VANCOUVER, B.C., Canada - April 2009 -- Vancouver's 18,630-seat General Motors Place, frequently referred to as "GM Place" or "The Garage", will have a temporary non-corporate-sponsor moniker come February of 2010 when the Winter Olympic Games begin: Canada Hockey Place. But the Olympic-friendly name change isn't the only thing that's new for the home of the NHL Vancouver Canucks; the arena recently installed a full turnkey loudspeaker, amplifier and network/control system from L-ACOUSTICS.
"We knew we needed to take this venue to a whole new level with a PA system that has outstanding accuracy and vocal intelligibility," says John Riley, chief audio technician for Canucks Sports and Entertainment, the new owner of General Motors Place. "Our dV-DOSC and dV-SUB arrays combined with the new SB28 subwoofers provide an amazing range. The system delivers clear, perfect sound everywhere within the arena, with consistent, even coverage."
Riley worked in partnership with Vaino Gennaro, director of live sound products for Sennheiser Canada (distributor for L-ACOUSTICS), in designing the new array-based installation. Fred Michael, president of Vancouver-based Rocky Mountain Production Services (RMPS), and his senior audio technician, Terry Hilton, completed the system integration and installation with their team in only three weeks, just in time for the first pre-season game.
During the design phase, Gennaro used L-ACOUSTICS' SOUNDVISION modeling software to verify coverage and create a detailed system model of the arena assuring acoustic accuracy and SPL levels deemed acceptable for the installation. Since the six dV-DOSC line-source arrays cover all audience and press levels of the arena, no delay speakers were required. The two dV-SUBs per array provide mid-bass reinforcement while the SB28s were included for enhanced sub-bass LF coverage.
What's unique about L-ACOUSTICS is the patented DOSC waveguide technology used in dV-DOSC that creates a precision cylindrical wavefront that can be focused as accurately as possible above the glass to target just the seating areas. Since the main focus of the energy is above the boards, the players, broadcast engineers and live spectators get less interference and, hence, a significantly improved audio experience.
RMPS President Fred Michael took Gennaro's concept and built on it by adding several enhancements to the original system design, including adding additional dV-DOSC cabinets. "The new system comprises a total of six identical line arrays made up of 13 dV-DOSC cabinets topped with two dV-SUB subwoofers," explains Cory Allan, Western sales representative for Sennheiser Canada. "The six line arrays are suspended from the high steel rigging points and can be raised into the upper structure concealing them for concert events when necessary. Two arrays are facing the seating areas along the long sides of the arena, and one each for the ends. In addition, the design called for two groups of SB28 dual-18-inch subwoofer cabinets."
In total, the main audio system now comprises a total of 78 dV-DOSC active two-way, 12 dV-SUB and 16 SB28 enclosures, all with complete rigging. Upgrades to the center-hung scoreboard include the addition of six ARCS speakers to improve on-ice coverage. Power is delivered by a total of 23 L-ACOUSTICS LA8 four-channel/1800W amplified controllers on a redundant fiber network. All in all, the sound system enhancements comprise the largest L-ACOUSTICS installation in North America.
According to Riley, the ultimate validation for their efforts came when Denis Hainault, director of ice sports for the Vancouver Organizing Committee, visited the facility. "He listened for a while, looked at me, and said, 'I've never heard anything sound so good in an arena.' The venue had already been selected but they still had to audition the sound system to make sure it met their requirements. We had just installed it, so we did a quick tuning and they were quite happy with the result." *
L-ACOUSTICS is a leading innovator and manufacturer of high-performance loudspeakers, amplifiers and signal processing devices for touring and installed sound markets. Known around the globe for pioneering and championing the modern line array loudspeaker concept with V-DOSC, the company has received numerous accolades for its KUDO, KIVA, ARCS, XT coaxial loudspeaker systems and SB line of subwoofer enclosures, all powered and processed with the LA4 and LA8 amplified controllers in fulfillment of a "total system approach." L-ACOUSTICS products for the North American market are manufactured and distributed by L-ACOUSTICS US of Oxnard, California.
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* Quote taken from the March 2009 issue of Systems Contractor News. Used with permission.
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