London, UK (June 23, 2009)–Wimbledon’s Center Court’s new retractable roof made its debut during a TV event that demonstrated the versatility of the custom Martin Audio AM Series distributed speaker system.
RG Jones Sound Engineering worked with the production company 360 Events to stage the production, broadcast live on BBC2. A packed crowd assembled to see a display of exhibition tennis, and songs by artists such as Katherine Jenkins, Faryl Smith and the four-man classical/pop group Blake. Jenkins and Smith performed “Amazing Grace” as the opening number to coincide with the roof inching its way across to full cover position for the very first time, ensuring the end of rain delays during the latter stages of the tournament.
RG Jones’ Tim Speight, who managed the installation for The All England Lawn Tennis Club jointly with Jon Berry, explained, “When the requirements of this system were first set out three years ago, it was specified for a speech-only system. We were told that music events would never be staged there. But the sound on Sunday was magnificent right across the dynamic range.”
Project engineer Steve Carr’s team stacked four additional pairs of Martin Audio’s WLX subs in each corner, under the two-way AM10 mid-high roof, to boost the low end. “The Club hierarchy all attended the first sound check,” Carr recounted, “which was quite nerve-racking, since it was the first time the system had been used; their reaction couldn’t have been more complimentary.
“For a 100V line distributed system, it sounded unbelievable; from the speech intelligibility at court side, to the huge vocal range of Katherine Jenkins, it all sounded fantastic.”
Carr mixed the show from courtside on a 32-channel Yamaha LS9, taking VT play-ins and sending splits to the BBC OB trucks from a 360 Systems Instant Replay. Dick Rabel mixed the performances by Katherine Jenkins and Faryl Smith.