Miami Gardens, FL – February 2016… On Dec 31, 2015, the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl football game took place at Sunlife Stadium between the Clemson University Tigers and the University of Oklahoma Sooners football teams. As is the case with all big, season-ending games, the halftime show at this 82nd annual event was nothing short of spectacular. In recent years, the artist roster has included Taylor Hicks with Gladys Knight, ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers, Kool and the Gang, and Train, to name just a few. This year’s headliner was the legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist John Fogerty. With 68,000 spectators in attendance and millions more watching on television, the halftime extravaganza required a massive sound reinforcement setup with top-notch performance. To ensure the show went off without an audible hitch, loudspeakers from Valencia, Spain-based D.A.S. Audio were placed into service.
ACT Productions of Miami Beach, FL, which handles staging, lighting, video, film, and audio services for the special events market, was tasked with coordinating the logistics for this year’s halftime show. Carlos Henao, Technical Director for ACT Productions, was responsible for overseeing the implementation of all audio, lighting, video, and staging for this year’s event. To ensure the proper number of D.A.S. loudspeakers required for a project of this magnitude would be available, Henao arranged for product to be drawn from the inventories of Miami’s Interface Sound and Dynamic Productions of Hallandale Beach, FL. He discussed the project and its various challenges.
“For this year’s show, we deployed a total of twelve equipment carts outfitted with the various D.A.S. loudspeakers,” Henao explained. “Each cart consisted of one UX-221A powered, ultra-low subwoofer accompanied by four Aero 40A powered, 3-way line array elements or, alternatively, four Aero 38A powered, 3-way line array systems. Along each side of the football field’s length, we positioned four of these carts facing into the spectator areas. Similarly, we also placed two carts in each of the field’s end zones—facing out toward the spectators. We essentially had a 360-degree setup with each cart in the system positioned approximately 20 yards apart. On the stage, eight DAS Road 12A enclosures were used for monitors, along with three Aero 8A line arrays and one CA-215A subwoofer per side, for high output, compact side fills.”
The D.A.S. Audio UX-221A subwoofer as well as the Aero 40A and Aero 38A line arrays are all powered loudspeaker systems. Powered loudspeakers carry numerous advantages such as streamlined system cabling and power that is optimized for each type of enclosure. While these attributes certainly benefitted Henao and the crew responsible for deploying this huge system, there was one additional benefit of these powered loudspeaker systems that really came into play on the Orange Bowl project.
“Come show time,” Henao said, “the entire system had to be in place and operational in just six minutes. This meant rapidly moving the loudspeaker carts and cables from the storage positions inside the stadium’s tunnel passages onto the field, making the necessary connections, and having everything ready to go. Because the entire system was self-powered, heavy amp racks were eliminated and, as a result, setup time was minimized. Another benefit of using the self-powered loudspeaker systems was the space savings. Although we were working in a stadium, space is always at a premium. No amp racks meant more space for patrons.”
Henao also commented on the exceptional dispersion characteristics of the Aero line array systems, “In previous years, we used carts with five top boxes each, but sightlines became an issue, due to more seats being added to the lower level. Although four boxes per stack was less than that recommended by the acoustic models we created using EASE Focus, the system did a great job of covering fans seated 75 feet away on the lower level all the way to the people seated 300 feet back up in the ‘nosebleed’ seats. The coverage was consistent throughout the stadium and both speech intelligibility and music reproduction were excellent.”
With a large project of this nature, technical questions inevitably arise. In this regard, Henao reports that D.A.S. Audio’s support services are first rate. “While D.A.S. Audio has been easy to deal with all along,” Henao notes, “in recent years the company has added a very competent tech support staff to complement their sales team. As a result, any issues or concerns were addressed expediently.”
With the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl now in the rear view mirror, Henao reflected on the project and offered these parting thoughts. “The Orange Bowl was a really challenging event to say the least,” he said, “but the use of D.A.S. Audio loudspeaker systems yielded great results. We saw many happy faces and received numerous compliments—from both the spectators and the FOH engineers traveling with the artists. Each year the Orange Bowl project evolves, as do the D.A.S. Audio loudspeaker systems. It’s really gratifying to work with equipment that is so carefully thought out and well designed as D.A.S.”
To learn more about ACT Productions, visit www.actproductions.com. For information about Interface Sound and Dynamic Productions, visit their respective websites at www.interfacesound.com and www.dynamicprodusa.com.
About D.A.S. Audio
Celebrating 40 years of innovation, Valencia, Spain-based D.A.S. Audio is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of loudspeaker systems, power amplification, signal processing, and related components. D.A.S. Audio products are found on tour with the world’s greatest performing artists and installed in many of the most prestigious facilities. For additional information about D.A.S. Audio, visit the company online at www.dasaudio.com.