Crest Audio® Celebrates Inaugural Installation of Versarray™ PRO Line Array System at The Mill on Etowah

Crest Audio® Celebrates Inaugural Installation of Versarray™ PRO Line Array System at The Mill on Etowah

Crest Audio®, a Peavey Commercial Audio® brand, proudly celebrates the inaugural installation of the Versarray™ PRO at The Mill on Etowah in Canton, Georgia. The fully articulating line array system with ribbon drivers provides a customized solution for this historic venue, which sits on the Etowah River and serves as the centerpiece of Canton’s downtown revitalization program. As an adaptive reuse development, the venue was in need of a flexible, configurable sound system that could deliver high output, optimized coverage, and pristine high-fidelity audio. The mid-size Versarray PRO system chosen by the development team is a state-of-the-art configuration that’s capable of enhancing the venue’s immersive experience.

The Mill on Etowah combines an outdoor amphitheater and an indoor music and wedding venue, connected by the fully functional Reformation Brewery onsite. In the transformed textile mill’s central space, the development team wanted to showcase how the mill looked in its industrial prime, which inevitably created some sound reinforcement issues.

“With hardwood floors and ceilings, ancient brick walls, and expansive windows, any compression driver-based loudspeaker would be inappropriate in the space,” said installer/contractor Kent Morris of Cornerstone Media. “Fortunately the ribbon-based Crest Audio Versarray PRO system offered the smooth response and balanced tone the room required. And, with full Dante® integration, the solution allowed for simple connectivity coupled with extensive control.”

The indoor performance venue uses eight Crest VR PRO 112, 12″ two-way powered ribbon line array cabinets, which are designed to provide modular coverage of small to medium-size venues while offering excellent versatility and high-performance capability. The 112 modules are perfectly paired with two VR PRO 215 (2 x 15’’) powered subwoofers running in a staggered four-post layout. The system is supplemented with eight Peavey® Impulse® 5C, two-way weather-resistant, indoor-outdoor loudspeakers surrounding the main area. In the VR PRO modules, the smoothness of the Crest ribbons mates perfectly with the natural aesthetic of the wood and brick surfaces to create a compelling sonic landscape.

To further enhance the room’s overall ambience, the Versarray PRO modules are positioned discretely thanks to the advanced adjustability of the rigging system. The flexibility of the Versarray FlyQWIK™ system allows for the use of anywhere from one to five Versarray PRO 215 subs in conjunction with an appropriate number of Versarray PRO 112 cabinets. Angles between the array modules are adjustable from 0 degrees (straight) to 7.5 degrees, in 2.5-degree increments. The total angling possible between two cabinets is 15 degrees.

“Add in the straightforward suspension design, and the VR PRO system made for an elegant answer to a complex problem,” Morris summarized.

Reliability is key for any professional audio system, but especially for the very first application of new sound technology in a groundbreaking venue. Just as the development team leveraged the beauty of this 120-year-old mill to create a functional community development for the 21st century, Crest Audio brought together decades of sound reinforcement research and development to ensure that the Versarray PRO will deliver uninterrupted performance and unrivaled high-end clarity for years to come.

Peavey Commercial Audio® Launches New Website

Peavey Commercial Audio® Launches New Website

Peavey Commercial Audio® (PCA) launches its new website at www.peaveycommercialaudio.com. Supporting all desktop and mobile platforms, the new site offers a more streamlined user interface, improved navigation, and the latest news and products from PCA’s top-selling brands: MediaMatrix®, Crest Audio® and Peavey®. The enhanced functionality allows customers and dealers to find what they’re looking for faster and more accurately.

Even under the present challenging circumstances, a new opportunity for a fresh start and perspective emerges. By redesigning the company website, Peavey Commercial Audio took something that was familiar and functional and made it even more useful and relevant. Visitors to PCA’s previous website will immediately notice the improvements in site navigation, content organization, and search functionality.

On the homepage, the new top menu leads with Products, followed by Solutions, Brands, Media, Downloads, and Support. The revamped search function helps to ensure accuracy by calling up small thumbnail photos and SKUs, enabling users to quickly make the right selection. 

If users wish to browse instead, the Brands dropdown allows them to select MediaMatrix, Peavey, or Crest Audio, and redirects to that brand’s product-focused page. The product “Compare” tool has been redesigned to offer more information in an easier-to-read format. For instance, if users want to easily compare powered PA speakers, they would simply check off the yellow “Compare” button under each item and then click the blue master “Compare” button (bottom-right of page) to call up the comparison chart. To add products for comparison, click the box with a plus sign, or to remove products, simply “x” out the photos or select “Remove All” by clicking the red trash can icon. 

Back on the homepage, Peavey Commercial Audio’s company updates are presented in a clickable slideshow with photos and links to “Read More.” PCA also reorganized its most important news under the Media menu tab, which has dropdowns for News & Press, Case Studies, Videos, and History. Downloads, which includes Software/Firmware, Catalogues/Brochures, and Whitepapers, also offers a simpler reorganization.

Further prioritizing the user experience, the Support tab’s “Where to Buy” allows users to select International Distributors or U.S. Sales Reps to help refine their dealer search. Support also includes links to MediaMatrix’s Training and Knowledge Center. Additionally, PCA follows the latest trends in website design by linking to its social media pages for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn, directly from the homepage.

PCA invites everyone to explore the new website and try the improved search and compare functions at www.peaveycommercialaudio.com

Peavey Commercial Audio® Announces New UK Sales Strategy

James Kennedy James Cleary and Courtland Gray

Peavey Commercial Audio® Announces New UK Sales Strategy

Peavey Commercial Audio® announces that moving forward, the company will handle its own sales and consulting for its commercial audio division in the United Kingdom. These core functions were handled previously by the company’s UK distribution partner, Barnes & Mullins, which will continue to distribute the Peavey® line of musical instruments and live sound products. By embarking on this new sales strategy, PCA and B&M will create new and exciting opportunities and maximize the reach of Peavey’s state-of-the-art products and solutions.   

“As we move into a new decade which poses a modern set of challenges, we are excited to be addressing the UK market directly again and working closer with consultancy and integration businesses for fixed installation systems,” said James Kennedy, PCA EMEA Operations Manager. “With Barnes & Mullins concentrating on the live entertainment sectors, we believe that both B&M and PCA can specialize, utilizing their strengths in each respective market.”

The new strategy comes as Peavey Commercial Audio and Barnes & Mullins approach the three-year anniversary of their initial distribution deal, which added PCA’s full product range to B&M’s offering. These brands include Crest Audio®, MediaMatrix®, and the full line of Peavey professional products. Going forward, B&M will continue to market and sell Peavey sound reinforcement products and Crest Audio live performance products, including the innovative Tactus™ digital mixing system, Versarray™ MKIII and Versarray PRO powered line array systems, and the new fully featured ProTour™ multi-channel DSP/Dante amplifiers. These product lines naturally complement Barnes & Mullins’ musical instrument and back-line portfolio, which completes the concert and touring offering from B&M, a company celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

“Barnes & Mullins are pleased to continue the supply and promotion of Peavey MI and Pro Audio products,” comments Brian Cleary, Barnes & Mullins’ joint managing director. “Peavey and Crest Audio have an enviable reputation in both the Musical Instrument and Sound Reinforcement market, and with recent highlights such as the Tactus digital mixers and the Versarray PRO systems, Peavey’s innovative approach to design and production is once again evident.”

Meanwhile, PCA will focus on fixed installation and systems solutions that go directly to integration businesses. PCA’s flagship MediaMatrix and Crest Audio multi-channel smart/networked amplifiers will be at the heart of these efforts. EN54-16 certification for MediaMatrix NION® processors and the recently launched nCIE PILOT® control PC form a versatile life-safety system and an innovative platform to introduce to the UK market. The PCA UK team based in Corby, Northants will serve as a support backbone and hub for consultants and integrators, and will assist with design, programming, training, and technical support matters. Product will be housed and shipped into the UK from Germany.

James Kennedy James Cleary and Courtland Gray

f.l.t.r.: James Kennedy, Brian Cleary, Courtland Gray

MediaMatrix® Announces EN54-16 Certification for nCIE PILOT™ Control PC and NION® Series DSPs

MediaMatrix EN 54-16 Certification

MediaMatrix® Announces EN54-16 Certification for nCIE PILOT™ Control PC and NION® Series DSPs

MediaMatrix EN 54-16 CertificationMediaMatrix® is pleased to announce that its NION® Series of digital signal and control processors (DSPs) and nCIE PILOT™ control PC are now certified by the EN54-16 European Standard. These components form the nucleus of a dynamic VACIE system (Voice Alarm Control and Indicating Equipment) used to provide optimum protection for the public and for safety personnel.

The EN54 certification is a mandatory standard that specifies, requires, and laboratory tests every component of fire detection and fire alarm systems. Part 16 of the certification specifically pertains to voice alarm control and indicating equipment. The certifications of both the nCIE PILOT control PC and NION Series DSPs, respectively, speak to the industrial-grade quality of MediaMatrix equipment, as well as their stable, efficient, and robust performance.

The just-launched MediaMatrix nCIE PILOT processor, the brain of the VACIE system, manages all control and fault-monitoring logic. It also provides all control functionality to the end user through hosting the award-winning Kiosk2Go (tablet device HTML5) GUIs (graphical user interfaces) to multiple clients, which means the VACIE solution is essentially a headless system.

Additionally, the well-distinguished MediaMatrix NION Series nX, n3, and n6 DSP frames handle audio input sources, DSP processing, routing, networked and analog audio distribution, and voice alarm message playback, among other operational tasks. The VACIE system can be configured and scaled as a centralized single-rack solution, configured across multiple remote racks as a distributed solution, or positioned as a hybrid of both. The VACIE system can also scale to hundreds or even thousands of channels utilizing the flexible MediaMatrix NION architecture.

The nCIE PILOT and NION frames are accompanied by a choice of Powersoft, d&b audiotechnik, or Crown networked multi-channel power amplification to meet system requirements. Belgian company Luminex has also deployed its robust and highly intuitive GigaCore 26i Ethernet switch, which manages all IP communications between devices and is also used for handling all Dante-networked audio traffic.

Overall, MediaMatrix’s unique mix-and-match EN54-16 VACIE system delivers a truly flexible, fully customizable, high-powered pro-audio solution for life-safety applications that specifiers, consultants, integrators, and decision-makers have not previously seen or enjoyed before.

MediaMatrix® Launches nCIE PILOT™ Industrial-Grade PC for Life-Safety VACIE

nCIE Pilot

MediaMatrix® Launches nCIE PILOT™ Industrial-Grade PC for Life-Safety VACIE

nCIE PilotReliable control and monitoring is everything  in mission-critical life-safety systems, and the new nCIE PILOT™ from MediaMatrix®,  is an industrial-grade PC that’s built for the challenge. Tested and certified to the EN54-16 European Standard, the nCIE PILOT is designed to work in conjunction with the NION® Series of digital signal processors (DSPs), also EN54-16 certified, and a host of third-party devices under the MediaMatrixNWare software suite. Together, these vital components form a life-safety VACIE (Voice Alarm Control and Indicating Equipment) system that’s designed to endure the rigors of industrial environments.

As the brains of the system, the nCIE PILOT performs all logical operations for fault detection and reporting VACIE wide. Powerful Python scripting is utilized to survey and manage all 3rd party devices within the VACIE and will alert the systems operator on the event of any system non-conformance. In addition,the PILOT hosts the graphical user interfaces for the operators through the award winning Kiosk2Go® HTML5 based MediaMatrix application. As a headless system Kiosk2Go provides intuitive and versatile remote control capability with fully customizable graphics authored in NWare.

The nCIE PILOT strikes the perfect balance between energy efficiency, performance, versatility and durability making it a machine built to last.  Enclosed in a ruggedized, fanless and ventless chassis  the PILOT resists dust, metal shavings, and other debris that are standard hazards on manufacturing floors thanks to its HardshellFanless Technology . The fully solid-state  architectureeliminates points of failure and relies on the superior design of the integrated heatsink to keep internal components cool.

Despite its small footprint, the nCIE PILOT is equipped with an array of IOs (inputs/outputs), including VGA and HDMI, and is capable of powering dual-independent displays, including one at 4K resolution. Dual-gigabit Ethernet LAN, three optional COM ports, and six USB ports, including four USB 3.0 ports, round out the available built-in connectivity. The nCIE PILOT is accompanied by an optional 2U rackmount adaptor allowing two PILOTs to be buddied together that can be configured independently or as  an N+N redundant auto fail-over configuration.

Users are provided additional reassurance with the EN54-16 certification that both the MediaMatrix nCIE PILOT and NION Series DSPs have been awarded. The EN54 certification is a mandatory standard that specifies, requires, and laboratory tests every component of fire detection and fire alarm systems. Part 16 of the certification specifically pertains to voice alarm control and indicating equipment. This certification speaks to the industrial-grade quality of MediaMatrix’s equipment, as well as its stable, efficient, and robust performance.

Peavey Commercial Audio® Sets Tone for Big Year of Innovation

Peavey Commercial Audio at ISE 2020

Peavey Commercial Audio® Sets Tone for Big Year of Innovation

Peavey Commercial Audio at ISE 2020MERIDIAN, MS — Peavey Commercial Audio® recently set the tone for a big year of innovation at Integrated Systems Europe, ISE 2020, the world’s largest AV and systems integration show. From Feb. 11-14 at the RAI Amsterdam, Peavey exhibited at booth 7-H200 with comprehensive offerings across multiple categories, including audio processing, audio systems and acoustics, conferencing and collaborations, media distribution, and paging and evacuation systems. Offering pro-audio solutions from its industry-leading brands, including Crest Audio® and MediaMatrix®, Peavey Commercial Audio is a one-stop shop for a multitude of venues and installations.

ISE’s evolution from a show with 3,500 attendees in 2004 to more than 81,000 visitors in 2019 speaks to the AV industry’s expansive needs. As the market has evolved over the past 15 years, so too have Peavey Commercial Audio’s solutions. This year, the company returned to highlight new systems for live performances and workplace safety.

New for this year’s show, MediaMatrix launched its nCIE PILOT® industrial-grade control and monitoring node designed to work in conjunction with the NION® series of digital signal processors. Together these vital components form the life-safety VACIE (Voice Alarm Control and Indicating Equipment) system that’s designed to endure the rigors of industrial environments. Both the MediaMatrix nCIE Pilot and NION series were recently EN54-16 certified in accordance with strict European standards for voice alarm products.

Additionally, Peavey Commercial Audio showcased some recent groundbreaking innovations, including the Versarray™ PRO powered line array system from Crest Audio, as well as the RBN™ Series and Impulse® Series speaker enclosures from Peavey Electronics®.

Peavey Commercial Audio was excited to exhibit at what was the last ISE show in Amsterdam, before the exhibition relocates to Fira de Barcelona in 2021. Peavey invited attendees to booth 7-H200 to help say “vaarwell” to this vibrant venue while ushering in an exciting year of innovation.

Sir Tom Jones takes Tactus™ on Tour

Sir Tom Jones takes Tactus™ on Tour

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival. It’s therefore a fitting stage for the world’s most advanced and efficient digital audio mixing system, the Crest Audio Tactus. With its elegant integration of hardware, software and touchscreens, Tactus heralds the next generation of modular, scalable digital mixing solutions. Sound engineer, Matteo Cifelli, talks about mixing Tom Jones’s latest tour on Tactus.

THE TECHNOLOGY
Even at 78 years old, Tom Jones is the consummate showman. Over the span of his long career he has been through many incarnations, but what has remained unchanged throughout is his unmistakeable vocal signature, and his evident delight at being on stage.

Sir Tom’s long-time FoH engineer, Matteo Cifelli, has been using Crest Audio’s Tactus digital mixing system with integrated Waves eMotion LV1 mixing software on all of Tom Jones’s recent shows. This included a sold-out Summer Sessions gig against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh castle as part of the Edinburgh Festival.

First launched in 2016, Tactus is a modular mixing system that comprises a front-of-house audio processing core powered by Waves SoundGrid and a 32-in/16-out remote stagebox plus an optional external control surface which acts as a physical extension of the Waves LV1 touchscreen mixer application.

Cifelli has been a fan of Waves since the beginning. “I was at Waves in 2014 and saw the prototype of LV1 and was instantly hooked,” he recalls. “I’ve had it with me as a support desk ever since. I love the way the software works and the fact that it is based on
plug-ins to extend functionality.”

“There is a huge selection of plug-ins so it’s incredibly versatile, and the integration with the Tactus hardware is just a fabulous solution because it opens up the software for use on much bigger shows.”

“The main gap for me using LV1 was the controller – or rather lack of it,” he continues. “It was great for small shows, but anything over 16 channels becomes difficult to manage on a touchscreen as there just isn’t enough real estate. The integration into Tactus has changed all that – now that Crest have brought out their controller, I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way. There is perfect physical alignment between the faders on the screen and the physical faders on the controller, and if you need more channels, you can just connect a second control surface. It’s a fantastic feature for me and one that makes it possible to use as a primary mixing console on bigger shows. What’s more, the build quality is amazing and that’s really important when you’re working on live shows. You need to know that when you plug it in and turn it on, it’ll just work, even if it’s taken a few knocks as things often do on the road.”

Something else that Cifelli appreciates is the modularity of Tactus and the fact that it is ultra-portable. “Even compared to a standard digital console, the footprint is tiny,” he asserts. “Our next gig after Edinburgh was in Jordan just two days later, so the timeframe was pretty tight, but Tactus is so compact, we checked it in as hand luggage!”

THE EVENT
In Edinburgh, Cifelli’s setup was straightforward with one Tactus FOH processing core connected to a Lenovo Touchscreen laptop PC and a Tactus Stagebox by a single CAT5 cable. The monitor engineer was responsible for establishing the gain structure, so Cifelli used a MADI stream from a DiGiGrid MGB to take a feed from the monitor desk. The MGB is an interface that lets you plug any coaxial MADI-enabled device into the Waves SoundGrid network. The PC running LV1 was connected to a touchscreen and the Tactus control interface, and that was it – all very simple. “Where I can I like to run everything on two computers for redundancy,” he says. “I’ll have a main PC connected to a touchscreen and the Tactus control surface plus a laptop also running LV1. That way if the external touchscreen goes down for any reason, I’ve still got the laptop touchscreen. There’s no redundancy built into the system yet, so it’s safer to do it yourself! On the other hand, when you consider the cost of a Tactus and everything you get for your money, it’s no big deal to bring along an extra laptop…

For Cifelli, the modular approach is definitely the way forward. “In its simplest form, all you need is the FoH unit and a laptop and that’s it, but of course you can add elements however you like to support larger configurations. I love that I can increase or reduce the number of interfaces, as well as inputs and outputs, and the different connectivity options provided by Tactus gives me compatibility with interfaces from other brands which is just great. I can use SoundGrid, MADI, AES, and now Crest have just come out with a SoundGrid-to-Dante bridge which means I can connect to Dante-enabled PA systems (or other Dante devices) as well. Personally, I think this is the future of digital mixing.”

THE RESULT
He believes that Peavey’s decision to build Tactus based on the Waves LV1 software was simply inspired. He is certainly not alone in considering LV1 to be the best software mixing platform available. “It’s the only mixing system that is 100% customizable,” he says. “The concept is revolutionary, and its plugin architecture gives me unlimited sound-shaping abilities. Combined with Tactus hardware, I have a rugged, road-worthy mixing system that takes up a tenth of the space of anything else currently available and offers me ten times the functionality and scalability. And sound quality-wise, we are at the top!”

Speaking of sound quality, one of the main priorities for the Tactus engineering team was preserving the vintage Crest Audio sound in a completely modern digital format. “We didn’t just want to be a vehicle for LV1, even though that’s what makes Tactus unique,” explains PCA operations manager, James Kennedy. “We also wanted to mark our identity by adding the warm, vintage Crest Audio analogue sound that was our trademark during the 70s, 80s and 90s to the thoroughly 21st century functionality of the LV1 software. In short, you’re getting completely cutting-edge technology combined with our legendary build quality and sonic signature in a totally modular, scalable package. We think it’s a fabulous combination.”

Cifelli couldn’t agree more. “I like to say that this system is the internet of mixing consoles – in the same way as the arrival of digital technology revolutionised the live mixing industry, the Tactus/LV1 concept will change the game yet again but this time moving us into an IP world. I believe that in years to come we’ll be seeing more and more Tactus/LV1 or similar systems around the world with the ability to talk to and exchange data with different devices from different manufacturers all over simple network cables, and maybe even Wi-Fi and 4 or 5G! – that’s the future I see in a digital world.”

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MediaMatrix® is the perfect match at Amsterdam ArenA

MediaMatrix® is the perfect match at Amsterdam ArenA

From the outset, it was clear that the Amsterdam ArenA was going to set new standards for stadium AV. A wholly new speaker system was to be implemented, with four manufacturers invited to tender for the project. Production manager at Amsterdam ArenA, Tim Oosterop, and head of technology, Martin Wielaart, defined three main objectives for the new system:

  • Compliance with UEFA/ FIFA regulations for performance and intelligibility, and adherence to safety standards for evacuation systems.
  • Address the venue’s unique acoustics, difficulties that, in realistic financial terms, would be challenging to overcome.
  • Enhance the stadium’s reputation as a host of other entertainment events – especially concerts.

With no compromise on quality, Oosterop selected German speaker manufacturer, d&b audiotechnik, to partner with the latest MediaMatrix control suite.

MediaMatrix and Crest Audio serve as the ‘backbone’ of the PA-VA system, which is responsible for processing, distributing & controlling all analogue and networked audio channels across the site while Crest Audio CKi amplifiers feed the sound to various zones across the venue – including back of house offices, hospitality boxes and other public zones. The crux of the challenge was to introduce new, high performance audio and control into the stadium ‘bowl’ area; for this, custom software was required for total harmony between the processing stage (via MediaMatrix) and the latest d&b amplifier and speaker systems.

THE SOLUTION

Working closely with d&b’s engineers, Lee Freer – application engineer for Peavey Commercial Audio – helped to design a downloadable plug-in that brings total uniformity between the systems

Available now as a download, the new d&b amplifier plug-in for MediaMatrix provides control parameters
to adjust the mute status, levels, power On/Off , and alter the AmpPreset. This enables the complete system to be configured as a highly intelligible system for speech reproduction, and, via a simple button, to be reconfigured for full program material. Critical status information can be monitored, ensuring the same is suitable as a PA- VA system in an emergency situation. MediaMatrix logs all audio connections to amplifiers, and the operating state of connected loudspeakers.

Lee explains: “MediaMatrix is a networked DSP and control system that is scalable, efficient and tailored to the needs of the user. The system is designed and managed via PC with the MediaMatrix NWare software, and then accessed and controlled wireless from any smart device supporting HTML5 via the Kiosk2Go remote control platform.”

“The system is equipped with wired Kiosk control panels at the two command and control points in the stadium (East and West), which are used for phased stadium evacuation announcements and overall system health monitoring.”

Lee continues: “Adding d&b to the MediaMatrix plug-in library gives our customers another great option when specifying and designing our Nion-based solutions. The amplifier plug-in gives both the programmer and the end user a seamless, reliable and intuitive control interface which can also be easily integrated into an overall MediaMatrix Kiosk and Kiosk2Go GUI control suite.”

THE RESULT

Stadium AV investment is a growing trend as systems are upgraded to meet new safety standards, as well as providing better quality and more efficient management. On this front, the Amsterdam ArenA now rates as one of the best installations in Europe.

Olaf Landzaat of Ampco Flashlight took on the technical integration of the system and says MediaMatrix is a key element in the installation, ensuring premium quality at every stage. He explains: “The new d&b amplifier control plug-in for MediaMatrix literally monitors every single device in the audio chain: every amplifier, and each individual speaker cabinet’s low and high drivers.”

The interface between d&b Array-processing software and the arena’s existing MediaMatrix management system provided a simple and easily executed route to accommodating a variety of event formats, without compromising safety standards. “With what we have now, we can provide acoustic models and predictive scenarios to those planning to bring their shows here. We have an audio infrastructure that allows them to plan for best sound,” Ooserop says. “With the modelling software and associated data, we give them the time and space to plan accordingly.” “The key for installation was interoperability, and total integration between the control system and the sound reinforcement system, whatever the application type,” explains Wolfgang Schulz, product manager for installation at d&b. “The system design for many permanent installations now starts with the method for control and management, so d&b is looking to support system designers with complete interoperability with the MediaMatrix system, which guarantees easy planning and operation.”

The last word goes to James Kennedy, operations manager at Peavey Commercial Audio EMEA. “It’s been a pleasure to work with d&b audiotechnik on this project and the high standards expected from both sides can be seen and heard at Amsterdam ArenA. The power and quality of the sound is simply staggering.” He adds: “However, we all know that power is wasted without control and here we have a system that benefits from Peavey’s proven management and processing with the fantastic quality of stadium speaker arrays for which d&b are renowned.”

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MediaMatrix® and NION® ensure perfect music mood at Spain’s premier retail experience

MediaMatrix® and NION® ensure perfect music mood at Spain’s premier retail experience

Mallorca, situated near to Palma Airport, is a huge, multi-zone retail mall requiring the best proven audio quality management available. With a total investment of around 190 million euros, the venture saw 2,400 people involved in the construction of the centre, which has a host of flagship stores ranging from Primark to Media Markt, Cortefiel, Pedro del Hierro, Women’secret, Decathlon, H&M, Mango, C&A and a number of Majorcan clothing designers and footwear manufacturers. Dolores Bañon, the director of promotion and development for Carrefour Property España, sums up the size of the project. “The Balearics will never have seen so many top brands under the same roof,” she said. Covering more than 70,000 square meters, a distributed system had to be implemented. The multi-zoned areas often require separate source material. So, each bathroom (men, women and children), the restaurants, retail outlets and walkway areas all required a dynamic audio feed with a constant variation of playlists depending on climate and affluence within the building. This meant that the audio DSP system had to communicate with other subsystems, namely a digital meteo station and Pax counter camera system. Reliable and trusted solutions were absolutely vital as installers faced an incredibly tight time frame – the entire audio install needing to be completed in just 10 weeks.

THE SOLUTION

To meet the challenge of outstanding audio and control throughout the Mall, Spanish specialist distributor Neotecnica came on board to oversee all aspects of the technical installation. The reliability and proven track record of Peavey’s MediaMatrix NION processors made them the preferred choice, with an optical CobraNet fibre network distributing the sound throughout the separate areas of the mall via a Cisco-based network with over 2km of fibre and copper cable runs. Two NION n6 processors manage the core audio for more than 55 different zones: all audio channels are processed and transmitted from the NIONs to a total of 13 Crest Audio Ci amplifiers via CobraNet . In addition to the Ci amplifiers there are two nWall CobraNet I/O panels located in the mall for patching two channels in and two channels out of the MediaMatrix system. This is useful for events and ad hoc performances within the mall throughout the calendar year. As well as handling all audio aspects of the system, the NIONs are also at the heart of control, utilising GPIO interaction with the meteo station and counter camera systems in order to schedule and steer the correct audio sources at any given time dependant on weather, mood and overall business, all thanks to the diverse MediaMatrix control toolbox. MediaMatrix Kiosk (PC) and Kiosk2Go (Tablet Device – HTML5) GUIs have been created and deployed within NWare and hosted by the NION processors, providing staff with the means to take control, monitor and maintain the system within an intuitively designed environment. The 13 Crest Audio Ci 30×4 and 20×8 amplifiers are installed and distributed across nine racks throughout the centre utilising a total of 12km of speaker cable. For crystal clear audio, Fohhn speakers were installed throughout with Focal in-ceiling speakers. In total 266speakers were used, distributed in 70/100V lines, with LOW Z subwoofers and LOW Z column systems.

THE RESULT

Each area of the mall now has its own playlists that change automatically, depending on the surrounding situations, which means visitors are able to enjoy a vast range of retail therapy, and there is sure to be something for everyone throughout the 120 stores to be found within the Mall. Fan Mallorca Shopping Mall now ranks as Spain’s premier shopping experience, with an audio system that is fitting for such surroundings. James Kennedy, operations manager at Peavey Commercial Audio remarked “We are once again delighted to work with our Spanish partners, Neotecnica, in making this project such a success. Applications like these always throw up technical curve balls and this was no exception! The third party systems integration with NION for dynamic content delivery was particularly challenging for the engineers, but they have managed to leverage the power of NION to overcome these problems through the flexibility and capability of python scripting and bespoke control devices within NWare. The guys at Neotecnica have done a sterling job!” 

Engineer Fernando Vidal Wagner from Neotecnica said: “The open philosophy of NWare makes it possible to adapt it dynamically, which is in my opinion, one of the key points of this project.” Carrefour Property, Owners of Fan Mallorca Shopping Mall, were thrilled with the outcome. “We are delighted the project has been completed in record time,” said a spokesman. “We wanted to develop a different project, a shopping mall music experience oriented to include many different areas. Audio control allows each area their own playlists which change according to the weather or the influx of people. This project is a real turning point for the retail sector, and marks a milestone in the history of shopping centres.”

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Japan’s first LEGOLAND® boasts the most sophisticated networked audio

Japan’s first LEGOLAND® boasts the most sophisticated networked audio

LEGOLAND® Japan in Nagoya is the latest LEGOLAND theme park to be opened by British-based amusement park corporation, Merlin Entertainments. The first LEGOLAND attraction in Japan, the second in Asia and the eighth in total, LEGOLAND Japan also boasts the most sophisticated networked audio and background music (BGM) system of all the LEGOLAND sites worldwide thanks to a highly efficient sound design by Tejix. Described as defining new standards in terms of build quality and technology, LEGOLAND Japan has proved to be a popular destination since its official opening in April 2017. The audio system output throughout the entire park was based on a range of Peavey Commercial Audio® loudspeakers, fed from a single, site-wide network.

The Peavey Solution

Tejix was retained for the design and installation of all parkwide BGM, audio, video and lighting (both indoors and outside), on-board audio, dynamic signage and even parkwide wi-fi. As an internationally renowned theme park technology design and consultancy firm, Tejix’s work features in many of the world’s premier theme parks across the globe. Concerning the sound design for LEGOLAND Japan, Tejix sound designer Akio Takeda emphasised that clarity and simplicity were the top priorities. “We started from a blank page,” he explained, “with the idea of providing exceptional performance in a straightforward design. To achieve consistency throughout, we used just seven speaker models across the board – from theaters, dark rides, outdoor areas, and Lego models to shops, restaurants and bars – all from Peavey, and just one amplifier model. Even in areas where different speaker models are used concurrently, the sound is admirably consistent.”

The majority of the speakers in questions are from Peavey’s Elements Series of highly durable, weather-resistant loudspeakers, now with an IP56 rating. There are over 550 Elements Series speakers throughout the outdoor areas of the park, supplemented by nearly 300 Impulse 6 loudspeakers. The indoor areas are served by 72 Sanctuary Series, 200 PHR 630 ceiling speakers and a Versarray line array system in the main theater.

“The issue with BGM is that it is tempting for sound designers to space the speakers too far apart in an attempt to keep the budget down, which leads to variations in level and coloration that are very noticeable,” says Tejix founder and MD, Henry Corrado. “One of the main reasons we opted for a Peavey solution was that we knew we wouldn’t have to do that, as the same budget goes much, much further than with so-called “premium” loudspeaker brands. For example, LEGOLAND Malaysia in Jahor has a total of 480 speakers across the park. Here in Nagoya, we’ve installed nearly 1200! The result is a constant soundfield wherever you are, indoors or outdoors, on a ride or in the street, on the terrace of a restaurant or in the retail zone. No holes, no gaps and no hotspots where you feel the system is screaming at you – just smooth, homogenous sound throughout the park.”

The Elements 108C is the principal loudspeaker of choice for the outdoor areas. Constructed from an advanced composite fiberboard material that is dimensionally stable in wet conditions and resists contamination, the cabinet nevertheless has the resonant properties of wood for high quality sonic performance combined with rock-solid reliability. The aluminium grills on the front feature a barrier membrane that repels water yet allows moisture to escape without affecting the sonic performance of the loudspeaker. “The build quality is absolutely fantastic,” enthuses Corrado. “They are a true outdoor speaker – rugged, durable, totally weatherproof and they sound very good. I’d definitely use them again. The Elements 108C is the main outdoor speaker for large spaces and they cover the area very well.”

Tejix has supplemented the Elements Series with nearly 300 Impulse 6 lightweight, mini 2-way weather-resistant speakers for smaller streets and under canopies where a more compact, discreet system is required. “Impulse Series speakers do a great job in the smaller areas. They are also weather-resistant so they can be used inside or outside, and they are extremely good value for money.”

For all of the indoor attractions, Tejix opted for Peavey’s Sanctuary Series – the arrayable SSE 15s and SSE 12s for larger areas requiring maximum coverage and the compact, lightweight SSE 6 for smaller environments where space is at a premium. “For me, the Sanctuary Series is close to greatness!” says Corrado. “I am always amazed that a speaker at this price point can sound so good, but they do – it’s amazing! The design is excellent; they are versatile, reliable, easy to install and they sound great, and all at an absolutely unbeatable price point. For my money, they are just so much better at every level than anything produced by competing brands for the same application – Peavey really has done a fantastic job on this range.”

The restaurants and retail areas are covered by a total of 200 Peavey Commercial Audio PHR 630 ceiling speakers. “There’s nothing to say, really,” says Corrado. “The PHR 630s are robust, discreet and sound perfectly good. They do exactly what they were designed to do with no fuss and no frills.”

Finally, Tejix installed a Peavey Versarray line array system in the main theatre. “I have to confess that we spent a lot of time on the crossovers to get them to deliver the performance we were looking for, but it was time well spent,” says Corrado. “I can honestly say that the sound quality now is really very good indeed, and once again, at a fraction of the price of other comparable line array systems.”

The Result

The installation went well from start to finish despite certain constraints due to Japanese building regulations and working with local crew. “In Japan, you can’t just attach a speaker to a wall,” explains Corrado. “It has to be attached to the primary structure of the building, which makes life quite tricky!” Custom brackets had to be made locally for every single loudspeaker that needed be surface mounted.

The other issue was in communicating effectively with the local crew. “When there are 1200 loudspeakers to install, the scope for error is quite considerable. We devised a colour-coding system so that the crew could see at a glance what needed to be installed where. I’m pleased to say that it worked pretty well in the end.”

Tejix calibrated the full system using Smaart and digital wireless microphones. “It was a huge job that took several weeks,” recalls Corrado. “However, being on a single network helped enormously as it gave us an overview of the complete system before we even started to EQ it. We were able to configure all of the settings over Wi-Fi, which was also a great time-saver.”

In conclusion, Corrado is pleased at the way the project has turned out. “The Peavey sound design with a digital backbone has worked very well,” he confirms. “It enabled us to supply enough loudspeakers to cover every zone comfortably with headroom to spare and we know it’ll be extremely reliable. The single network has enabled us to manage the 500+ audio channels efficiently, thus achieving our goal of combining the simplicity of a centralized system with the flexibility of a distributed approach. The client is delighted because it sounds great throughout the park and has achieved all of his price goals. I’m sure this is a design concept we’ll be returning to for future projects.”

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