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$4 million audio upgrade for the Xi’an Olympic Centre Stadium

As the largest and most versatile sports venue in the Shaanxi Province of Northwest China, the Xi’an Olympic Centre Stadium boasts three main zones: the stadium, with 60,000 seats; the gymnasium with 18,000, and the natatorium with 4,000. A venue of this size required a colossal audio system that could meet the ambitious needs of the stadium throughout the upcoming National Games and beyond. The responsibility of designing a high‐ quality audio system spanning across these three zones was given to Powersoft’s Chinese distributor EZPro. “The brief we were given was to create a world‐class audio system, that was advanced, stable, cost‐effective, and flexible,” commented Yongjun Jiang, EZPro’s technical manager of the project.

EZPro chose to rely on a total of 236 of Eastern Acoustic Works’ (EAW) loudspeakers, nine Allen & Heath digital mixers, four Symetrix digital processors, powered by 43 Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D amplifiers and controlled by ArmoníaPlus.

After investigating each venue’s size and acoustic conditions, and recognising speech comprehension as the most vital aspect of the audio setup, EZPro decided that the three venues of the sports centre were to be given different system layouts.

“The stadium and natatorium adopt a distributed layout to ensure coverage to all the seats, while we opted for a more centralised layout for the gymnasium, as it’s a smaller venue. Each EAW loudspeaker is given its own independent channel, allowing to simplify control of audio coverage and reduce interference.” EZPro chose to use 136 EAW loudspeakers for the stadium.

“The catwalk in the stadium has a weight limit for loudspeaker installations, so we had to take that into account when creating the system,” said Yongjun. “We also needed to consider the durability of any products we put out there, and in particular ensure that the loudspeakers were weatherproof, lightweight, precise, and with a high output.”

Driving these speakers are 34 of Powersoft’s Dante‐enabled Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D amplifiers.

For the diamond‐shaped gymnasium, sound reverberation presented another challenge, along with the need for the space to transform into a basketball court or an ice hockey rink when needed. For this area, EZPro opted for a total of 70 x EAW loudspeakers, a combination of RSX212Ls, RSX18Fs, RSX129s, and VFM129is.

Accompanying the loudspeakers are three Allen & Heath digital mixers and two Symetrix digital processors.

Finally, the natatorium features 30 EAW loudspeakers powered by eight Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804s DSP+D, along with two Allen & Heath digital mixers and two Symetrix processors.

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