Viva la Revolucion!
Spanish AV specialists Almarche Electronica have carried out a small AV revolution in Feria de Valencia's new Events Centre.
The extension and modernisation of Feria Valencia will make it Spain’s biggest trade fair venue with a covered exhibition area of 300,000 square metres. The new Feria Valencia events building boasts the necessary equipment and services to host all kinds of conferences, conventions and events.
The Events Centre has two separate auditoriums seating 800 and 400 persons respectively, two convertible rooms, ten meeting rooms, four conference rooms, plus VIP rooms and press rooms.
The Events Centre rounds off the overall potential of Feria Valencia. Up to now, it had one Assembly Hall for 300 people and three meeting rooms located in the office building, with an additional five rooms in the Joaquín Rodrigo Centre plus four in the Ausias March Centre at the heart of exhibition pavilions 1, 2, 3 and 4. Furthermore, we also have the rooms in the Press Club, the Buyers Club, the Authorities Room and VIPs Rooms. Taken together, the exhibition centre and the Events Centre can offer over 40 rooms with a capacity for up to 3000 persons.
In turn, with around 10,000 square metres, Pavilion 5 is connected with the new Events Centre, together forming a unique functional space with cutting-edge design, surrounded by a landscaped pedestrian area measuring 20,000 m², adaptable for all types of open air activities.
The task of designing and installing the AV systems for the new Events Centre fell to integration firm Almarche Electronica of Valencia, who worked with Feria de Valencia, distributors Media-Sys and Kling & Freitag to design a suitable system. The lead designer was Almarche’s Christian Sena who explained how he got involved:
“Feria de Valencia first contacted me in March 2005 to prepare a specification for products to go in each room. However, once we started working on it we realised we could do much more than just specify a series of stand-alone elements. Instead we tried to prepare an integrated audio and video system and not just for each single room or auditorium but for the whole building.”
The first floor features the main 800-seat Auditorium 1A, which was the most challenging aspect of the project according to Media-Sys commercial Director Jose Foguet. Here the team decided to use K&F’s Line 212-6 and Line 212-9 cabinets in an array set up. Two 212-9’s and one 212-6’s were installed per side. The smaller 212-6s being used to cover the back rows and balcony whilst the 212-9s were chosen to the main body of the audience. Both units are self powered requiring no amplification. Instead they are controlled by Kling & Freitag C10 and C2 loudspeaker controllers. Aside from the primary sound system Auditorium 1A also features a secondary system. This consists of Tannoy CMS series ceiling monitors.
The front fills are four CA 106 cabinets, with low frequency reinforcement coming from B-10 sub bass units. The room is also equipped with an ASL wireless intercom system for stage management and a Beyerdynamic DT 108 headset.
For conference use, which is one of the auditorium’s primary functions, Beyerdynamic’s MCW-D 200 wireless conference system was chosen including simultaneous translation and voting facilities. An Opus 800 wireless microphone with three transmitters is also provided to allow the audience to participate in discussions.
Presentations in the main auditorium are shown on three motorised Stewart screens, 210 inches across the diagonal. Three Barco SLMR12 projectors provide the display, and video routing and switching is from various Extron equipment. Since all of the Feria’s video content is distributed via Cat5 there are also several Extron composite video – UTP converters installed. The auditorium is also equipped with a Polycom VSX8800 video conferencing codec. At the rear of the room twenty seats have built in TFT monitors. These allow those right at the back to see clearly what is being presented on the projection screens.
Overall control of the building’s audio system is provided by Peavey’s mediamatrix system routing sound around over CobraNet. The mainframe is housed in the large auditorium along with CABi input units and CABo output units. Amplification comes from Crest Audio Cki 400-s’s with CobraNet cards installed.
The second floor houses two events rooms and three meeting rooms as well as a rack room housing most of the control equipment and Mediamatrix routing for that floor. Each room was outfitted almost identically by Almarche. A Barco IQG350 projector is paired up with a Stewart Filmscreen Abt4150. Media sources include a Denon DVD/CD player and further inputs are available via the Extron MVX 4x4 matrix switcher. There is also a Bosch Flexidome camera for monitoring purposes. Audio reproduction is provided by Tannoy IW6DS in wall loudspeakers and Crest Cki 400-s and 800-s amplifiers connected to the MediaMatrix system. All meeting rooms are equipped with a Beyerdynamic conference system.
Floor three features 5 more meeting rooms, including two, which can be joined together into one larger room, and a second auditorium.This one seats only 400 people, but is equipped in much the same way as the large one on the ground floor, with the exception that it has no MediaMatrix mainframe. It also only has two projector screens and the Barco projectors used are the smaller RLM R6+.
The three smaller meeting rooms on this floor, 3B, 3C and 3D offer fairly basic AV facilities, so instead of using a Crestron media control system, Almarche opted to install Extron’s MediaLink solution for basic room control.
The fourth and final floor houses four medium sized meeting rooms, these are equipped in largely the same fashion as those on the third floor, with larger audio systems and bigger switching matrices to cope with the increased number of Ethernet access points.
The entire facility is equipped with stereo sound, which can be routed from any room to any other room via the MediaMatrix Mainframe. However there is also a back up system in place should anything go wrong, as Sena explained: “We had so many rooms and so much equipment that we couldn’t just depend on a couple of electronic devices. So what we did is to send the analogue signal generated by each room directly to their amplifier. This means that if the amplifier detects a problem with the CobraNet connection, it automatically selects to analogue input. In addition, to supply some redundancy to the CobraNet. All the elements to send video signals between rooms were also prepared and connected to send audio signals. If there is a failure in the CobraNet system we are still able (though with lower quality) to route sounds from one room to another.”
Overall product selection was made with a few key considerations in mind. Firstly since almost everything needed to connect to everything else in some way or another Almarche tried to keep everything within one or two standards: balanced audio, composite video, VGA or Ethernet. If they were unable to find a suitable product within their desired standards they chose the best possible and added an interface to bring it into line with the other pieces of equipment.
Sena concluded: “We also knew that we didn’t have a lot of time for carrying out our small revolution. We were only able to do everything once, so to help out the installers we tried to use products with only standard connections – XLR, RJ-45 etc. and we also tried to minimise the total number of connections to be made.
“In general I think this approach was very successful, we were able to deliver a very complex AV system design without too much difficulty due to careful product selection and planning.”