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Post-Katrina: New Orleans’ New Joe W. Brown Memorial Park, Part 1

Nov 7, 2013 11:11 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Okay, so they just walk in and fire everything up. I would think that they may have more events than just football there or do they just use it during this part of the season?

This field is particularly for football. There’s no track associated with it, so I mean they do have the track field next door that has a soccer field in the middle, but this field was mainly established for football as football is not as big in Louisiana as it is Texas, but it’s pretty big here. [Timestamp: 5:54]

Well, all over the south in particular, people are just crazy over it. A lot of area for sound to cover so when they have something going on and they need mics, what kind of a microphone system did you install for them?

For the football stadium we needed something that was, of course, rock solid that could bear the elements, so we did choose the Lectrosonics Venue Series. And in choosing the Lectrosonics Venue Series, we went with the VRS modular receivers as well as the UT handheld transmitter and the MM400C wireless beltpack for the referee to be able to make announcements during a game. [Timestamp: 6:30]

How did you rig the receiving antennas for that system? Is it remote antennas with coax or did you use the local receiver antennas? No, we actually, with the stadium being primarily metal, we decided we did remote the antennas right inside the windows of the press box.

Not much of a coax run there but installation of wireless mic systems can get a little weird sometimes. What have you got operating in that area? Were there any frequency coordination issues to work out?

Everything worked great. Fortunately we didn’t have any issues with frequency coordination as being a primarily high school football stadium, and then again, of course, this football stadium backs up to a swamp, so as many gators and nature we have, they’re not using wireless systems. [Timestamp: 7:13]

We’ll let`s hope the fish and game people don’t start putting wireless stuff on the local gators. And those are the wildlife gators and not those Florida football types.

We don’t appreciate the Florida version here very much, but being in Baton Rouge there, they’re a good rival. We don’t really look forward to ever playing them, but are glad when they go home not too happy.

Well, as long as the tech stuff all works I guess you guys can go home happy at least. So you put in Community arrays and I think those are passive arrays with no more of a cable run than you had. You got some R2-77s, R2-94s, R2-52s. The R2-77s, it seems like I’ve seen a picture of those recently and those are pretty tough units. They look like it’s just a continuous piece of fiberglass on the outside.

Yeah, they’re beasts. From my understanding, with the R2, they were called R2 bass because they look like an R2D2 robot. They are a massive size and I felt for my technicians when they did this install during the summer, that they had to carry these things up the steps. There was no way for us to get a forklift – or not even a forklift, but a man-lift around the back side of the football field to be able to lift these speakers up into place, so they had to be actually manually carried to the top of the stadium. We used the R2-77s for the left and right, the R2-94s, which had a little bit tighter pattern, we used for the center, and then we did use the R2-52Zs for the long-throw visitors’ side. [Timestamp: 8:49]

Even though it was for sure tough hauling those things up to the mounting positions, after the sweat work was done and you got it all connected and fired it up and heard the sound system it was all worth it.

Oh, it had a great sound to it. You know, the sound was so loud, of course, and clear, that they were saying they could hear it without any trouble in the construction trailer, which was a couple of hundred yards away. [Timestamp: 9:09]

And I understand you also used some QSC, I believe it was ISA Series amps?

Yeah. We needed the horsepower and the QSC ISA 1350s provided the horsepower that we needed to push those Community drivers. That being said, QSC has always been very reliable; we’ve never had any issues with them. And being able to use those for the cost per amp, I guess, was trying to get this thing into a decent budget. Even though we did do the design/build portion of it, there still was some budget concerns and that we weren’t just throwing money at it to throw money at it. [Timestamp: 9:48]

And it’s all been in a while and you must have gotten everything working together because when the phone doesn’t ring with any “Oh, no’s” or “Come help’s” you know they’re okay.

Fortunately we can say that this system’s been in right at a year and we have not had any phone calls about the system at all. I’s been a great system, but choosing the right parts and knowing your product and knowing what will work together and what will stand the test of time in this type of facility, being in south Louisiana, which is humid weather, but also in a facility that the press box is only used a few months out of the year. And that equipment has to sit in there and just kind of hang out for the other parts of the year, but without any trouble so they know when they come in and they turn it on and it’s gonna fire right up, and it has. [Timestamp: 10:33]

We’ll that’s fantastic, Patrick. We’ll get more into the soccer complex in part two. I’m glad it all worked and thanks for taking the time to tell us about the Joe W. Brown Memorial Park football stadium in New Orleans. Patrick Meek with Technical Services Group in Baton Rouge, La.

Thank you.

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