Impressed by the significantly increased processing capability and new BLU link 256-channel low-latency bus incorporated into the latest generation Soundweb London DSPs, RG Jones' sales & installation manager, Jon Berry, opted to specify the devices for the latest phase of work.
"We could see the benefits immediately," said Berry, who was introduced to the new Soundweb London units by Harman Pro UK (since acquired by Sound Technology) in March. "The whole benefit resided in BLU link, which gave us 256 channels of networked audio. The eight SHARC cards provide four times the processing power, enabling us to create lots of matrices of the signal without any risk of running out of processing capacity."
Ultimately, Berry and his team interfaced some of the original 'Green' Soundweb DSPs with the BLU system as a multi-core configuration using AES-EBU connections. The BLU system in question is based around three BLU-800s and 27 BLU-160s, with control and monitoring undertaken in the Broadcast Centre PA room via a HiQnet London Architect GUI developed primarily by Duncan Owen, who worked on the 2002 refit. A mirrored control system has also been installed in the Centre Court PA room.
The other major tier of RG Jones' latest phase of work at the All England Club involved the provision of a PA system for temporary installation on Centre Court. The challenge of locating all the speakers in the fixed part of the roof, avoiding the considerable air-conditioning ductwork, led Berry to consult a number of manufacturers during the long preparatory period.
Opting for a surface element approach, Berry eventually selected a solution proposed by Martin Audio and, specifically, its EASE modelling expert, Peter Child, who recommended a system based around front- and rear-facing AM10 loudspeakers. The final installation comprises 71 AM10s, horizontally formatted to reduce sightline obstruction and housed in weatherproof enclosures, driven by 12 QSC ISA 800Ti 100V line amps.
With the 2008 Championships now at an end, the Martin Audio system will be removed as work begins in preparation for the final stage of Centre Court's redevelopment, which involves the creation of a retractable roof. The AM10 system will be re-installed on a permanent basis, fixed to Centre Court's new soffit, at the conclusion of this process.