16 October 2015

d&b are in the game at Baku

Earlier this year Baku hosted the inaugural European Games. Almost six thousand athletes competed in twenty different sports, from traditional athletic competitions to less high profile events such as beach soccer and BMX cycling.

Specialist audio supplier, Dimension, and Sports Technology Director, Damian Rowe were responsible for supplying the audio for all competition venues and the numerous corporate and press facilities. Rowe is no stranger to events of this magnitude; a veteran of the Sochi Winter Olympics, London 2012 and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, his CV is something of a gold standard.

Project Manager, Mike Sumner worked alongside Sports Technology in Sochi and London and was Head of Audio for Glasgow and Baku. “It’s probably easier to say which d&b systems we didn’t use rather than the ones we did. T10s were the perfect choice for the Basketball Arena, with a capacity of two and a half thousand, while the nearly four thousand seater Beach Arena was rigged with V-Series. No matter which product, be it new or old, d&b reliability and quality of sound is a given. The value of that is hard to quantify, especially when you’re working so far away from home.

“In the Crystal Hall indoor arena, originally built for the Eurovision Song Contest, there were three venues. For boxing, we used an almost identical T10 system to the one that was in the Excel Centre for London 2012 and the SECC for the Glasgow games; a solid endorsement of that loudspeaker as one could get.” For fencing, karate and taekwondo, the space was adapted to suit the sport being played; with no means of flying an array, Sumner tried something new, using Y10Ps as a stand-alone point source system. “They were light and easy to rig and performed exceptionally well, giving a really warm feel in the low to mid range.”

Sumner is equally enthusiastic about ArrayCalc: “Throughout the planning process and then once we’re onsite it plays an invaluable role. With events of this nature, we visit the venues and measure the rooms that are then built into ArrayCalc. But, of course, it’s not unusual to find that venues are not completed in time or when we arrive onsite the spaces have been altered significantly. With ArrayCalc we can pitch up and make the necessary changes without it becoming a time consuming or logistical nightmare. I wouldn’t leave home without it. Even when we are using loudspeakers from another manufacturer, that don’t offer a calculation programme, I would still refer to ArrayCalc to offer a ballpark solution. The fact that it’s free and available to everyone is amazing.”

Sumner undoubtedly views d&b as somewhere he can comfortably hang his hat. “There are many reasons I’d always be happy using d&b, not least that they perform so well. There’s always a speaker in the range that fit’s the job perfectly and the fact everything is so interchangeable means that, across twenty odd venues, we were able to provide the right solution in the right place. In an environment where help can be hard to come by easily, a choice of d&b loudspeakers is something of a ‘get out of jail’ card for me.”


Photographs courtesy of Harry Engels and Jamie Squire - Getty images.