A New Direction

A New DirectionFull Article92005-08-15All Pro Sound in Pensacola, FL has a reputation for designing and building substantial, full-music stadium sound systems. Or, as company director Bobby Taylor says, systems that deliver "full get-it, throw-down sound."

That's the kind of system Bobby Taylor and All Pro Sound designed and installed for Auburn University's 85,000-seat Jordan-Hare Stadium-a system that attracted the attention of Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, AL. The 42,000-seat Ladd-Peebles hosts two of college football's hottest games: the GMAC Bowl and the Senior Bowl, both broadcast by ESPN.

Ladd-Peebles' sound system was badly in need of upgrade. An attempt was made in that direction with the purchase and installation of loudspeakers and the amps to drive them. But the effort was not entirely successful; coverage was still extremely uneven. When All Pro Sound stepped in, they could have easily started from scratch. Instead, they took great care designing a system that would not only give Ladd-Peebles first-rate sound, but did it by incorporating the existing equipment into the design, including EV MH4020 stadium horns, amplifiers, a mixer and outboard equipment.

"We spent a lot of time evaluating the components that had been purchased," Taylor said. "We pulled down all the existing speakers [configured in distributed system], brought them over to one side of the stadium, and re-created a central point-source system." He then added a large assortment of Community R-Series speakers: 11 R2-77s as home-side fills, and four Community R6 Basshorns located on top of the press box to give the system the musical impact that the client clearly wanted.

"The client and the Senior Bowl committee really wanted NFL-quality sound," Taylor pointed out. "With the addition of the Community loudspeakers into the redesigned system, we were able to achieve even coverage and consistent sound pressure levels, ±3 dB, from any seat in the stadium, along with broadband audio. I can take the frequencies down to at least the 40 Hz range. So we were able to take them from a traditional PA system, to a full-music sound system." Fourteen Community STS28s mounted under the press box area fill out coverage.

QSC amplifiers drive all the speakers in the Ladd-Peebles system: 12 PLX2402s, four PLX1602s and one X602V. All Pro Sound decided to use QSC's BASIS system, which offers configurable DSP, CobraNet audio transport, as well as system monitoring and control.

Because BASIS is TCP/IP-controlled, All Pro was able to tune the entire stadium wirelessly. Not only was this sort of operation more efficient, according to Taylor, but it was more accurate because he was able to listen to the changes he made as he made them.

"With the advent of TCP/IP-based processors, the days of an engineer, a radio and a tech in the rack room are over," Taylor observed.