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Australian racecourse undergoes indoor/outdoor audio upgrade

Horder Communication Solutions has recently completed an upgrade of the indoor and outdoor audio systems for the South Australian Jockey Club at its Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide.

Horder Communication Solutions (HCS) has recently completed an upgrade of the indoor and outdoor audio systems for the South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) at its Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia.

The SAJC hosts 58 days of racing throughout the year at Morphettville Racecourse, while also featuring 22 function rooms for other events seven days a week.

Early in 2017 the SAJC published an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the upgrade of the audio systems at the Morphettville Racecourse. The existing audio systems were based on a network of Media Matrix Nion controllers and primarily Lab.gruppen amplifiers, which were to be retained. The loudspeakers were a diverse collection of box and ceiling loudspeakers, of varying quality and suitability. Overall, most areas did not perform well and complaints from members and guests were frequent.

HCS responded to the EOI, presenting a solution utilising the Community range of products. Providing audio to multiple zones, the sources varied from ‘all venue’ Race Day caller, broadcasts from local and interstate meetings, to conference presentation and live sound reinforcement.

The systems needed to provide a diverse range of acoustic solutions in the different areas to be covered. These included: large open indoor areas, requiring high resolution reproduction in noisy environments from ceiling speakers; two large open conference and exhibition pavilions with high ceilings; multiple intimate conference and presentation areas; the Main Grandstand and Horse Mounting Area; Heritage Grandstands, requiring sensitive loudspeaker positioning; and Lawn Areas.

After acceptance of the HCS bid, EASE modelling of all areas was carried out by Hills AV technical staff in conjunction with HCS, to provide final validation of the solution and the BOM, which included 338 Community D SERIES ceiling and pendant loudspeakers, 12 D SERIES subwoofers and 44 R SERIES loudspeakers. Community provided input files that made this process simple and accurate, with results that closely aligned with the predictions.

The indoor open areas were fitted with a combination of Community D4, D5 and D6 ceiling loudspeakers, where the wide dispersion pattern was an advantage for the low ceiling heights.

The Large Conference and Exhibition Pavilions are 45 x 25 and 30 x 15m ‘permanent temporary buildings,’ with glass and composite panel walls and high composite panel and canvas ceilings. One area has a suspended Tule inner lining to hide the ceiling structure, the other an open area with hung lighting truss frames.

Both areas were fitted with three rows of Community DP6 pendant loudspeakers, interspersed with D10SUB high output ceiling subwoofers painted white and hung as pendants. The room with the Tule treatment had the loudspeakers hung above the lining, resulting in a completely hidden sound system.

The lower levels of these pavilions are large open low ceiling areas and the installation of D4 ceiling loudspeakers, closely spaced and tapped to low power levels, resulted in a very clean and consistent sound quality that compensated for the reflective nature of the room.

Sound levels needed to be tightly controlled across all areas with the criteria of high SPL on the tiered seating, while avoiding reflections from the rear glass, very high SPL to the Diva Bar, breakout and side lawn areas and low SPL over the Mounting Yard, while retaining good coverage of the jockeys, owners and trainers areas.

The Lawn Areas are covered by six high-power, full-range large format horn-loaded R1-66Z loudspeakers, spaced across the 120 x 20m lawn frontage between the buildings and the track. With strategic positioning of additional R SERIES loudspeakers providing infill, the system achieves a very even and controlled SPL across the whole 265m Race Day presentation area.

“The system proved itself on Race Day,” commented Blake Kirby of Hills AV. “With thousands of race-goers in attendance it was possible to walk from any location to another within the complex and be subjected to the same uniform, outstanding sound quality.”

John Horder from HCS added: “I wanted to achieve ‘a warm bath of clear audio’. The combination of Community and Hills’ technical services was the perfect toolkit to achieve this and exceed the client’s expectations.”