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NCAA Sweet Sixteen Dunks with Electro-Voice

FOH Staff • News • April 16, 2008

HOUSTON – LD Systems (Houston) deployed three sizes of Electro-Voice line array — X-Line, XLC and XLD — for the recent NCAA college basketball South Regional “Sweet Sixteen” playoffs at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

The internationally televised tournament began only a matter of days after LD Systems completed another successful year of sound reinforcement for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo at Reliant Stadium, a three-week run of rodeo competition and A-list concert events for which LD annually deploy over 100 EV X-Line cabinets and equal amount of EV remote control amps (all controlled via EV NetMax and IRIS-Net software).

“Our crew — Mike “Monk” Shear, Anthony “Manchild” Di Donato, and Kelly “Lil Rustler” Jones — worked long hours to make a seamless transition from the rodeo to the basketball tournament,” say Robert Ausmus, director of production services, LD Systems, “bringing in additional mid-sized and super-compact EV line arrays to address the very different audio requirements for the basketball games. The rodeo ended at 6 p.m. on March 22, and we had to be up and operational by the morning of the 24th, when the court went in.”

“For the rodeo, with audiences regularly hitting the 73,000 mark, the large format X-Line arrays are flown to address the vast expanse of seating areas, with no coverage necessary over the dirt,” Ausmus adds. “The room was rescaled for around 40,000 seats for the basketball, with the endzone areas curtained off. We cut back the amount of active X-Line cabinets from 108 to 80, and added a total of 16 compact XLC127+ and 32 super-compact XLD281 line array elements — split up into in six hangs of eight and flown from a 65-foot eight-sided truss hidden behind the central LED walls — to precisely cover the court and courtside seating blocks, while their big brothers handled the long throw for the stadium seats. The XLD and XLC arrays not only go up quickly, they yield warm, intelligible sound with minimum effort, which meant the crew, who were obviously pressed for time, could focus on the fine-tuning.”

“The court is only 60 feet across,” Ausmus continues, “which is like a postage stamp in this stadium, but we needed to aim the sound very precisely, firing down from a high trim of 63 feet. We used EV’s BGK bottom grid kits to pull up the bottom cabinets, achieving the steep angles we needed to cover the courtside seats. It all went extremely well, and the client was very happy. This combination of EV products sounded superb in this challenging space. Reliant Stadium was, without a doubt, the most sound-reinforced stadium used for the NCAA tournament.”

For more information, please visit www.electrovoice.com

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