Victoria, Australia (July 11, 2016)—Live audio for the recent National Mountain Bike Championships in Victoria, Australia was handled by Allen & Heath Qu and ME systems provided by event and PA company, DURT Pty Ltd.
It’s not as simple as putting up a few speakers on sticks, explained DURT MD, Russell Baker: “The location for a major mountain bike event can be the size of 10 football fields; there will be several concurrent events, each with their own audio requirements; plus briefing, meeting and conference areas which require audio but also minimal background noise. The trails can be upwards of 8 square kilometers, and the audience, often well over 10,000 capacity, can be spread over several mountains, with local areas attracting their own large crowds all needing entertainment, race information and atmosphere.”
With all those needs in mind, a Qu-32 was stationed in a control cabin, with AR2412 and AR0804 IO racks as two external connection points, an aerial farm and router on the roof, plus iPad and iPhone control to manage longer distance coverage.
“The Qu managed multiple cable and wireless microphone systems, but the large distances and mountainous terrain meant that normal wireless couldn’t always cover it all, so handheld radios, coming in through DI boxes and iPhones plugged straight into the board, were used to get live race reports back from the distant parts of the courses,” says Baker.
The Qu provided FOH speaker feeds of up to 18 main speakers from six zone mixes, plus feeds to web and broadcast partners, and mixes to control the ducking. TV, web and broadcast had their own dedicated commentary and interview mixes without music due to licensing issues, and a separate phase and delay adjusted music feed was provided to broadcast engineers to help cancel out microphone spill of background music.
In each separate sport zone, the local commentators were able to duck the music in their area, plus there was a ‘whole-of-event’ mix, with ducking control of all sources, which was used for major items and as an emergency announcement system. As different events reached climactic stages, their commentary was patched to the main event center using scene changes.
Additionally, a ME system was used primarily for commentary and broadcast operators, enabling them to generate their own monitor mixes remote from the Qu-32 and as a PAFL system to check signal sources.
Allen & Heath