28.10.14

The P.A. People provide new sound to Sydney Cricket Ground

AUTHOR: Inavate

The Sydney Cricket Ground Trust recently rebuilt The MA Noble, Don Bradman and Dally Messenger Stands to meet the needs of the modern sporting community. The P.A. People were tasked with installing the front and back of house PA equipment and recently completed the project.

The new sound system consists of eight main clusters of JBL AE series loudspeakers, augmented with delays and powered by Crown CTs series power amplifiers. The PA mix position remains in level seven of the Brewongle stand, where system processing is through a BSS Blu DSP unit.

However, The P.A. People expanded the existing processor’s tasks, adding new control pages to the PC interface used for overall control of the system. Additional BSS Blu units were added to process audio in the new stand’s FOH and BOH areas.

Significant new network capability was a core goal of the new build. A fiber optic network was deployed in the new stands, with links back to the Brewongle stand. All in all, 95 spaces in the Noble, Bradman and Messenger stands are fully wired into the network.

With the existing processing and amplification infrastructure already using CobraNet, The P.A. People connected new processors and amplifiers to the existing network over the fiber. A back-up copper feed was run between the stands for added security and reliability.

The addition of new stands posed a few challenges for the system integrators. Josh Jones, project manager at The P.A. People, explained: “The new stands are taller so we had to realign our delays across the stadium. The new stands have become the PA’s zero point. The other stands have had their delays time aligned to suit. You can now walk from one stand to another and not notice any anomalies due to the height differences of the speakers in relation to the seats.”

Aesthetics were also a major consideration. Not wanting any unsightly loudspeakers impeding the view, the stand’s rooves were cleverly designed to incorporate the PA clusters in a series of recesses. Jones continued: “We had to co-ordinate with the builder and hang the PA clusters up into their niches. Our aim was to make the speakers look like part of the roof”. A specific mounting system for the PA clusters, which accounts for servicing, was designed and built to achieve this aim.

At the back of house simple AMX touchscreen control throughout the functions and training areas ensure that any user can easily and simply switch audio sources from local to the main PA feed and control volume in their area. The PA systems in the multi-purpose dining and banquet rooms are designed to accept both simple control of playback and volume by in-house staff, or accommodate full-scale third-party production equipment brought in for major events.