The Singapore National Day has been celebrated on August 9 every year since 1966 with the National Day Parade (NDP). This year’s parade was held around the new Marina Bay Floating Stadium, which was constructed specifically for the event over a period of eight months after the closure of the National Stadium, which had been home to the event for more than 30 years. Technical director Nick Eltis, designer Paul Collison and audio designer Scott Willsallen were appointed to oversee the extravaganza.
The NDP 2007 show comprised five segments—Sea, Earth, Sky, People and Fire—weaved together by a central character, SING, which symbolized the willpower and energy of Singapore and its people. The show was supported by the 240-member NDP 2007 Orchestra, comprised of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Malay and Indian Ensembles, talented local soloists and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band. The fireworks finale was synchronized to specially composed music, and also integrated water effects, flames, lasers and lights. The parade lasted for more than three hours and featured a military theme that involved soldiers, boats, helicopters and fighter jets.
The Marina Bay comprises four stages with specifically designed joints and connections that follow the tides of the bay. The building plan also included a 219-yard, 27,500-person capacity seating area along the shoreline. It is said to be the largest floating performance platform in the world, with an internal drainage system, cabling systems and lightning conductors for safety purposes.
For Willsallen, the sheer size of the floating platform proved a challenge. Measuring 120 yards wide and 262 feet deep, the platform is set back 98 feet from the 219-yard wide seated promenade, and it floats on water with the rising and lowering tide, which alters the height—and hence the coverage—of the speaker systems.
“I really looked at all possible suppliers, but I concluded that the Adamson Y10 loudspeaker system would provide the broad, deep coverage pattern required for the application,” Willsallen explains. His design featured two scaffolding towers with 24 Y10s flown on each side, four ground-stacked Y10 arrays, each comprising eight enclosures placed in front of the scaffolding towers. The two central ground-stacked Y10 clusters were flanked by 12 EV X-subs in a tapered array, while the outer Y10 clusters were supplemented by six T-21 subs per side. The entire system was powered by 75 Lab.gruppen fP6400 amplifiers and nine Dolby Lake processors. The installation stayed in place for three months before the NDP event, when it was fine-tuned and used for the extensive rehearsal period.
From left: Ewan MacDonald, Jesse Adamson, Scott Willsallen, Amy MacDonald and Reeve Long of Team 108
Local supplier Showtec, with the assistance of the Australian company Norwest, provided all the speaker systems specified by Willsallen. The audio team included local and Australian engineers and technicians, including audio project manager Chandra Mohan, front-of-house mix engineer Ian Shapcott, monitor mix engineer Ewan McDonald, replay systems operator Trevor Beck, patch/RF systems engineer Amy McDonald, chief communication systems engineer Kamal Adam Litak and chief systems techs Mohamad Shah Ridzal (control systems) and Mohammad Nurhisham (field systems).