Vancouver (January 4, 2007)–It’s an exhausted stereotype that Canadians love their hockey. The ironic twist, however, is that they really love their hockey–enough that Northern rock mainstays Tom Cochrane and 54-40 jammed through the former’s ode to pro puck action, “Big League,” to open 2006’s NHL Awards at Vancouver’s Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts–an event that was heard by all in attendance via Meyer Sound self-powered Mica line array speakers.
The NHL Awards were heard on-site via a Meyer Sound Mica PAVenue sound for live broadcasts is an especially challenging job, says Mark LeCorre, head engineer for sound provider Audio Image Canada and front-of-house mixer for the show. “We were pushing roughly 100 decibels of sound pressure, but since it was being broadcast on TV, we had to keep a careful eye on the sound level,” LeCorre said. “We especially didn’t want too much volume or low end in the house, because the microphones will pick that up, which, in turn, will cause distortion and problems for the broadcast and their respective sound quality.”
LeCorre and crew used an array of eight MICA cabinets on each side of the stage as the backbone of the system, while a pair of CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeakers per side provided frontfill for the first six rows. “We had to put all the boxes up quite high in order to keep them out of view of the TV cameras, so we needed the CQs for extra fill,” explains LeCorre. With the need to keep low end to a more moderate level, the AIC crew used only a single 700-HP subwoofer per side for the sub-bass. “That was actually plenty,” LeCorre said, “because the 700s are so powerful.” LeCorre chose a Galileo loudspeaker management system to provide system drive and processing.
Design and installation of the system was very straightforward. “The building is designed primarily for musical theatre, so it’s a fairly live room with nice acoustics,” continued LeCorre. “We put together a MICA demo in here back in February, so we already had the room plotted out, which made things much easier.” After a quick revisiting of the design in Meyer Sound’s MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction software, the crew hung the system, then Shawn Hines of GerrAudio Distribution tuned it with the help of a SIM 3 audio analyzer.
Said Hines, “The only change we had from the first time we used MAPP Online Pro to plot this system out was the addition of one more CQ-1 per side, which was a brilliant addition by our head audio designer, Jamie Howieson, as it really helped to even things out and fill in the weak spots. Since we were also using Galileo, ‘MAPPing’ and ‘SIMing’ the system was pretty brain-dead simple overall, so we quickly tuned it again from scratch.