One Systems Survives Canadian Badlands - ProSoundNetwork.com

One Systems Survives Canadian Badlands

One Systems loudspeakers are providing sound for theatregoers at the Canadian Badlands Passion Play amphitheatre located in the Drumheller Valley of Alberta province in Canada.
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Alberta, Canada (November 22, 2011)–One Systems loudspeakers are providing sound for theatregoers at the Canadian Badlands Passion Play amphitheatre located in the Drumheller Valley of Alberta province in Canada.

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The installation includes a number of One Systems 112IM 12-inch two-way speakers and 212Sub-W dual 12-inch subwoofers. EK Sound of Calgary, AB was awarded the contract for the installation.

The play is presented annually in a natural bowl amphitheatre located in the hills of the Canadian Badlands, with seating for nearly 3,000 people. For this particular venue, a traditional sound system, which typically uses speakers placed on either side of a stage, would not suffice. During the play, dialog emanates from many places around the theater and if audio came only from one location, the audience might be unaware of the location of the actors in a particular scene.

According to amphitheater executives, the speaker installation needed to be invisible. Therefore, each speaker had to be concealed to avoid spoiling the visual aspect of the show. To keep the speakers hidden, amphitheatre employees covered, buried, and even built some speakers into the set pieces.

“One important feature of One Systems speakers is their ability to change the coverage pattern of the horn,” explains Dave Harrison, system design and implementation manager at EK Sound. “A majority of the speakers were installed fairly close, while some were at further distances away. Tailoring the coverage to suit the location was very important, as well as the sound quality that sealed our decision.”

Traditionally, the play has not used any amplification in the 3,000 seat natural amphitheatre. Yet, with some action scenes taking place up to 200 feet away from the audience, it was difficult for the patrons to hear the dialog and music clearly in the open-air setting. A portion of the audience is elderly and has trouble hearing; therefore installing a sound system became important to insure the satisfaction of the visitors.

Harrison and the client made the decision that they would use localized reinforcement for this installation. A total of 19 speaker locations were chosen, some for music reinforcement, and some for dialogue. Working closely with EK Sound, actors now wear wireless transmitters and sound reinforcement takes place at, or very near where the actors are during a particular scene. This has eliminated many audio problems, including echoes due to arrival time issues.

“The sound quality and durability of the One Systems product are very impressive, and the speakers are performing as expected. Now audience members have no trouble hearing the entire production clearly. The client is very happy with the results,” comments Harrison.

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