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Sochi Winter Olympics closes with Optocore

An Optocore dual redundant ring system was implemented at the heart of the audio infrastructure for the XXII Olympic Winter Games closing ceremony, which took place in front of 42,500 spectators at Fisht Olympic Stadium.

The formal operatic and cultural Opening Ceremony display made way for the more party atmosphere of the Closing Ceremony, which featured nearly 800 performers and representing hundreds of years of Russian history.

Audio Director Scott Willsallen of Australia-based sound specialist Auditoria was in charge of designing the technological infrastructure, placing all the transmission on a 24-node Optocore dual redundant ring and working with two different creative teams to fulfil different objectives.

Willsallen worked in conjunction with Italy-based concert and touring specialists Agora to design the routing topography. To create separate networks for broadcast and live, the Italian company purchased large quantities of energy efficient Optocore ‘R’ Series AES-EBU and MADI interfaces from Italian distributors, Audiosales, to add to existing inventory. These devices included DD32R-FX, DD4MR-FX, X6R-FX and TP, and X6P/X6 AD/DA converters — part of an inventory comprising nearly 50 interfaces. This sophisticated connectivity formed the hub of an audio infrastructure which in addition to the fibre signal transport, involved custom RF solutions and LAN networking across a coverage area measuring up to 4200m.

Optocore’s 2.21 protocol, which enabled 2Gbit bandwidth operation, was said to be crucial to meet the requirement of a high channel count. What’s more, by using all 24 ID’s Agora was able to take advantage of the maximum capacity of the fibre ring. Deployment of the TP (Twisted Pair) devices provided a Cat5 extension to expand the I/O of the field nodes as required.

Auditoria fielded the new L-Acoustics K2 system, with Optocore sending AES feeds to 230 of the new enclosures, arranged in different hangs — part of a massive L-Acoustics PA deployment.

The field nodes were all Analogue in / AES out and control nodes were MADI I/O at the FOH console. Field inputs were passively split into A (Optocore) and B (analogue) networks, with DiGiCo consoles outputting via MADI to Optocore with full analogue back-up.

DiGiCo SD7s at FOH and monitors were duplicated on the B network, which featured SD7B and SD11B broadcast desks. The broadcast ring tied the main system to the OB truck of Delta Media, another Optocore partner, for all necessary I/O and they delivered downstream mixes of playback, live and atmos mics for broadcast of the Ceremonies to OBS (Olympic Broadcast Services).