EAW Powers Presidential Address

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For the 50th Anniversary of the University of California-Irvine, U.S. President Barack Obama gave the commencement address at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA, via an Eastern Acoustics Works’ Anya loudspeaker system.

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The University contracted Goodman Audio Services, located just outside Anaheim, to handle sound reinforcement for the event, tasked with designing a PA that could reach seating as far as 600 feet away from the stage.

“Originally we thought about putting together a distributed array system,” explained Trace Goodman, president and senior audio designer with Goodman Audio Services.. “But cables, power and placement was going to be a challenge and coverage to the upper levels almost nonexistent. We needed to come up with a different option.”

After working with EAW’s Bernie Broderick and the ASG team, who used EAW’s Resolution software to configure the system, Goodman was confident that Anya would do the job.

“It was the perfect opportunity to see exactly what the system could do,” Goodman added. “We put together a large speech system that’s primary purpose was to make sure that everyone in the stadium could hear the President’s commencement address.”

The system design consisted of 28 Anya cabinets. PA towers were constructed 120 feet apart to the left and right of the stage. Because of the distance between the towers, Goodman opted not to set them up in traditional left-right hangs. Instead, each tower consisted of two arrays. The primary/outside array of 12 Anya modules were set to cover either the left or right seating areas with minimal overlap. The secondary/inside array—made up of two Anya modules—provided infill for the field seating area.

“Because the towers were so far apart, overlapping would have caused some serious multiple arrival times in the far left and far right seating areas,” explained Goodman. “Each array would be off to its opposite array by a minimum of 105 milliseconds. Instead, we had the two outside arrays just overlap enough to fill in the center stadium seating area. You could not hear any multiple arrival times with the two arrays overlapping at the 500 ft. mark.”

In addition to the Anya modules, Goodman also hung EAW NTL720s (four per side) for additional front fill. The self-powered, 3-way line array loudspeaker modules provided ample coverage for the seats close to the 60 x 20 foot stage. EAW NT59 loudspeakers were used to cover seating on the stage.

This article was originally published on Pro Sound News.

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