Q-Sys Upgrades Detroit’s Ford Field

At Ford Field, home of the NFL Detroit Lions, fans are now hearing an enhanced audio experience with the help of QSC’s Q -Sys integrated system platform.

The original audio system at Ford Field was comprised of multiple, interconnected DSP systems of varying ages and types — an infrastructure ripe for potential disaster and in need of an audio overhaul.

“The former system was a mixture of analog and networked digital audio using a variety of processors and technology," said audio consultant and integrator, John W. Horrell of Durrell Sports Audio Systems. "A main DSP was used for overall system EQ and then fed twenty-six other DSP devices which provided the voicings for the main stadium clusters. A back of house system used still another DSP structure to feed the concourses, the locker rooms, the media areas and ticketing. With so many potential points of failure, servicing the system was a big problem — especially if a failure happened just before a game, as it did on one terrible occasion when the audio for the entire bowl area was lost.”

This incident was the impetus for a total audio system remake. Durrell Sports Audio Systems was tasked with the challenge of redesigning the entire control system, removing the old components, checking the existing amplifiers and speakers and commissioning the entire audio system — three weeks prior to the 2010 National College Hockey League Playoffs. Durrell opted for a Q-Sys system comprised of 2 Q-Sys Core 3000 main frames and 27 Q-Sys I/O frames.

“The Q-Sys installation was a delight and we actually had it connected and talking to all 125 amplifiers within three days,” Horrell said. “Operation and Installation are far more efficient. Q-Sys is a single point-to-point type of technology that allows the routing of audio inputs to any specific point, which offered us a huge improvement over the series connected DSP boxes in the old system. Instead of three separate computer programs plus more than 27 DSP processors, we operate within one program. Combine that with less signal latency, better output quality and constant assurance of equipment status — and Q-Sys was an excellent choice in this situation.”

“Durrell Sports Audio Systems provides our national clients with links to their computerized audio systems from our offices here in Nashville. During the NFL season, we have engineers monitoring all the games being played each Sunday. With Q-Sys, we were able to set up management parameters which alert us if there is something that should be looked at. Problems like over-heated amplifiers or unusual impedances can be singled out and actually addressed from 500 miles away.”

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