LOS ANGELES--Since opening its doors in 1923, the LA Coliseum has made history many times over. Home of the University of Southern California Trojans football team, the iconic venue recently received its first major upgrade since hosting the 1984 Olympics Games. The venue’s impressive size dictated its audio equipment selection—a system that can efficiently project high-quality audio to the furthest seat as far as 1,000 feet from the sound source, and can clearly deliver the spoken word and other presentations to the more than 93,000 seats at the stadium. The LA Coliseum looked no further when it found the best solution in a Meyer Sound point-source system featuring the first permanent installation of the groundbreaking SB-3F sound field synthesis loudspeaker, a technological breakthrough designed to address the common challenge of intelligibility in large-scale sound reinforcement.
Over the past 85 years, the LA Coliseum has hosted the Olympics games twice, and is the only venue to stage both a World Series and two Super Bowls, as well as countless sports games, concerts and other events. Jon Lee, director of marketing of the LA Coliseum, reports that the Meyer Sound installation has made a dramatic improvement on the audience experience at the stadium.
“It’s hard to overstate what a difference this new sound system makes,” says Lee. “Spoken announcements are more intelligible; music is more powerful. The fans in the seats have a feeling of really being in touch with what’s happening on the field.”
Hugh O’Donovan of South San Francisco-based McCune Sound—the provider of the sound system—finds that the SB-3F is the ideal choice for this application, with the end of the stadium 1,000 feet from the audio system. “The Coliseum is a difficult venue due to its sheer size,” says O’Donovan. “The seating is a relatively shallow rake, so the farthest seats are quite a distance from the sound source. The SB-3F is really the only solution for a challenge like this—it projects the sound a phenomenal distance without any loss in intelligibility.”
Designed for delivering mid- and high-frequency energy over distances up to 1km, the high-powered SB-3F employs Meyer Sound's sound field synthesis technology with a total of 448 high-powered one-inch neodymium transducers purpose-built to create a highly directional wavefront. The result is a focused, coherent long-range sound field providing utmost clarity even for the furthest seat in a stadium.
According to Leo Caudillo, the Coliseum’s technical director, the decision to go with a Meyer Sound solution was made shortly after a listening test. “McCune brought in a small system for us to hear—just six MILOs, two SB-3Fs and two subs,” says Caudillo. “Within less than a minute of them turning it on, the decision was clear.”
Designed by Meyer Sound Design Services and installed by the Coliseum’s in-house team, the system comprises 12 SB-3F sound field synthesis loudspeakers with six each on either side of the game clock, along with two hangs of ten MILO line array loudspeakers per side. Low end is handled by a dozen 700-HP subwoofers in rows of three and arranged in cardioid formation with two rows in each enclosure to reduce low-frequency buildup on the field. Two MSL-4 and four UPA-2P loudspeakers cover outerfill duties for the far field and near field. A Galileo loudspeaker management system handles signal processing, while RMS remote monitoring system providing system monitoring.
McCune, which has been associated with the Coliseum for more than 20 years, has also provided a portable system for the USC marching band, comprising 24 M’elodie line array loudspeakers and some 650-HP subwoofers. “The band does some on-field numbers, and they’ve got these rather low, piercing bells,” O’Donovan says. “Through the portable system, they sound rather intimidating to the other team.”