Technology trends – sports venue audio23 April 2014
Danley Sound Labs gives some pointers on how to tackle the high SPL environments typical of sports stadiums.
With a design team led by celebrated acoustician Tom Danley, Danley Sound Labs has developed an extensive catalogue of loudspeakers and subwoofers that aim to sidestep the constraints and trade-offs of conventional designs. Its original patented Synergy Horn and Tapped Horn technologies led to a range of products that deliver point-source sound with high fidelity at any volume, with excellent phase coherence, arrayability and pattern control.
In its latest generation of products, including the Jericho Horn and the Genesis Horn, those systems have been combined with Tom Danley’s newest patent-pending technologies, Shaded Amplitude Lens Technology and Paraline, to deliver those same advantages in the high SPL environments typical of sports stadiums.
While still point sources – and retaining all of the advantages of point sources – the new designs allow controlled SPL by distance to provide even coverage to raked seating – the company claims that this pulls the rug out from under the line array’s claim to fame and says that sports venues are increasingly turning to Danley Sound Labs.
Perhaps the most visible arenas to turn to Danley are 80,750-seat Lambeau Field, home to the Green Bay Packers, and 74,000-seat Ralph Wilson Stadium, home to the Buffalo Bills. Fans of both NFL teams now enjoy impactful music and crystal-clear announcements with distributed Danley Genesis Horns, supplemented by a range of Synergy Horn loudspeakers and Tapped Horn subwoofers. South of the border, Juárez Vive in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico seats 12,000 baseball fans and employs a distributed ring of Danley SM80 loudspeakers and TH118 subwoofers.
Danley’s rising visibility is well represented by college football stadiums around the country. The immensely powerful Jericho Horn has been used in several end-fired systems, including Montana State University and Troy University, which cover 30,000 and 17,000 seats with just a single Jericho Horn. Two Jericho Horns suffice for Grand Valley State University (8,500 seats), Florida Atlantic University (30,000 seats), and Northwestern University (47,000 seats). Brigham Young University and University of Arizona each use four Jericho Horns to cover 64,000 and 56,000 seats, and Michigan State University uses six Jericho Horns to cover 80,000 seats.
The thunderous roar from the crowds at 92,500-seat Tiger Stadium at Louisiana State University has earned it the title of loudest stadium in the world, and it now has a sound system to match: 18 Jericho Horns paired with six Danley “Rock Monster” subwoofers provide abundant SPL with Danley’s characteristic fidelity..
The most recent additions to Danley’s roster include Boise State University (end-fired, four Jericho Horns plus two BC415 subwoofers, for 36,000 seats), Washington State University (end-fired, five Jericho Horns plus four Rock Monster subwoofers, for 33,500 seats), and Mercer University (end-fired, two Genesis Horns plus two DBH218 subwoofers, for 6,000 seats). The colossal stadiums at University of Illinois and University of Wisconsin both added beefy low end with four giant Rock Monster subwoofers.
Indoor stadiums at all levels are also benefitting from Danley designs. The NHL’s Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio is home to an all-Danley system consisting of SH96HO and TH118 products and has the reputation of the being the best-sounding venue in the National Hockey League. Washington State University’s basketball stadium uses 12 Genesis Horns to cover 11,500 seats. Wichita State University’s 10,500-seat Koch Arena covers fans and the court with eight clusters that circle the top ring of a new centre-hung video board, each comprised of an SH96, SH64, and an SM80. Four TH118 subwoofers provide low end.
Other Danley installations include Olivet Nazarene University, which uses Genesis Horns, SH100s, and TH118 subwoofers, and Family Arena, which supported its full-range system in a 10,000-seat venue with a single BC412 subwoofer. Danley’s weatherproof OS80 loudspeakers have found ready venues both indoors (J.D. McArthur Arena for ice hockey) and outdoors (Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Florida State University).