Inside the Audio of QuakeCon

With a following as fervid as any band’s (and in most cases, far larger), the Quake videogame franchise has been the focus of QuakeCon for nearly 20 years. While the first event was a gathering of 30 first-person shooter game fans in Garland, TX, today the annual, four-day event attracts more than 9,000 people to Dallas every summer. For this year’s convocation at the Hotel Anatole, Alford Media Services provided major audio support for the convention, straddling the line between corporate presentations and rock shows.
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Dallas, TX (August 21, 2015)—With a following as fervid as any band’s (and in most cases, far larger), the Quake videogame franchise has been the focus of QuakeCon for nearly 20 years. While the first event was a gathering of 30 first-person shooter game fans in Garland, TX, today the annual, four-day event attracts more than 9,000 people to Dallas every summer. For this year’s convocation at the Hotel Anatole, Alford Media Services provided major audio support for the convention, straddling the line between corporate presentations and rock shows.

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According to Steve Ellis, Alford FOH Systems Engineer, the audio system “is mainly used to reinforce presenters and game developers on stage using handheld and headset mics who discuss new games that are about to come out. They also show parts of the game onscreen,” Steve explains, “and we’ll crank it up for the soundtrack to get the audience even more involved in the gaming experience than they already are.”

“QuakeCon also does a movie event like Mystery Science Theater 3000 with comedians where they clown on the film and do a skit about it. The last night, there’s a tournament championship with a LAN party and the two leading contestants facing off on the main stage with play-by-play commentary from sportscaster-types who comment on the action.”

To cover all of these events, Steve and his team rigged up a Martin Audio MLA system for the hotel’s Chantilly Ballroom, which is 140 ft. wide by 200 ft. long, that consisted of 7 MLA Compact per side with 2 center clusters of 1 MSX sub over 4 MLA Mini enclosures. 2 arrays of 4 Mini over 1 MSX were ground-stacked off stage and 8 DSX subwoofers were in an upstage array.

Asked about special challenges, Steve responds, “We knew we had to go out wide with the main arrays because of the chandeliers, but they hung down further than we thought. With MLA, we were able to drop the PA about three feet without actually having to re-rig anything. We just lowered the motors and made the changes we needed using the software. That way, we were able to cover the room, a throw of about 145 ft. from the mains to the back wall with a trim of 18 ft., without bringing the whole rig down and rehanging it.”

QuakeCon
http://www.quakecon.org

Martin Audio
www.martin-audio.com