Install of the Month
Jul 1, 2002 12:00 PM
WORKING THROUGH the night in subfreezing temperatures and several inches of snow isn't the type of gig that installation companies typically desire. However, this was the exact scenario facing audio contractor Live Business International when it refurbished the audio system at Xscape Snozone, a youth leisure complex in Milton Keynes, England. Xscape Snozone features food courts, shops, clubs, a multiplex cinema, a gymnasium and a climbing wall; however, the centerpiece is an indoor, 560-foot (170 m) ski slope. Twelve tons of snow are generated each night and kept frozen in a mean air temperature of 28°F (-2°C) plus eight miles of under-snow cooling pipes.
While the whole complex had its audio system updated, the ski slope had a completely new system installed. LBI has extensive experience using Technomad weatherproof loudspeakers (technomad.com) in harsh environments, so they were chosen for the ski slope. Eight Technomad Viennas were used along the length of the ski slope in four positions. Because the sound system has to cover a long, thin area, delay times are unusually lengthy, the longest over a third of a second. LBI also had to experiment with the delay time calculations because of the different speed of sound in subzero temperatures. A completely portable audio system for use by DJs was also installed, including Technics (technics.com) turntables, Denon (denon.com) CD players, DAS (dasaudoi.com) loudspeakers and a Soundcraft (soundcraft.com) FX8 desk, housed in custom-built racks and flightcases.
LBI's job was complicated further by the sound system having to be fully operational by day, despite the refurbishment and replacement work going on at night. Although that increased the difficulty of the task, the company managed it. The new system uses Yamaha (yamaha.com) CP 2000 amplifiers throughout the complex, with audio processing through BSS (bss.co.uk) MiniDrives. The existing loudspeakers were retained, working in parallel with new Turbosound (turbosound.com) Impact Series 80 and 50 loudspeakers in the bar and food court areas. A Trantec (trantec.co.uk) radio microphone is also routable throughout the entire system using the system's zoner. LBI's Roland Hemming, the designer of the new system, said, “We don't normally find ourselves installing audio systems in sub-zero temperatures, so this was an interesting challenge.”
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