Calgary, Alberta (February 9, 2006)–The Calgary Stampede is one of western Canada’s longest running traditions, but today, larger audiences demand increased seating, more facilities, better audio and a host of other issues. The park is presently in the midst of a long-term, multi-phase renovation project, part of which included a new PA from Community.
The recently-completed first phase of the audio system redesign addresses a previously problematic audience area which had developed over time. “Originally, the audience sat in the main grandstand, which holds about 20,000 seats, and the performers sat in the infield,” explained Barry McKinnon of Vancouver-based MC Squared System Design Group. “Over the years, they added more infield seating, and added the bleachers. As they added sound to cover these areas, the sound on the field suffered from poor intelligibility and multiple arrival delays. We realized that the only way to cover the performance area was to put a speaker on top of the grandstand.”
The upgraded system comprises a pair of Community M4 coaxial loudspeakers and a single R6 Basshorn subwoofer. “We knew the level of system we needed to generate that kind of SPL,” McKinnon recounted. “It didn’t take long with a calculator to find out there was only one loudspeaker system that could do that, and that was the Community M4 coax.”
A pair of Community R2 speakers are hung to cover the Standing Room Only section. Crown CTS-series amps drive the system. Speaker processing and distribution for the full house PA is courtesy Biamp Audia DSP. “The Audia is just bullet-proof,” McKinnon remarked. “It’s made this project so much easier. We don’t have to try to design the whole thing on day one, we can work with it and adapt the system to their needs.”
The expanded audio system has exceeded expectations all around. “We wanted to cover an area that’s approximately 800 wide and 300 feet deep, from a 110-foot roof, and we’re actually reaching all the way to the far end of the track,” McKinnon concluded. “It’s quite remarkable how good it sounds. We get tremendous articulation, all the way across the field.”