The RG Jones Wimbledon 2010 audio team:
Top Row L-R: Tom Hartridge, Tim Speight,
Ben Bennett, Jamie Short, David Bell;
Bottom Row L-R: Jon Berry, Laurence Jarrett,
Owen Relfe, Nick Clarke, Duncan OwenLondon (August 18, 2010)—UK SR provider RG Jones marked its 25th anniversary of providing audio for the tennis world’s top tournament, Wimbledon.
The company was first called in to revamp The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club’s system in 1986, and following the basic installation, has been refining and adding to the sound facilities in the intervening years.
The number of departments operating behind the scenes at the Wimbledon site is vast. RG Jones’ engineers work with the officials to ensure that the umpires can be heard on the courts, and their communication systems are functioning correctly; coordinate with broadcasters to provide the correct sends for television/radio mix and to ensure correct cueing for live broadcasts; and liaise with the Club itself to ensure that the site-wide paging announcements are controlled and can be heard in all the right places.
Such a level of integration has led to a large deployment of an integrated comms system (fully integrated with the broadcasters’ comms system, leading to around 500 ports), a DSP network installed on site with 35 BSS Soundweb London devices, 10 BSS Soundweb Original devices, and Yamaha DME4ioC and Bose ControlSpace DSPs. This year, every court had an integrated PA system for the first time, used for umpires’ microphones and site-wide paging.
Thie 2010 Championships met with some moments in history too: the first day saw the latest finish, with the match on Centre Court ending at 10:54pm, and three days later, on the Thursday, the longest match in history concluded with an epic 68-70 final set. HRH The Queen attended the Championships for the first time since 1977, which was a particularly proud moment for RG Jones as the only sound company in the UK to hold the Royal Warrant. This coincided with the newly upgraded BOSE MA12EX and MB4 PA system for the Junior Tennis Initiative display, which features a pop music backing track.
A familiar sight over the years is the Bandstand on the Tea Lawn, for which RG Jones provide a high quality PA system. It was achieved this year with Duran Audio AXYS T-2112G2 and UB-25G2 units providing crystal clear full range loudspeaker output, and a Roland RSS M-400 digital mixer with digital “snake” multicore relieving the strain for the engineer.
The system at the All England Club ground is a mixture of permanently installed equipment and infrastructure, and temporary equipment installed for the period of the Championships. The ongoing installation program is managed by RG Jones’ Jon Berry and Tim Speight.
Aside from the playing areas and spectator facilities, there are sound systems covering everything from the car parks and queue lanes to the hospitality suites, administrative offices and hospitality areas.
The main distributed system for the iconic Centre Court bowl is based on 73 cross-firing Martin Audio AM10 two-way mid-high loudspeakers mounted in the stadium.
The bowl system is driven by 12 QSC ISA 800Ti 100V line amps and split into 24 four-wire speaker circuits, and controlled with the BSS Soundweb London system.
Jon Berry commented: “To work with a client for as long as 25 years is a great privilege, especially one as high profile as The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Matching their desire to host the world’s number one tennis tournament, with the technical aspects required to achieve that, along with maintaining a solution that can meet the ever changing regulations and trends, is a challenge that we relish.”
RG Jones Sound Engineering Ltd.