SSE Audio installation specialists Paul Todd and Eddie Thomas have installed a scalable QSC Q-Sys digital audio network at London’s ExCeL Exhibition Centre with Shure Distribution UK providing the QSC equipment for the install. The system is based around a Core 1100 processor and replaces ExCeL’s aging background music system, and is used in conjunction with an existing Ateis voice alarm.
Having struggled with the daily management of the previous system, ExCeL gave SSE a brief to create a fully redundant network with a bespoke, user-friendly GUI. Q-Sys has been integrated into ExCeL’s existing fibre network ring, and now distributes up to 256 x 256 digital audio channels from 18 racks, each with fibre network connectivity and full redundancy.
ExCeL London offers a total of 100,00sqm of usable space across 50 separate areas, which are now all served by Q-Sys, with up to 20 simultaneous events able to be controlled at once from two touchscreens in the operations room. In addition to its capacity to play background music, Q-Sys allows the organisers to make announcements to any of the halls. The system is complemented by flexible routing and, despite its complexity, remains simple to configure and easy to operate by the staff.
The remote reporting options on the Q-Sys sends alerts directly to the installers so SSE’s engineers are kept up to date with how the system is operating. “We usually know about any faults before the staff at the venue. It also lets us know if any replacement equipment is needed before we visit the site, which eliminates multiple trips and shortens system downtime for ExCeL,” explained Paul Todd.
Shure applications support engineer Tom Colman commented: “Paul and Eddie are Q-Sys super-users who share an enormous amount of experience creating bespoke audio networks; their work makes you realise just how powerful a well-designed Q-Sys network can be.”
Paul Todd concluded: “I estimate that ExCeL will not have to upgrade the Q-Sys network for 10 years at least. The client is extremely happy with the results; they actually described the new system as ‘life changing’.