An ArrayProcessing first, for BBC Proms in the Park

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Established in 1895, the BBC Proms today, is an annual eight week season celebrating international performers of classical, operatic and contemporary music. Historically centered around London’s Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park, in more recent times regional outdoor events, known as Proms in the Park, have popped up across the UK, giving listeners outside the capital a chance to participate in the Proms’ famous last night festivities.

Once again, The Warehouse Sound Services where asked to provide the sound equipment and crew for this year’s Proms in the Park at Glasgow Green. Located on the banks of the Clyde, the Glasgow event featured the Scottish Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and guest performers including Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, Claire Hastings, saxophonist Amy Dickson, and X Factor winner Alexandra Burke.

Due to the diversity and complexity of the music, the outdoor location, and live broadcast requirements, an advanced sound system was needed. Year on year The Warehouse looks to make improvements for the Proms event, utilizing the latest advances in technology, including, for 2015, developments in the d&b simulation software ArrayCalc. While this was the eighth time The Warehouse have supplied Glasgow’s Proms in the Park, it was the first time the d&b system, comprising J8s, J12s, J-SUBs, with T10s for frontfills, was powered by d&b D80 amplifiers and employed ArrayProcessing, the new ArrayCalc optimization tool for d&b line arrays.

“This huge space of Glasgow Green is an acoustical challenge for any system and engineer and d&b’s ArrayProcessing provided the perfect solution,” said hire manager at The Warehouse, and front of house engineer, Pete Harris. “I have mixed the BBC SSO at the same location for many years using the J-Series, but the site presents many problems when looking to achieve even coverage - the park has various undulations and generally slopes left to right.”

Adam Hockley of d&b Education and Application Support was onsite to implement ArrayProcessing for the D80. “Adam set the system to allow a 3 dB drop to 120 metres. Right from the start the difference was remarkable,” said Harris. “ArrayProcessing compensated for the natural attenuation of sound, to smooth the contour of Sound Pressure Levels and the tonal response inherent to couplings between enclosures. With playback music the mid frequencies that normally would have tailed off over distance were present right to the back of the field. Mixing the show was a very relaxed experience in the knowledge that the full mix was getting to the back of the audience. I was able to run the desk 10 - 15 dB quieter over the whole show because of the even coverage. Now I’m looking forward to deploying ArrayProcessing indoors.“

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