|The system is controlled by Dynacord Promatrix digital matrix manager and Electro-Voice N8000 system controller|
Along with soccer and rugby football, cycling is one of the most popular sports in France. This accounts for the creation in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (south west of Paris) of a magnificent new cycling complex. Two years in construction at a cost of some 74 million euros, the new centre was officially opened on January 30th, 2014. The heart of the complex is formed by the Vélodrome National – a 4,000-square-meter multi-function hall with a cycle track. In addition to major national and international sporting events, the 4,800-seater hall is destined to serve also as a venue for trade fairs, conventions and concerts.
Naturally, the sound reinforcement system has to be such as to do justice to all these different functions. Further, as French legislation requires, when voice alarm and sound reinforcement systems are combined, they must satisfy the criteria for EN54 certification. In view of these considerations, the choice of solution was almost a forgone conclusion. “Since Bosch, through its brands Electro-Voice, Bosch and Dynacord, is the only manufacturer in the world capable of offering voice alarm systems that include pro sound components with EN54 certification, the hall operators and Tech Audio’s system integrators naturally opted for Bosch”, explains Jean Marandet, Product & Service Manager with the French distributor, EVI Audio France.
In the original invitation to tender, the Vélodrome’s technicians wanted two separate systems – and alongside the evacuation system, specifically a line array to meet the pro sound needs of the stadium. This plan, however, was discarded after various discussions with acoustic engineers. “In view of the architecture of the building, a line array would have been a poor choice,” agrees Marandet. “The best coverage here is that afforded by multiple distributed loudspeakers.” After extensive EASE (Enhanced Acoustic Simulator for Engineers) room simulations, Electro-Voice systems were chosen for this task, a further argument in their favor being Bosch’s vast experience in the field of stadium installations – particularly of EN-certified combined pro sound and EVAC systems. The installation here was performed by Tech Audio, which is based in St Denis.
The bulk of the sound reinforcement system installed by the team led by Tech Audio’s MD Joel Giazzi and his team comprises 32 horn-loaded EVF speaker systems from Electro-Voice’s Innovation series. “This series is ideally suited to such installations,” says Marandet, “and by choosing loudspeakers with the optimal dispersion characteristics, it is possible even in acoustically problematic rooms to achieve homogeneous coverage and minimise the impact of room reflections.” 18 Electro-Voice loudspeakers in the Vélodrome National cover the grandstands and 14 Electro-Voice loudspeakers serve the interior.
“And by choosing loudspeakers with the optimal dispersion characteristics, it is possible even in acoustically problematic rooms to achieve homogeneous coverage and minimise the impact of room reflections”
The loudspeakers mounted beneath the roof are powered by eight Electro-Voice Contractor Precision Series (CPS) amplifiers with RCM-810 remote modules. The system is controlled and supervised by a Dynacord Promatrix digital matrix manager and an Electro-Voice N8000 system controller. These are connected to one another by three units of Dynacord’s Digital Control Series. Two Dynacord call stations equipped with a variety of modules and 16 modules, to supervise the loudspeaker lines, round off the installation.
The entire system is controlled and supervised using IRIS-Net (Intelligent Remote & Integrated Supervision) software, which, in the view of Marandet, forms the heart of the system: “Thanks to its graphic interface and its multiple, individual EVAC-specific functions; this software makes a decisive contribution to the simplicity and user-friendliness of the system. Each customer has its own requirements, so in the setting-up, programming and display of an alarm and evacuation system by means of IRIS-Net, good technical support is of crucial importance.”
For the sound distribution system serving the passageways, lounges, offices and various restaurants in the new sports complex, the team from Tech Audio relied upon equipment from Bosch. In the offices alone, there are some 246 LC1-WM06E8 ceiling loudspeakers with a further 14 serving the lounge area. “These six-watt ceiling loudspeakers offer excellent reproduction of both music and the spoken word,” says Marandet, “as well as being very easy to install.” Tech Audio installed 56 LBC3018 Metal Cabinet Loudspeakers in the sanitary areas and a further ten in the circular galleries. These loudspeakers, which are suitable for both surface and recess mounting, are notable, Marandet affirms, for their robustness, unobtrusive styling and sound quality. The installation also included 70 LP1-UC20E Unidirectional Sound Projectors also from Bosch: 50 for the galleries and 20 for the changing rooms. “Their speech and music reproduction are both excellent,” explains Marandet, “whilst their tightly controlled dispersion makes them ideal for acoustically difficult environments.” The LP1-UC20E’s impact-resistant enclosure is made from self-extinguishing ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and meets both IP 65 water and dust protection standards. For the dissemination of digitally recorded announcements, a Bosch LBB 1965/00 Plena Message Manager is used. This versatile device can manage up to twelve different messages and twelve trigger inputs as well as being able to download messages in WAV format from a PC.
“The choice of loudspeakers to install in each case was determined by the height of the ceilings and the size of the rooms,” explains Marandet. “We knew, however, based on our experience of other stadium installations, that we could guarantee outstanding audio quality and absolute reliability with these systems.” Reliability, in fact, was a factor here of crucial importance, as French legislation sets enormous store by it, stipulating, for example, that no more than 24 loudspeakers be powered by any single amplifier channel and that every room or gallery must have two redundant loudspeaker lines.
“The installation has surpassed the expectations of the customer,” reports Marandet. “The speakers combine outstanding intelligibility when delivering announcements with all the sound pressure required for music reproduction – not just in the arena but throughout the entire complex.” The President of the FFC, the French cycling association, David Lappartient, is also delighted with the overall result: “Association football has Clairefontaine, Rugby has Marcoussis; and now cycling has Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.”