Edmonton, Canada (March 30, 2018)—The new Rogers Place arena in Edmonton, Canada houses the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club, crowds of up to 18,000 people and a massive sound system from d&b audiotechnik. Oilers Entertainment Group’s consulting team, led by Vernon Mason, worked with acoustic consultancy, Orchestral Arts Inc. (OAi), to create the system.
Dale Fawcett, principal of OAi, observed that “When an architectural drawing set for Rogers Place was presented to Orchestral Arts, some acoustical challenges became immediately apparent. Unlike arenas which position loudspeakers above and around the center ice score clock, the main loudspeakers in this arena would need to be lowered and moved closer to the listeners.”
To alleviate undesirable reflections, the main seating bowl within the arena has a number of acoustical features, and the extent of the acoustic treatments required principal architectural firm HOK Architects to play a role in guiding their completion through the construction processes.
Fawcett used EASE acoustics simulator software to verify an installation solution founded upon 10 line arrays of d&b V-Series arranged around the seating bowl. Specifically, the Vi8 installation version was used to shape the main arrays, with three cardioid Vi-SUBs deployed immediately behind each array, all powered by D80 amplifiers. Delays for the upper concourse seating and the writing press, fill speakers for seating immediately bordering the mid bowl dasher boards, and fills for the players and officials on the ice was accomplished using the d&b Yi10P point source loudspeaker. A combination of d&b D20 and D80 amplifiers were used for the Y-Series enclosures.
The ten subwoofer arrays are timed precisely to the full range Vi8 arrays for maximum LF impact. Three V-SUBs are the same height as each mains. This presents a small profile viewed from the front of each array, which visually allows them to sit just above the score-clock’s four 22 feet by 38 feet 16:9 HD video displays. The passive designs of the Vi8 loudspeaker and Vi-SUB cardioid subwoofer, plus their smaller size and weight, help in putting together a straight forward installation.
Beyond the arena bowl Oilers Entertainment Group provided Orchestral Arts with detailed input lists for every room. Coordination with the Oilers Entertainment Group team during construction was the task of Calgary-based Daryl Yakielashek. “I introduced the idea of a QSC Q-SYS solution,” said Fawcett. “Ray Rayburn of Sound First LLC in Colorado, USA created the design for the dedicated dual redundant digital audio network as well as extensive software for Q-SYS. Ray Rayburn, an AES Life Fellow, is one of the most capable audio professionals worldwide. The system has more than 480 inputs and 420 outputs, and includes 1,500 distributed loudspeakers throughout the facility on many signal delays all timed off the respective d&b arrays. Dedicated Q-SYS outputs exist for each of the d&b amplifier channels.”
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While the acoustic and sound system was designed for hockey, it is also available for touring acts. “The bowl system has the capability to connect the d&b arrays and subwoofers to a touring system, specifically to the far end zone but also other zones,” said Fawcett. “With d&b included on many riders, it is hoped that this use will develop over time, and maybe even operatic events. For touring acts—an important revenue stream for the facility—the acoustic treatment in the bowl was envisioned to provide a good feel for artists and engineers first entering and then rehearsing in the space. Keith Urban, who gave the inaugural concert, was quoted on the Rogers Place website: “So many arenas are purely built for sport and the concert sound suffers, but not Rogers Place. It’s one of the best sounding arenas I’ve played in.”
d&b audiotechnik • www.dbaudio.com