Almost 100 Quattrocanali provide audio backbone for US stadium overhaul

Powersoft amplifier platforms were key to a full audio overhaul at 44,500-capacity Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, home to the Boston College Eagles American football team.

The project began in earnest when system designer Idibri, a Salas O’Brien Company, responded to an RFP from Boston College to install new audio systems around the stadium, from the bowl itself to the concourses, suites, broadcast booths and press rooms.

“We were tasked with upgrading several generations of technology all at once,” explains Ben Boeshans, senior consultant for Idibri. “We started designing the project in the first months of the Covid-19 lockdown, meeting regularly with Boston College representatives online and dealing with all of the supply chain issues as the project progressed.”

Boston College tasked Idibri with delivering a system that could provide clean, intelligible audio throughout the venue, as well as limiting the amount of residual sound that would spill outside of it. After considering their options, Idibri decided that the Powersoft amplifier platforms were sure to possess the power, reliability, and efficiency over time to match the variety of speakers used in the design.

Ryan Knox, associate vice-president of Idibri, elaborates: “We needed 98 Quattrocanali in total, which were installed in seven locations around the facility. The primary signal is via Dante from Q-SYS, with an analogue backup, while all of the control is taken care of by a number of DiGiCo consoles.”

Idibri selected weatherised Fulcrum Acoustic FL283, FH15 series, CCX series and RX series speakers to serve as the PA system in the stadium bowl, while the field system was made up of L-Acoustics Syva with KS21 subwoofers. All of the suites, press rooms, broadcast areas and concourses were outfitted with a variety of QSC AD series speakers, with six redundant pairs of Q-SYS cores of various sizes for signal processing.

“Given the supply chain challenges the industry is facing right now, we knew that we would encounter some hurdles,” says Boeshans, commenting on the support provided by the local Powersoft team. “We worked closely with Powersoft and the project’s integrator, Diversified, to ensure that the specified products could arrive in time for the project, and we were even able to swap in more Powersoft amps when others couldn’t make the timeline.”

The audio team made extensive use of the third-party Q-SYS plugin within the Powersoft amplifier platforms, which they used to control power status, implement backup strategy, and engage in real-time system monitoring alongside Powersoft’s HealthPlus software.

“Rick Woida from Powersoft provided some really useful guidance for us on programming the A+ file, as well as hanging out on site with us during commissioning and the first game,” adds Knox. “He also assisted in creating custom speaker presets for speakers that weren’t previously in the library and used A+ [ArmoníaPlus]’s error reporting to help us track down a few wiring issues”

Boston College audio engineer Adam Ferguson summarises: “Overall, we are impressed with the service and products Powersoft were able to provide, particularly when you consider the supply chain issues that they managed to overcome for us. They are a great manufacturing partner for this kind of project.”

Info: www.powersoft.com

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