Omaha, NE (April 1, 2020)—Omaha’s 18,300-seat CHI Health Center arena recently underwent a massive audio upgrade integrated and installed by the Sports and Entertainment division of Alpha Video.
Alpha Video’s complete overhaul of systems in the arena included a complete network infrastructure upgrade on 10 GB fiber optic with fully redundant topology, new back-of-house systems, and new DSP and control systems. Also new are two Yamaha consoles, with a QL5 at FOH and a QL1 at scoreboard control. Key to the effort was the replacement of a Meyer Sound point source cluster system that had been in place since the arena first opened in 2003. In its place now is a new Meyer system based around Leopard line array loudspeakers.
60 Seconds with John McMahon of Meyer Sound
CHI Health Center had worked extensively with Alpha Video on its broadcast systems, so Gino Meyer, manager of audio-video technology for the Omaha Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA), the venue’s manager and operator, called on Jeff Volk, vice president of sports & entertainment, to work on solutions. System design was a collaborative effort involving Alpha Video broadcast design engineer Fred Street in consultation with Meyer Sound Design Services. Although the planning process extended back to 2018, the actual installation was accomplished in two compressed time windows in summer and then late fall of 2019. The result, according to Meyer, has been a markedly improved audience experience.
“Creighton University men’s basketball is our main tenant here, so we really wanted a system with both very high intelligibility plus a really solid low end,” says Meyer, “since most of the incidental music for them is hip-hop. We really needed a system with punch, and the new Meyer Sound system definitely delivers.”
The system’s 88 Leopard line array loudspeakers are configured in six hangs, with four arrays of 16 each at the corners for near and far throw, and two of 12 each for the end arrays with a shorter throw. For low end impact, the 12 900-LFC low frequency control elements are deployed in four cardioid arrays, with two LF arrays of three each flown over the end Leopard arrays and two on the sides between the corner arrays. System drive and processing is courtesy of five Galaxy 816 network platforms, with three RMServers implementing comprehensive remote system monitoring.
“Predicted maximum levels are well over 90 dB, and we’re certainly capable of doing that,” said Alpha Video’s Fred Street. “We didn’t have time to do any formal intelligibility measurements, but it really wasn’t necessary. The clarity is amazing. It’s smooth, consistent and beautiful-sounding, top to bottom and all the way around.”
In addition to Creighton University men’s basketball, the CHI Health Center arena also regularly hosts NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament games, NCAA Women’s Volleyball Finals, Olympic swimming trials (using large temporary pools), and the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting. Concerts by major touring artists also are featured in the venue, though most acts will deploy their own end-stage audio production.
Meyer Sound • www.meyersound.com