Case Studies2018-06-12T11:38:56+00:00

London 2012 Olympic Games: Ceremonies audio system

December 2012

Scott Willsallen writes about his experience as Audio Systems Designer at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Once L-ACOUSTICS were selected as the brand of choice for the sound system at the Olympic Stadium for the Olympics and Paralympics at London 2012, the collective team faced a gargantuan task.  Exceptional sound was required to electrify a brand new stadium with a capacity of 80,000 for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Olympics and Paralympics as well as for every single athletic event held within the Olympic Stadium over a 29 day period in total.

The amount of kit required to meet these diverse needs was exceptional.  Most large-capacity touring gigs do not usually require more than 100 large format line source cabinets, but the Olympic Stadium hosted over double that figure.  Scott Willsallen Audio Systems Designer at London 2012 Ceremonies Limited, who was responsible for the design and implementation of the technology at the Olympic Stadium says that, “I’ve never put that much power in the air with a sound system before.” As far as L-ACOUSTICS is aware, no one has ever assembled together so many amplifiers to one network before either.

The total inventory comprised 220 V-DOSC line sources cabinets, plus 51 ARCS II downfill cabs spread out across 22 arrays, suspended from a custom tension ring made especially for the event.  An additional two arrays were suspended from the roof with 6 KUDO in each.  On the ground, a further 88 SB28 subs and 88 KUDO were provided as additional sound reinforcement for the opening and closing ceremonies.  The equipment was supplied by Delta Sound, Norwest Productions, Autograph and Britannia Row Productions.

Scott Willsallen from Auditoria Pty Ltd, London 2012 Ceremonies Audio Systems Designer

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games Ceremonies

June 2015

During the London 2012 games, I met with senior members of the Sochi team over coffee. Fisht Stadium was little more than a hole in the ground and in 18 months would host the Opening of the most expensive Olympic Games ever. Populous' design for Fisht Stadium is unique. The roof shape is inspired by the snow-covered mountains and the internally lit roofing materials are inspired by the famous jewel-incrusted Faberge Egg.

The stadium bowl and roof structures are independently self-supporting. The East and West roofs provide weather protection to the majority of the seating and are mirror images of each another with a gap between to expose the field of play to the environment. Each roof structure is supported by a massive North / South steel truss spanning the length of the building to support the on-field edge of the permanent roof as well as a temporary roof which filled the gap for security during the Ceremonies.

From an architectural point of view, Fisht Stadium is complex and beautiful. From an acoustical point of view, it is just complex. And to make sound design even more difficult, the stadium was never really finished. Site visits during design development gave us very little to see other than the concrete bowl.

Designing sound to architectural drawings is a familiar situation for Auditoria. However the complex shape of the stadium and the acoustically significant North and South hangars, coupled with late finishing building construction required a slightly different approach.

Scott Willsallen from Auditoria Pty Ltd, Sochi 2014 Ceremonies Audio Systems Designer

Inside The Sound Design for The 2012 Coachella Festival

February 2012

Scott Sugden writes about the sound design for the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Designing a sound reinforcement system for a large-scale music festival is a complex process, with the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, held this year in Indio, California, serving as an instructive case study.

Once again, the festival relied on Rat Sound Systems of Camarillo, California, to provide systems for all five stages. The L-shaped configuration of the stages, combined with the wide range of music styles performing at the festival, created a number of unique sound design challenges, including controlling sound bleed from one stage to another, tailored spatial coverage, and frequency control over extreme temperature ranges – in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the afternoon, and as much as a 50 degree temperature drop in the evening.

Rat Sound’s experience combined with L-ACOUSTICS line arrays and sound design tools proved a great match in overcoming these challenges to deliver quality concert audio to more than 650,000 who attended Coachella over two weekends, as well as the Stagecoach Country Music Festival on a third consecutive weekend.

Scott Sugden, Head of Applications, Touring, L-ACOUSTICS US