Audio in the End Zone at Texas Christian University, Part 2
Jan 24, 2012 11:39 AM, With Bennett Liles
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When Texas Christian University completely remodeled its Amon G. Carter Stadium it included a total sound system upgrade and they called on Acoustic Dimensions to design a system that could provide clear speech, booming music, and stand up to extremes in the weather. Casey Sherred and Brian Elwell are here to tell us how they did all that, coming up next on the SVC Podcast.
SVC: All right, Casey Sherred and Brian Elwell from Acoustic Dimensions. Thanks for being back with us on the SVC Podcast talking about the Amon G. Carter Stadium sound system at Texas Christian University. It’s always going to be a huge job with a stadium sound system. You guys dealt with a couple of changes that came along in the works about the general design of the system. How did Acoustic Dimensions get into this project? Did you have a long-standing relationship with TCU?
Brian: TCU did a renovation or actually it was a build-out of the sports complex of the south end zone. The whole south end-zone building is new. There are suites in there, there are team facilities, there’s a club, there are some private suites, and we were involved with that project along with HKS, the architect, and they were the architect for the renovation of the stadium. They asked us as well as others to provide a proposal for the work and we were fortunate enough to be selected. [Timestamp: 1:52]
And what time of year was all this work going on outside?
Brian: The stadium, basically, the bulk of their construction, they started demo plans for the day after the season ended. The stadium was blown up, I think, within one or two weeks after the season and Austin Commercial, the general contractor, went like gangbusters and built the entire west-side structure as well as the north scoreboard, the north end, and they developed it to the point to where they could have a temporary certificate of occupancy and have some fans come in and fill up the new parts of the stadium. Basically it was, it’s a two-year construction project where they had to hold football games in there in the interim year. So the project went along, obviously, it was about ten months—nine and a half months worth of construction from the time they demo’d the building to the time that they could let fans in to watch football game. [Timestamp: 2:57]
OK, so we’re talking about the installation work going on in probably all kinds of weather.
Brian: Oh, in one of the most miserable Texas summers you can imagine. It was the hottest summer on record. [Timestamp: 3:09]
So when you’ve got sports fans coming out there, and this project stretches beyond just one football season, that sounds like a lot of hard and fast deadlines for a whole lot of people doing a bunch of different kinds of work.
Brian: No one who was not part of this project is going to fully understand and grasp what the contractors had to do to be able to successfully pull this project off. It was incredible. Everyone on there was hard working, they got along, they solved problems quickly. It was an effort on everyone’s part to make this happen. [Timestamp: 3:43]
So what was really the toughest task for you on this?
Brian: Well, I think, us as the design team, we had the advantage of there wasn’t as critical of a deadline. I think we may have had more time to design it than the contractors did to build it. The most difficult task for us during design was really what we talked about two weeks ago was the change in direction in terms of an end-zone cluster versus distributed and then back to an end-zone cluster again. But certainly once construction started it was fast and furious. There was little time allowed to answers our RFI’s. Everything needed to be done quickly and it all worked out and went smooth. I don’t know if I’m going to say smoothly, but it went. It happened. [Timestamp: 4:37]
And you have a distributed system with a lot of different kinds of speakers for different places in the stadium. We’re not just talking about the sound system out in the stands but club levels, restaurant sort of areas so there has to be a lot of different local control setups so how did you arrange all of that?
Casey: Yeah for the most part there’s the suites have local control, which they have the ability to change the source that they’re listening to within their suite with a controller on the wall that ties directly into the PSS system. They also have the ability to change the level control in those suites. And then we have the Founder’s Lounge and two clubs there that they can have small events in there for when you use a wireless mic and they have local control over all the sources. There’s local playback for video and audio sources in those spaces and as well as a level control for what’s going on in there so they can use those during off-season and for recruiting events. [Timestamp: 5:38]
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