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Japan’s Kobe City Misaki Park Stadium upgrades sound system with Powersoft

The Stadium recently hosted the Rugby World Cup

The 30,000 capacity Kobe City Misaki Park Stadium in Japan, also known as the Noevir Stadium, has been in for a treat with an upgrade of its sound system with mostly Powersoft products.

The Stadium was constructed in 1970 and was last renovated in 2002. Its usual line-up includes local rugby and football, MMA competitions and serving as home to Andrés Iniesta’s J1 League club Vissel Kobe and rugby union Top League team Kobelco Steelers, but this year it played host to the Rugby World Cup. It was the first time the competition was held in Asia.

“The audio systems in a modern venue like Noevir Stadium have to be able to handle spoken word, music playback and even commercials,” explained Powersoft’s business development manager for fixed install, Marc Kocks.

“When designing or refurbishing an audio system in a stadium, you have to ensure that it is able to offer both flexibility and scalability. A good place to start is by selecting DSP- and Dante-enabled products, as they allow users to change the function and behaviour of the system with the click of a mouse. At the same time, powerful limiters and cross overs found on Powersoft amplifier platforms keep the system protected under all circumstances.”

Integrator for the project, Shigeyoshi Ariga, specified a total of 24 Powersoft X8’s, six Ottocanali 12K4 DSP+D’s, one Ottocanali 8K4 DSP+D and one Ottocanali 4K4 DSP+D amplifier platforms.

The X8’s are used to accommodate the line array systems, while the Ottocanali 12K4 DSP+D is in place as an auxiliary speaker for the upper tiers to cover any dead space. The 8K4 DSP+D has been included to accommodate any temporary speakers, and 4K4 DSP+D is mainly used to drive the Hi-Z speaker line and monitor speakers in the operating room.

These amplifiers power a sound system primarily designed to play audio that is related to video content shown on the screens during football and rugby matches, as well as distributing various announcements.

In-house system engineer and operator, Fumiaki Yuasa, commented: “The stadium was very difficult to control from a tuning point of view, as it has a lot of reflective surfaces that all get mixed up together. ArmoníaPlus’ Raised-cosine filter can help with this aspect under the group function.”

Noevir Stadium’s retractable roof was another difficulty for the team to work around, as Yuasa explained: “I tried to create the best conditions with the roof open, which was a complex task because of resonance points at certain frequencies. Using ArmoníaPlus, I was able to create grouping functions in order to turn this complex system into an easy-to-understand one, which in turn allowed me to carry out my work more efficiently.

“What I like most about ArmoníaPlus are the Interactive Tuning and Limiter functions. Interactive Tuning, in particular, is great, as it allows me to fine-tune the synchronisation with Smaart v8, which a lot of engineers are currently using, as well as make adjustments while looking at the screen and keeping the system quiet. This is a unique feature and an innovative way to reduce stress on engineers on site, something that has maybe been overlooked by other amplifier platforms.”

Shigeyoshi Ariga from the engineering department at TOA added: “It is not uncommon to have the amplifier room separated from the operating room by quite long distance, and this often makes it difficult to monitor the status of the power amplifiers or the output meter, as well as to detect faults remotely. With ArmoníaPlus, we are now able to centrally monitor all of these functions, which was a massive advantage for me.”