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Audio in the End Zone at Texas Christian University, Part 2

Jan 24, 2012 11:39 AM, With Bennett Liles

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OK so when you got all of this in and you’ve got sound out of all of the different amps and the speaker installations. How did the testing go? Were you guys there for all of that?
Yes, we were there after Elecro Acoustics did all of their test out and made sure that everything was connected and working properly. Then we went out and tuned the system and did all the driver alignment—all that fun stuff. Total testing was about a two-week process, just working around different schedules because construction’s still going on as we’re testing. So we had to work around all those schedules and just having to tweak some of the aiming of the arrays as you can imagine a one-degree of a change on an array is a huge difference when you’re 600ft. away. [Timestamp: 6:24]

Yeah, and I would think that a huge concrete stadium like that might sound a lot different when it’s empty than when it’s full of people.
It changes some, and we just have to account for that and we were there for the first game and we do that so we can hear what it sounds like with people in it. We walk around and listen to find adjustments at that point during the first usage. [Timestamp: 6:46]

What’s generally the most significant problem with stadium sound systems, not just this one but in putting in a stadium sound system, what’s usually the hardest thing to get right?
Well, I think a lot of it depends on what kind of a system that you’re going to be using. A distributed system has its associated problems and an end-zone cluster has its problems. In our case, some of the things that you commonly run into with an end-zone cluster is that you need to be aware that it’s going to be throwing a lot of energy at surfaces that could be reflective, so you really need to look at the reflections—where they’re going to be directed at. And one of the things that we did here was we do have the speakers pointing towards the south end zone where there are some buildings, and we needed to work on getting a very, very high cue, high-directive speaker to point and sound to the fans and not bounce a lot of energy off the buildings. So there were some things there that we did there to try to accommodate that. And then the other thing that you run into with an end-zone cluster is making sure that you’ve got the timing right for the video. We typically try to time align the audio and the video system by actually delaying the video so that the video and the audio are in alignment at the mid field of the 50 yard line. So what that means is that people close the videoboard will be able to perceive the sound a little bit before the video and people on the opposite end will be seeing the video a little bit before they hear the sound but trying to get that alignment is one of the big challenges in a large stadium with end-zone cluster. [Timestamp: 8:29]

I would think that you could get into a lot of delay problems, multiple echoes, and speech intelligibility things with stadium sound systems.
Well, the comeback it’s a question of where—reflections will certainly give you that problem. The direct energy is usually a little problematic at the far ends of the stadium, but beyond that, it’s the reflections that give you problems with intelligibility. [Timestamp: 8:54]

Well, it sounds like you did everything right and got the system tweaked and running OK so what’s coming up next for Acoustic Dimensions. What have you got in the works?
Well, as we said, we’ve got three offices or four offices and we’ve got numerous projects that are on the books. I can’t say without unfortunately mentioning the name of the project is that we do have another large collegiate football stadium that we’re working on in the south and I would say that people should start hearing about that in a year or so. [Timestamp: 9:25]

Ok, well we’ll look forward to it and we may be talking to you about that one, too.

Thank you.

All right, Casey Sherred and Brian Elwell from Acoustic Dimensions. Thanks for telling us about the Amon G. Carter Stadium sound system project.

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