ve got a digital console in there. It’s a Soundcraft Contact Si 24, and we’re going analog out of that into the DSP unit that’s in that production room, and from there we’re linked with Blue link over fiber to the multiple amp rooms. There’s an amp room on the west that handles all the concourse speakers on the west side; the two amplifier rooms in the north end zone, which are powering all the main speakers; and we’ll have an amp room on the east side when that gets finished. That’ll be handling all the processing and amplification for the concourse speakers and the concessions and restrooms on the east side of the stands. [Timestamp: 7:54]

And how do you get the signal from the control room area out to the amps?
Well, out of the control room, we go into DSP into the BSS London Architect, and there we’re going fiber to connect all the DSP units together to distribute them around the campus—around the stadium and then we jump out of the DSP unit and feed into amplifiers that are located in those amp rooms. [Timestamp: 8:20]

Yeah, the fiber was what I was curious about. That seemed like a really long distance to run line-level audio over copper. Now who did the actual installation, the cutting and sawing and hacking and laying cable on it?
That was Electro Acoustics. They actually were involved with TCU for quite some time. They did the previous system design and install. They also had some of their staff who are the sound operators for the stadium and they did have to go through a bidding process, but the university was very pleased that they won and were the selected contractor. [Timestamp: 8:57]

And you already had a JBL system in there before the project got started? Is that what the original system was?
It was a JBL system, but it was a distributed system however. [Timestamp: 9:06]

OK, so I guess they knew what they liked as far as the gear and wanted to stay with JBL on the new system.
Yeah, absolutely. I think they put a lot of trust in us in terms of choosing the right product and making sure it sounded right, but ultimately they’re familiar with the JBL and the Harmony line and they had no issues with that. [Timestamp: 9:25]

And you put a lot of different JBL items in there, a big variety of their speaker models. What all have you got in there and what areas are you covering with them?
The main speakers—the main arrays—are the JBL VLA series. There are a couple of different models that we’re using there. There are essentially three main arrays per side that cover the main seating bowl, and then for fill speakers we have some AM series cabinets that are doing fill in the north end zone. We have some JBL Control series speakers, which are providing all the sound on the concourse at the concession stands. [Timestamp: 10:07]

Yeah, I noticed some of those. Let’s see the Control 321CT ceiling speakers…

…200W. I believe they’re 200W program they can handle, and that’s a whole lot of those you put in there.
Yeah, those are located in the club, which is a 20ft.-high ceiling. So those are throughout the club to provide reinforcement for private events or for the PA to announce what’s going on in the stadium for people to enjoy the club area and sit there and watch the game on the TVs. [Timestamp: 10:38]

And what were you using for the subwoofers out in the stadium?
In the stadium we have the JBL ASB 6128 subwoofers; four per side to provide a extra low frequency support for the main arrays. [Timestamp: 10:51]

And those are, what, two 18in. drivers?
Dual 18s, yes.

Yeah. OK, well it looks like you had enough for a distributed system. I was just looking over the list here. You’ve got the DSP first and the fiber to the amps, which are local at the speaker arrays. Did you have any issues with power to the amps since they’re out there where the speaker arrays are?
We’ve got power distribution in those amp rooms, so all the technical power for the sound system is fed off of one transformer and then it branches out to power panels in each amp room, so we’re not having to run the circuits very long. The feeder cables are a little long there, but at the branch circuit level, we’re able those lines very short. [Timestamp: 11:30]

Well, it’s obviously a big job, and one thing about these stadium systems, once they’re in, it’s exposed to the weather and all kinds of things, so it just has to keep on working because that gear is in places that are hard to get to especially while there’s an event going on. So I really appreciate your taking time out to let us know what you did at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Casey Sherred and Brian Elwell from Acoustic Dimensions and in part 2 we’re gonna be talking some more about the cabling, the amp racks, the time frame on the installation which can really be formidable. But thanks to both of you for being here.

Thanks for joining us for the SVC Podcast with Casey Sherred and Brian Elwell of Acoustic Dimensions. Show notes can be found on the website of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at Join us for Part 2 with Sherred and Elwell as they talk about handling multiple deadlines and tough weather on the job, next time on the SVC Podcast.

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