EVH loudspeakers adapt perfectly to the sound reinforcement demands of the installation in question
The new Allianz Riviera arena in Nice is the first stadium in Europe to comply in full with the new DIN EN 54 standard, which is mandatory in France. The 35,000-seater stadium – one of the venues scheduled to host the European Football Championship in 2016 – is equipped with certified audio equipment from Electro-Voice, DYNACORD and Bosch. The installation, which took from March until the beginning of August 2013, was performed by the French system integration experts Manganelli Technology.
Originally introduced as a European product standard for fire warning systems, in 2011 EN 54 was extended to cover voice alarm systems, taking account of the industry trend towards combining the two tasks. The standard covers three areas of particular relevance to voice alarm systems: voice alarm control and indicating equipment (DIN EN 54-16), loudspeakers (DIN EN 54-24) and power supply equipment (DIN EN 54-4).
“The invitation to tender for the Allianz Riviera installation stipulated that the sound reinforcement needs of the stadium – from voice alarm to live concerts – should be satisfied by an integrated system complying with EN 54,” says Jean Marandet, Product & Service Manager with EVI Audio France. The intelligibility levels prescribed by the system norms and stadium standards had to be met and homogeneous sound pressure levels achieved throughout the stadium. Already in the planning phase, using simulation software and a three-dimensional spatial model, all the required parameters of the sound reinforcement system were calculated and the installation planned accordingly with Electro-Voice loudspeakers from the EV-Innovation series.
“The greatest challenge was the programming of all safety-relevant aspects via the IRIS-Net software platform. The assistance provided by Technical Support in the Straubing headquarters of Bosch Communications Systems was of enormous help to us in this task,” says Marandet, emphasizing that “IRIS-Net is the nerve center of the installation: without the unbelievable programming possibilities it offers, it would have been impossible to implement such a complex sound reinforcement solution.”
The solution involves dividing up the Allianz Riviera into a total of 26 zones: six for the grandstands, one for the pitch and the rest for the indoor areas. The loudspeaker systems are fed at five different points by one main and four sub-racks containing the digital matrices and multi-channel amplifiers. All the racks are linked with one another via two redundant fibre-optic networks. These boast a “turbo ring” feature designed to ensure that in the event of a connection failure between two racks, the integrity of the network will be restored in less than 20 milliseconds.
EVH loudspeakers, which are already performing convincingly in a number of stadiums worldwide, were also chosen for this ultra-modern sporting arena, and once again they convinced at once. Thanks to the wide variety of available models with their differing coverage patterns, EVH loudspeakers can be relied upon to adapt perfectly to the sound reinforcement demands of the installation in question. Their coaxial, horn-loaded system design allows them to achieve at the same time high sound pressure levels and excellent intelligibility.
Fortunately, the audio performance of the EVH loudspeakers and the extensive feature set of IRIS-Net – including the patented Variable Load Drive technology of the multi-channel amplifiers convinced the client that ours was the optimal solution
Away from the playing area, too, loudspeakers from Electro-Voice and Bosch provide for optimal sound. 35 Electro-Voice ZX1i-100T loudspeakers cover the surrounds and approaches to the stadium. In the passages, changing rooms and bars, over 450 Bosch LC1-WM06E8 ceiling loudspeakers and 400 Bosch LP1-UC10 unidirectional sound projectors set the tone. Digital signal processing – and, with it, the finishing touches, acoustically speaking – is provided by N8000 digital matrices from Electro-Voice. The installation is powered by 19 CPS 4.10 and 15 CPS 8.5 amplifiers from Electro-Voice equipped with RCM-810 remote control modules. In the lounge areas of the stadium, Electro-Voice equipment caters to the comfort of guests. Six PWS-4 wall panels from Electro-Voice allow users to select at the push of a button between different sources, such as mobile CD players, wireless microphones and mixing consoles.
For the evacuation system, which is connected, Marandet and his team again relied on equipment from Bosch Communications Systems: one DYNACORD ProMatrix 8016 digital matrix, five DYNACORD DPC 8015 paging consoles plus two DPC 8120 paging console extensions, and seven DCS 400 base units capable of hosting a control module or several relay modules cater to the sound reinforcement needs of the new stadium in case of emergency.
“We had the advantage when tendering of being able to point to a wide variety of world class references in this segment of the market,” recalls Marandet. “Nonetheless, very careful calculation was called for, as the budget was very constraining. Fortunately, the audio performance of the EVH loudspeakers and the extensive feature set of IRIS-Net – including the patented Variable Load Drive technology of the multi-channel amplifiers and the comprehensive remote monitoring of all power amplifier channels and loudspeakers – convinced the client ‘beyond the shadow of a doubt’ that ours was the optimal solution.”