A massive Alcons Audio PA was created for the annual choir event “Nederland Zingt” (Holland Sings) at the Gelredome stadium in Arnheim. Arnheim, Holland (August 17, 2007)–It’s not every day that you wind up having to put together an audio system for a gig that includes 4,600 singers, a symphony orchestra, 60-piece brass band and a pop combo, but that was what Hof Audio-Licht-Beeld faced when it provided audio for the 40th anniversary show of the annual choir event “Nederland Zingt” (Holland Sings), held by Dutch Evangelische Omroep (Evangelic Broadcasting company, EO) at the Gelredome stadium in Arnheim. Part of the solution was to create the largest Alcons Audio PA ever.
System engineer Auke Meijer from Hof designed a system that would handle all those performers for a six hour show before an audience of 23.000 in the acoustic environment of the massive Gelredome. The design included the deployment of the largest Alcons sound system to date; No less than 132 line-array cabinets were part of the configuration design.
“The main challenge here was to combine optimal speech intelligibility with live music reproduction,” Meijer said, “and thanks to the Alcons pro-ribbon line-array system, we managed to achieve a very nice presence and intelligibility on the stands. For a rock ‘n roll show, we would have added LR16B low-mid modules and more subs, but the whole emphasis in this project lied on intelligibility.”
The four main array clusters, consisting of 21 LR16s and three LR14s each and powered by 28 ALC amplified-loudspeaker controllers, covered about 85 percent of the venue. Another 30 LR14s were used as monitor sets for the huge choir, in five flown arrays of six LR14 each. The sixth array of a half-dozen LR14s was flown as a center cluster, in front of the main stage. Each LR14 array was powered and controlled by one ALC, including on-board SDP processing. Finally, there were also extra QR36 cabinets as side fills and four SR9 ultra compact front fill speakers.
The massive speaker inventory was compiled in collaboration with four partners in the Alcons Ribbon Network. A central (digital) Lake Dolby LP4D12 contour processor was added to the (analog) SDP processing in the ALCs to enhance the system’s fine-tuning. Meijer EQ’d the system wirelessly through SIA Smaart, by walking around the venue with a tablet PC and wireless measuring microphone. The mixing control was done by three Midas XL-8 digital consoles–one for FOH, using all 96 channels, one for monitoring and one for the choir sub-mix.