Swedish slam-dunk

AUTHOR: Inavate

Sweden’s largest ever EtherSound network has been installed at a brand new multipurpose venue in the city of Norrköping. Local audio contractor, PADAB, carried out the work, reports Chris Fitzsimmons.

Stadium Arena is a brand new sports and entertainment complex for the Swedish city of Norrköping. With a capacity of 3000 it’s bringing a sea change to the leisure activities of the country’s 10th largest city.

The arena can cater for all types of ball sports, from five-aside football to basketball. In addition the front few rows of seating are temporary, and can be removed to reveal and indoor athletics track. Recently held events include wrestling and boxing as well live musical performances, but most importantly Stadium Arena serves as the home base of the local basketball team, the Norrköping Dolphins.

The stadium is owned and managed by a subsidiary of the team, and building a new home venue also opened up an opportunity to give the local area a fantastic multipurpose venue.

Local audio contracting firm PADAB was brought on board to provide a sound system as flexible and modern as the arena itself. They were tasked with delivering audio to the main arena, as well as the foyer, a sports bar and a restaurant, which were also included in the design of the venue.

In order to cope with the variety of different events likely to take place, PADAB elected to install an EtherSound digital audio network, using Yamaha’s Digital Mixing Engine (DME) processors.

“The main requirement was that sound could be distributed from a central source to each of the four zones, but with local control in each location,” said PADAB’s installation specialist Joachim Bergling.

“We took the decision early on to use a Yamaha EtherSound system for distributing the sound,” he continued, “because of the flexibility, audio quality and reliability that it delivers.”

Central control and audio distribution is handled by a Yamaha DME24N digital mix engine with MY16-ES64 EtherSound cards. PADAB also installed four DME Satellite DME4io-ES units – one in the front of house position in the arena, with one more each in the sports bar, restaurant and main entrance. These three remote locations were also equipped with a CP4SW remote control unit.

Currently, during a sports event the sound controller uses a mobile rack fitted with an Ecler Compact-8 eight-channel mixer. Sound sources such as an announcer’s microphone (a Shure SM58) and background music sources are fed from the mixer to the DME4io-ES, which then transmits it over the EtherSound network to the centrally located DM24N for distribution around the site.

“We used the DME4io-ES in the main area to process the announcer’s microphone as levels can vary enormously,” said Joachim. “The head amplifier in the unit is great for this, along with its built in compressors and limiters.”

The sound reinforcement solution for the main arena was also supplied by Yamaha, comprising ten of the company’s Installation Series IF2115 full range loudspeakers, with an additional two IF2112 units for down-fill. These were driven by XP7000 and XP5000 amplifiers located in the central rack room with the DME24N.

In the restaurant, sports bar and entrance area, the DME4io-ES units receive the EtherSound stream, and provide local CD/microphone inputs as well as local speaker control using the CP4SW remote.

The entrance and restaurant are equipped with Ecler AWAk108 ceiling loudspeakers, running on 100V feeds from Yamaha XP3500 amplifiers, while the sports bar feature Martin Audio C8.1T 8” ceiling speakers driven by Yamaha P2500S amplifiers. Low-end support is provided by a pair of Martin Audio CS10s powered by a Yamaha P5000S amp.

“The installation has been a great success for us at PADAB,” said Joachim Bergling. “Not only have we delivered a great sounding system, but it has also been very exciting for our company to implement one of the biggest EtherSound installations in Sweden.”