Nearly 30 years ago Cui Jian, the “Father of Chinese Rock”, performed “Nothing To My Name” during a concert at Beijing Workers’ Stadium. That song launched a cultural music movement that celebrated its 30-year anniversary with the Music Power Rock China 30 tour, recently launched at the same location.
An Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW) Adaptive Performance system – manned by FOH engineer Jim Ebdon – was on hand to reinforce the notable occasion.
“The arena is an older, round building made up of concrete, glass and metal,” explains Ebdon. “There was a festival-like stage set up in one end of the floor, which cut down on available floor space and limited seating to almost half of the arena. Our job was to cover the fans with the best music experience possible, which meant keeping the sound off of the walls and ceiling.”
Ebdon – who’s FOH engineering resume includes Maroon 5, Aerosmith, Sting and Matchbox Twenty – chose to accomplish this utilizing four EAW Anya columns reinforced by Otto subwoofers. The main PA was made up of left-right hangs of 12 Anya per side, while out fill was covered by two more hangs, this time consisting of eight Anya modules each. Six Otto subwoofers were flown behind the main PA with eight more stacked on the ground.
“There is no doubt that it was a challenging space, but Anya performed perfectly,” adds Ebdon. “We did sound check for two days. Initially we focused the PA on the floor seating area. When we opened it up to cover the entire venue the sound characteristic was identical. It was really quite impressive.”
The seating area dimensions for the Beijing Workers Stadium were plugged into EAW’s Resolution software, which determined the ideal three-dimensional wavefront for the desired area. From there the software communicates with the Anya modules to provide precise coverage. Ebdon notes, “This was incredibly useful in this space. If the sound started bouncing off of the walls it would have been a mess. Resolution was key to providing the clarity and audio quality the event required.”
Each Anya module is loaded with 22 transducers optimally sized for their intended bandwidth in order to deliver exacting audio quality. The resulting resolution delivers the highest quality audio exactly where it is required.
Otto subwoofers provided perfectly balanced low-frequency coverage to suit the concert. Each module includes two high-power 18-inch cones that utilize Offset Aperture loading to generate four optimally-spaced acoustical sources; one in each corner delivering exceptional efficiency and minimizing harmonic distortion.
“It was a sold out event that features many different styles of rock and roll,” concludes Ebdon. “The quality of the musicians was exceptional. The Adaptive system really delivered for the fans.”
Cutline: FOH Engineer Jim Ebdon (right) and Nan Hu, EAW brand manager for EZ Pro (left) fine tune the EAW Adaptive System before the tour begins.
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