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Powersoft on the evolving world of audio in sports venues

Marc Kocks, business development manager for fixed install at Powersoft, reveals what the growing presence of IT means for sports venue sound systems and how this green manufacturer balances power and energy efficiency in large-scale systems.

From the perspective of an amp manufacturer, what are the main challenges when scaling up an audio system for large-scale sports venues?

Large-scale sport venues are not only focussed on sports. More often those venues are also used for other functions like live concerts and other events. The multifunctional use of the venue demands full flexibility of the audio system. The system will need to be reconfigured for the various applications by full remote and network control.

How do you balance the high output often needed in sports venues with Powersoft’s low footprint approach?

Powersoft is known as a manufacturer of powerful and efficient amplifiers. Over the last years the range has been extended with dedicated fixed install products like the Ottocanali, Quattrocanali and Duecanali. Those products are a perfect addition to the portfolio and allow for the design of the most powerful, flexible and efficient system. The efficiency and power consumption is one of the most important system design considerations. A reduced mains power need will result in a huge reduction in a no break system needed for voice alarm application, while reducing the thermal emission of the amplifiers will result in a cost saving in rack space and cooling required for the amplifier racks.

Does the growing presence of IT systems in sports venues simplify or complicate things?

The growing presence of IT systems simplifies the use and operation of the audio system. The control of the system can be combined with other systems and be very user-friendly. Powersoft’s powerful DSP platform offers the user full integration while guaranteeing the best audio quality. Digital audio networks like Dante allow for full integration of the audio system into the venues IT system.

What have been the major innovations in audio over the last few years in respect to sports venue projects?

Audio systems in large-scale sport venues have a demand for being full range and able to reinforce spoken word, music playback, commercials and live music. Another specification of the audio system can be to be part of the voice alarm (VA) system. In this case the PA and VA system is combined. Within this PA-VA system audio quality is combined with extensive monitoring and control of the system. Powersoft’s Ottocanali offers multiple systems to ensure operation in mission critical environments, while the low current draw allows for full integration in the emergency power systems required.

Tell us about a recent installation project that highlights Powersoft’s expertise in this sector.

Back in the summer of 2013, system integrators, fulfil engineering, replaced the main PA along the four stands at Signal Iduna Park, home to Bundesliga club, Borussia Dortmund. At the time they left the existing EAW sound system providing coverage in the four corners for future upgrade. This has now been implemented, and at the same time, the previous two-channel amplifiers have been retired in favour of Powersoft’s eight-channel process-controlled solution.

A large quantity of Powersoft’s streamlined, super energy-efficient Ottocanali installation amplifiers have been specified in combination with the advanced X8 Series. Main decision was driven by high power output, eco-friendly devices, controllable through the proprietary Armonía Pro Audio Suite software platform, Powersoft.

Picture: Charlotte Busschaërt