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STANFORD STADIUM MEYER SOUND Stanford University has completed the first phase of a major upgrade programme of sound reinforcement systems across its campus athletic venues. By early summer of this year, all-new Meyer Sound systems based on column array loudspeakers (CAL) with advanced beam-shaping technology were in place at the 50,000-capacity Stanford Stadium, the Avery Aquatic Centre, and the Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium, home field for the school’s softball team. Stanford Stadium and the Aquatic Centre were designed, engineered and installed by Diversified, a global technology solution provider, while Stanford worked with an electrical contractor to engineer and install Smith Stadium. Meyer Sound Design Services collaborated during the design phase, with prominent sports venue consulting firm WJHW providing oversight and guidance on the football stadium and aquatics systems. Stanford Stadium - home to PAC-12 Cardinal football - was built in the 1920’s as a mammoth bowl, seating upwards of 89,000, then completely reconstructed as a dual-deck stadium in 2006 for a more up-close fan experience. The system installed after the rebuild, based on conventional loudspeaker technology, was showing its age and its acoustical limitations. For this year’s renovation, the design team decided to rethink what was possible using the newest digital beam-shaping technology as incorporated in Meyer Sound’s self-powered column array loudspeakers. A total of 80 Meyer Sound column array loudspeakers were installed at the stadium, using all three models in the series: the 10ft high CAL 96 (with 96 individually 024


processed and amplified loudspeakers) as well as the smaller CAL 64 and CAL 32 models.“The beam steering technology lets you put a loudspeaker in what otherwise would not be an optimal vertical location,” said Peter O’Neil, Director of Engineering at Diversified. “Horizontally it needs to be set in the right place, but in the vertical dimension you can use the beam steering to successfully cover the seating plan in a way often not otherwise possible.” “The extraordinary pattern control avoids problems often encountered in large stadium sound systems,” explained WJHW Associate Principal, Mark Graham. “One problem with distributed systems, when using long throw loudspeakers, is that if you don’t have the vertical control of the Meyer column arrays, you can have sound from one side of the stadium leaking over to the other side. And if it’s loud enough it will degrade intelligibility of the spoken word. But with the CALs and their narrow vertical pattern we can pretty much dictate exactly which seating areas each loudspeaker will cover and prevent that problem.” Mark also noted how the slender profile of the column speakers enables discreet coverage of problem areas of upper decks between lighting structures. “With conventional solutions crossfiring into those areas you can have horrible problems with time arrivals. But with these column arrays, we simply add a small pole, which is fairly inexpensive and unobtrusive architecturally, and you can steer sound right down into that area.” Although presenting a slender profile, the column array loudspeakers have ample power to punch through crowd excitement, according to Meyer Sound

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