From the climax of the Opening Ceremony to the closing of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, The Waters of Olympic Park in the epicenter of Medals Plaza – an elegant fountain and sculpture installation by Southern California’s WET – is delighting onlookers with a spectacular water, fog, and light show that integrates an Eastern Acoustic Works® (EAW®) QX Series sound system.
Surrounding the fountain’s 247-foot diameter, 700,000-gallon tank, a white metal sculpture structure, inspired by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s 1910 ballet The Firebird, envelops the pool with its wings and holds the burning Olympic Cauldron at its zenith. Inside the sculpture’s “neck,” an EAW QX Series and SB subwoofer soundsystem reproduces the classic orchestrations of Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich for the installation.
“The long, bird-neck structure had very little space for a sound system,” said Jim Scheffler, sound design audio engineer for WET, which conceived, designed, engineered and manufactured all of The Waters of Olympic Park. “However, I had to have exceptional coverage and output, and the QX boxes were exactly what I needed,” he continued.
The sculpture’s audio system was not to be visible, and with a structural support 1-meter in diameter running up the center, as well as the gas supply for the Olympic Cauldron’s flame, Scheffler had to choose components wisely. He achieved 270-degree coverage around the fountain with just eight QX series enclosures: four QX544i-WP as a center cluster and another four QX564i-WP along the left and right sides, all powered by twelve Powersoft K10 DSP+AESOP 2-Channel High Performance Power Amplifiers. Lastly, he spread out six SB2001 subwoofers at the base of the structure.
“The EAW Resolution software made it easy to map out the performance I needed,” Scheffler said. Even though the nearest spectators are no less than 200 feet from the structure, Scheffler attained more than 100 dB of output at the closest range, and 85 dB all the way to the extremes of the Olympic Park.
Besides satisfying SPL requirements, Scheffler also loved the sound quality of the EAW system. “Our intention was for an extremely smooth, full-fidelity reproduction of music,” he said. “Classical music is to be heard—not hyped—as close to linear as possible. This EAW system has it all, from great sound to high output.”