The renovated video control and broadcast room at Fifth Third Field Ballpark in Dayton, Ohio, US, home of the Dayton Dragons Minor League Baseball team, now features two Harman Soundcraft Si Expression 3 audio consoles, significantly expanding the digital capabilities of the broadcast and production team.
The ballpark holds the record for consecutive sold-out games, which include all American professional sports teams. A multi-use facility with seating for 7,800, it is used for baseball and various speciality events. The new digital system is therefore designed to be flexible and expandable: the Si Expression 3 was installed in the production control room, feeding live signals to the audience, while the console in the broadcast room is responsible for broadcasting 25 games every season to local CBS affiliate networks.
“We wanted to move away from complex analogue structures, and decided that the Soundcraft Si Expression 3 was the best choice,” said Scott Rohrer, creative technologist for Mandalay Baseball, the team's parent company. “When compared with a Yamaha LS9 console, the Si Expression blew it out of the water, in terms of digital options and what we could do with it. From my experience with the Si Compact line and this console, Soundcraft has earned a well-deserved reputation.”
Given the limited size of the booths where the operations take place, the Si Expression 3 consoles fit the bill by providing power in a modest form factor. Also, both consoles are configured with a Soundcraft Dante option card, which adds expandability and provides a 64 x 64ch interface to any Dante-compatible device from Harman or other third-party manufacturer.
“The new consoles allowed us to play around with many digital options; MADI links, and the functionality of the Dante card was a big advantage,” said Rohrer. “Having 10 games under our belts so far with the Si Expression, the digital flexibility has been simply amazing. Our system now has a much more simplified integration of networks and gear than before, without compromising the audio quality.”
Darren Whitten, account executive with integrator Alpha Video Sports & Entertainment, said, “We are honoured that Mandalay Baseball chose us to provide the integration services for their new control room. Even though they’ve never had problems filling seats at Fifth Third Field, the new control room will definitely enhance the game day experience for their fans.”