LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY – SEPTEMBER 2013: Located in the heart of bluegrass country Whitaker Bank Ballpark is home to minor league baseballs’ Lexington Legends. Completed in 2001, its’ original sound system held up well until recent years. As components of the head-end began to fail, AV integration firm New World Resources helped maintain the system with band-aids and quick fixes. When the original DSP died New World replaced it with a SymNet Edge system that immediately revitalized sound quality while providing cost-effective ARC-WEB iPad and SymVue PC control.
“We provided the ballpark with a quote for a new head end a few years ago” explained New World Resources owner, David Humphreys. “This year, I updated everything in the quote and included the latest SymNet Edge hardware. Following installation the system ended up being more powerful and even less expensive than what we had previously quoted.”
Two SymNet Edge frames and a SymNet xOut 12 analog output expander handle all of the processing and matrixing. Inputs include a main announcers’ mic, four wireless microphones, three Click Effects units, a radio tuner, a CD player, and a handful of inputs on the field. On the output side the main stadium is divided into three sections, and each of those sections is further divided into three vertical coverage zones. Additional zones include the outfield bleachers, a kids’ zone, east and west concourses, bathrooms, a restaurant, offices, corporate suites, a picnic area, and a party deck.
“This was my first Dante project,” said Humphreys. “It was easier than the CobraNet systems I’ve done. I set up the busses from one SymNet box and it just worked. I didn’t even need a network switch.” Humphreys fitted one Edge frame with four 4-channel analog input cards and the second frame with four 4-channel analog output cards. The SymNet xOut 12 brought the total output count to twenty-eight.
The original quote specified a separate third party control system that, at the time, was one of the only ways to offer mobile control. “I hadn’t used Symetrix ARC-WEB and wasn’t sure that it could provide the control system functionality the client was looking for,” said Humphreys. “However, after I installed the SymNet Edge system, I set up ARC-WEB and handed it to the ballpark’s lead tech on an iPad. It gave him intuitive, customized control over input selection and zone-specific volumes. He was totally happy. Given ARC-WEB and SymVue PC-based control for the announcer, we removed the third party control system from the project. That saved them even more money which they allocated to replacing the few loudspeakers that had died prematurely.”
The SymNet ARC-WEB gives users control over zone volumes, and because it is deployed on an iPad, the tech can walk around the park while making the adjustments. The SymVue PC-based control goes further, allowing the user to drill down to adjust, for example, the three subsections within each of the three main stadium sections. The announcer has access to the SymVue control so that he can control inputs to the system during the game along with the Click Effects units. In addition, a hardwired Symetrix ARC-2e wall panel remote in the bar/restaurant allows the staff to switch between local inputs and the ballpark content. A second ARC-2e wall panel remote in the main office allows simple day-to-day system control for music during practices.
“All of the amplifiers and loudspeakers are from the original system,” Humphreys emphasized. “Yet the system now sounds noticeably better than it did with the original DSP. It’s like a whole new system. The clarity is better and the dynamic range is enhanced. They’re also very happy with the new user control. It’s a night and day difference!”
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